Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Guardian introduces their beta Google TV app

The Guardian this morning unveiled a beta version of a Google TV app on its website.

The Guardian's Stephen Folwell introduced the new app that will work on Google's somewhat disappointing television product. Google TV is an Android driven add-on to either a Sony TV or it is also available through the Logitech Revue.

Apple, too, has its own AppleTV product. But where Apple has kept the AppleTV has a closed product that is intended to solely work with its iOS devices, Google has opened up its Google TV to third party apps – something most observers thought Apple would do by now.

Most television makers are moving to so-called "smart TVs" that contain their own apps, but The Guardian said they chose to develop this first app for Google's platform because development was relatively easy.

"We've focused on Google TV for now, because Chrome allows us to build an app quickly," wrote Folwell. "In theory, this means we can create and release new versions of the app as often as we want, avoiding the lengthy approval processes required by some other connected TV platforms. We'll experiment in real time with the content on offer and the user interface, tweaking both as we go."

The app opens with a full-screen image from The Guardian's Eyewitness photo journalism app before a menu appears with video offerings.

The WSJ last year launched its own TV app that features a live video stream. Because of the paper's name recognition, most television makers would welcome a strong news organization onto its platform. But in a closed environment, such as Apple's or most TV makers, getting onto the screen is a difficult and costly task. But where third party apps are allowed, the door becomes open for news organizations and other media properties to move onto the television screen through an app approach.