Google TV 2.0 has launched with support for applications, an improved interface, and a host of other features that most of wished we could have seen in the first version of the software. But at least we have it now. And for those of us who love to be entertained in the living room, it’s something we’ll at least try out.
In addition to announcing Google TV 2.0, the search giant said that new hardware running the software will launch early next year. Customers who want to use the software now will need to buy either the Logitech or Sony devices already on store shelves.
But given the recent rumors surrounding the Apple television, I can’t help but wonder if even the prospect of that device launching could have a negative impact on Google TV and the set-top boxes running it.
According to the latest rumors, Apple’s television will feature a unique interface that will allow users to seamlessly check for content across several different platforms, including Netflix and their cable service. In addition, it might be controlled with the help of Siri, Apple’s voice-command software. And if Apple delivers App Store, iCloud, and iTunes integration, as expected, it might just prove to be one of the most appealing televisions we’ve seen in a long time.
Realizing that, how many of us will be willing to invest in a Google TV device when we know that an Apple television could be right around the corner? Rumors suggest the television will be launching at the end of 2012 or early 2013. Do we really need both Google TV and an Apple TV if that happens? Surely, if the Apple television is as nice as some say it’ll be, we can wait.
It gets worse for Google. If the rumor mill is already heating up, next year, it could hit a tipping point. Over the next several weeks, you can expect more Apple television rumors to crop up and by June, it wouldn’t surprise me if we start hearing from supply partners about some of the components that will be making their way to the product.
All the while, Google TV and the products running it will be trying to make a mark with the same service, many believe, will be available in Apple’s TV.
Plus, all this fails to mention that Google TV has lost the trust of many consumers that bought first-generation devices in the hope that the software would live up to the hype. It didn’t. And now, they’re wary of trying again with Google’s software.
Anyway you look at it, things don’t look good for Google TV. The platform has lost much of its initial excitement, it won’t be launching on new devices for months, and it just might be too similar to the features that will come in the Apple’s television.
A perfect storm is erupting around the Google TV. And its name is Apple TV.
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear