Just had a look at a Google TV demo. It looks pretty cool. They have a bunch of “apps” that link you directly with MSNBC, Netflix, NBA, Pandora, Amazon on demand, etc. They are also saying that you will be able to use the Android market for apps similar to the apps on the Android phones and soon to be tablets. All of it will be accessible on the TV and seems like it would really open up what you can do with your TV. In comparison, the new Apple TV gives you Netflix streaming, streaming from your computer, direct rentals from the iTunes store, streaming from your Apple mobile devices… and that’s about it.
This difference epitomizes how conservative Apple is. No, the Apple TV is not as full featured as the Google TV is. On the other hand, the Apple TV is shipping right now and works very well. Google TV looks like something made by geeks for geeks. Lots of features, lots of potential for expandability. Apple has chosen simplicity and an evolution of how people use their TVs as opposed to the wholesale shift the Google TV represents. Apple has made a product that anyone can use and enjoy. I have a feeling that if my parents were given a Google TV, they wouldn’t know what to do with it.
Being a bit of a nerd, I really like what Google TV is offering. We’ll have to see how well they implement it and how well they will be able to differentiate themselves from similar boxes from Roku and Boxee. If I watched more movies, I would enjoy an Apple TV. I think that there is quite a bit of potential with the new Apple TV, but Apple is doing its usual slow and methodical steps towards products. I’ll be checking the non-Apple things out as they start shipping and I’ll let you know what I think about what your TV can be turned into. I’ve got high hopes. Right now, the TV s just a way to watch live sports for me, it would be good if it got interesting again.