Show Me the Apps
Before you get too excited, it is worth pointing out that apps that require touch screen support, GPS or phone access won’t be available on your Google TV device. However you can sideload apps if you use a service like Dropbox to send APKs over – of course not everything is going to work.
In terms of supported apps you do now have a bit of choice – it supports about 1,500 of the existing apps in the Android Market. There are currently only around 30 apps designed specifically for Google TV. There’s an IMDb app, a Flixster app, some cookery apps, a few news apps and some more content streaming options. For music you can now download Napster, Pandora, Qello, Rhapsody and aVia. There are a couple of surveillance apps too so you can check up on your IP camera streams. AOL HD offers a nice selection of content from sites like Engadget, Moviefone and Huffington Post. You’ll also find that the Plex app allows you to stream content from a server.
If the lack of Hulu support is really annoying you then try out PlayOn. It offers access to a really wide selection of content. Using your PC as a media server it can stream content across Wi-Fi, or 3G if you want it on your phone. The only problem is that the server app isn’t cheap.
You’ll also find a small selection of games is now supported including Dragon, Fly!, Frogger and Syrious Scramble (which is like Scrabble). There are a few others too, but nothing you’ll get excited about.
The prize for the most pointless highlighted app on the Google TV website goes to Classy Fireplace. It is what it sounds like because, of course, you bought an HDTV so it could emulate a fireplace. It actually emulates other things too, like a waterfall, fireworks, clouds and a beach, and let’s not forget the accompanying jazz music and rain sounds. I know you’ll be rushing to buy a Google TV device now!
There are quite a few other apps available and no doubt developers will create some better options for the platform as it grows – if it grows. Right now I wouldn’t hold your breath for an avalanche of awesome apps. Obviously the Android apps in the market are designed for phones or tablets, with some innovative thinking there are bound to be good potential apps for the TV, but do you want apps on your TV?