The Google TV platform, which by all measures has been quite a flop up to this point, is ready for its first significant upgrade.
If you purchased a Sony Internet TV or Logitech's Google TV set-top box over the last year, chances are you've been disappointed. Despite a lot of lofty language about how Google TV was supposed to change the way we interact with TV, it has remained either on par or actually inferior to other Internet TV options offered by manufacturers like Samsung and Philips.
One of the things we've been waiting for is the addition of Android Market in the Google TV software, which would make the level of content explosive and potentially game-changing.
So far, the only apps on Google TV have been staples like Netflix, news channels, and weather information. And it wasn't an open platform, so an indie developer with an awesome TV app idea would be unable to deploy said idea.
However, on October 30, Google will be pushing an update to all existing Google TV users that will open up the Android Market - finally. Yes, these apps are the same ones that appear on your Android phone. That is, the ones that have been accepted as compatible with Google TV.
Obviously, ones that rely on touch-screen controls, GPS, accelerometer functions, etc, won't work. But useful apps including games and content discovery apps are all set for deployment.
A couple of the things we've been looking for since Google TV launched is a way to make it social - tune into a TV show and chat with others in real-time as the show's plot unfolds. Or have an app that can intelligently predict what you want to watch and when to change the channel.
Now that the platform is a bit more open, we're hoping for big things. But the question is whether it's too little too late. We'll wait and find out.