We may be able to scratch off the first article from out Improving Google TV series soon. The YouTube update that allows for Google TV streaming could be the beginning of a series of improvements that are to come to Google’s smart TV platform. All with the intention to bring users AirPlay-like abilities, which has been a main reason for Apple TV’s success over Google TV.
In an interview, Google product manager Timbo Drayson stated that after YouTube’s updates, they “really want to move the whole industry forward.” This means not only streaming and beaming content to Google TV, but also mirroring and use of a second display. Features we have seen Google start to play with in the past, with the dead (on arrival) Nexus Q.
But there is one difference with Google’s alternative would follow the company’s “open philosophy”. It would be available for developers to use with their apps as they wish, and not just limited to what the company does (which is the case with Apple TV). This would allow Google and its partners not only to further compete against Apple, but it can become the best smart TV platform if done right.
AirPlay can do mirroring/extending of Mac computers and iOS devices to Apple TV. Likewise, it offers streaming features. An open system would allow for much more, though. Since developers have the ultimate word, they can go ahead and get creative with their projects. Imagine SmartGlass-like functionality, where the tablet/smartphone opens a video streaming app like Netflix and shows secondary information about the video in the screen.
Maybe developers could also create games like those in the Wii U, where part of the game is done via an Android device. And of course, at some point we would like to mirror/extend our computer and mobile displays. The sky really is the limit, and we can only hope the latest batch of updates is a good sign of things to come.