Google TV nearing release; SDK add-on preview out now

Google has finally got around to releasing the first preview of its upcoming Google TV add-on for the Android SDK.

In a post on the official Google TV blog, Ambarish Kenghe, Google TV Product Manager said that Google TV devices would be Android compatible thanks to an update for the Android Honeycomb OS.

What this means in layman’s terms is that developers will soon be able to build new Android applications that can be designed specifically for TVs, or optimise current mobile or tablet applications for TVs too, all downloadable via the Android Market.

As expected, apps that require certain features that Google TV does not support such as touchscreen features will not appear in the Android Market for Google TV.

The company has also published UI guidelines to help developers optimize for d-pad navigation, presenting information for 10-foot viewing, designing apps that work well across devices, etc. The guidelines include information on how certain UI elements on Google TV differ from other Android devices.

Ambarish Kenghe says that “These are still early days for Google TV, and this release is another step in providing developer tools for the big screen. While the number of apps available on TV will initially be small, we expect that through this early release of the add-on you'll be able to bring optimized TV apps into the ecosystem more quickly.”

Google has not had an easy ride in the TV set top box market, with one of their major backers, Logitech stating last month that the company has not been delivering on its promises. Though a Google spokesperson has said that the company is still fully behind Google TV and a major update for the platform will be released later this year.

You can download the Google TV add-on right now.

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