Google didn't see much success with its Google TV program. Well, it didn't see any success at all, the product was mostly a failure and the sales numbers proved it. But Google is not giving up, it's working on a comeback and the first details of the Google TV 2.0, as it has been dubbed, hardware as well as software have surfaced.
The company didn't have too much to show for itself at Google I/O 2011 when it came to Google TV, which is why it didn't make too much of a fuss
But even then, something big was in the works and Google did reveal that all existing owners will get upgraded to an Android 3.1-based Google TV software version during this summer.
At the same time, Google started working with several developers to get them to create applications for the new Google TV platform which will also get Android Market integration, something that was touted at launch but was never fulfilled.
Geek.com managed to get its hands
on one of the reference hardware boxes, running Google TV 2.0, sent to one of the developers which got accepted into the program ahead of an official SDK.
The hardware itself is based on the new Intel chips that will power new Google TV boxes and features a lot more connectivity options than any of the devices that hit the market so far.
That said, it's a reference design and these usually include anything but the kitchen sink, so it's probably not worth to get excited about all of the input ports.
On the software side, the differences are more noticeable. The UI has been redesigned and has a new color scheme, reminiscent of Android 3.1 on which it's based, as well as new elements.
Right now, the devices run Google TV 2.0 beta and only come with a few apps, the Live TV application obviously, and a Clock app. It also comes with the Chrome browser which, surprisingly enough, is being clearly labeled as Chrome.
The platform seems pretty raw at this point, from a software point of view and, while Google is busy working on it, it's does seem optimistic that Google believes it will have something impressive to show off, hopefully with a plethora of new apps, this summer.