Posts Tagged ‘Google Chrome’

Logitech Revue: Unboxing and First Impressions

Friday, November 5th, 2010

The Logitech Revue is one of two choices when connecting to Google TV. I reviewed the other choice, the Sony Internet TV, here. The Logitech Revue is not exactly cheap, but it costs a lot less than buying a brand new TV. DISH Network customers even get a discount on the device.

The Revue is pretty simple as far as hardware goes. There is a keyboard remote and a cable companion box. Setup is pretty easy. If you need a MAC address to connect a device to your network, you can view it for the LAN and WAN on the underside of the companion box. Other than making sure your network allows new devices, you simply answer some questions about your TV, cable company, and log into Google.

If you don’t have a set-top box or DVR from your cable provider, things get a little tricky. You can watch TV, but you can’t use the keyboard remote to control it. This means you can’t select a television show from Google TV either. You really need a set-top box or DVR to get the full value out of the Revue.

Searching for YouTube videos is easy enough. I looked at some of the pre-set applications as well, including CNBC, Netflix, and Twitter. These are Android apps, but you can’t currently access the Android Market. That feature is coming soon.

In addition to Android Apps, you also get Google Chrome. It is designed to behave just as Chrome would on your computer, but tabbed browsing can be a bit tricky. I Googled it from Chrome on the device, and it didn’t indicate a difference in tabbed browsing. There was mention of a menu button or clicking Control – T, but that was it. I poked around a bit more and figured it out. If you want to view open tabs or input a URL, click the search key at the bottom of the keyboard (it looks like a magnifying glass). You can input URLs here, and if you look at the far right you can see an icon for selecting open windows. This is not only for Chrome it seems, but for all of Google TV, as the home screen is included as a choice.

All in all, first impressions are pretty good. I am going to test it a bit more with DISH Network tonight, so I will discuss those impressions soon. The keyboard is really easy to use, and is far less complex than the one on Sony’s Internet TV. This means it is more accessible to the everyday user, not just geeks like myself who like the Sony version.

If you’ve tried the Logitech Revue, let me know what you think in the comments.

Google TV Gaining Network Support

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Google TV is coming this Fall, and it is picking up some speed. Google announced some new partners today.

Along with Sony, Logitech, Best Buy, Dish Network, and Intel, Google now has Turner Broadcasting, NBC, HBO, and the NBA.

These weren’t the only names dropped today. Amazon Video on Demand, Netflix, USA Today, Vevo, Pandora, Napster, Twitter and blip.tv were among those listed. It looks like Google TV is going to hit the ground running. You can check out some of the apps in the video below.

Google shared some more information about the service as well. Google TV will be based on the Linux version of Chrome, version 5. This means that apps that work on Chrome should work on Google TV. The Android Market will be made available after launch. Google says it will come in early 2011. Google TV will start with Android 2.1, but will get an over-the-air upgrade to make it compatible with the Android Market. This is interesting, as Chrome OS is coming this fall as well. This could be a bridge between Chrome OS and Android, though nothing has been said regarding this possibility.

There are two ways to enjoy Google TV. You can either get a “smart” tv from Sony or soon from other manufacturers, or you can get a companion box, the Logitech Revue for use with your current TV. You’ll be able to use the Revue or your own Android phone as a remote for Google TV, which is a pretty convenient feature.

I’ve been looking forward to Google TV since it was announced at the IO conference. It looks like it will start out pretty strong, and then the doors will open for developers to do what they will with it. Google has said from the beginning that Google TV will be heavily influenced by developers. There is enough flexibility to offer a lot of opportunity. In other words, this should keep getting better. With a pretty strong starting lineup, Google TV apps are going to make TV exciting again. At least that’s the plan. You can learn more at the new Google TV page, google.com/tv

What do you think? Does this blow Apple TV away? What features are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments.

Chrome To Phone

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Google hosted a press conference today, and had some pretty exciting news to share. Chrome to Phone is one of the new features. It is limited to Froyo users, so if you don’t have it yet this is something you’ll have to look forward to.

Chrome to Phone is a Chrome Extension that sends web pages or phone numbers from your Chrome browser to your Froyo-enabled Android phone. It doesn’t simply send a link, it auto-loads the content on the phone, making it really convenient. You can even copy text and send it to the Android clipboard.

As cool as this feature is, I think it is already dated, thanks to another tool called Voice Actions. Voice Actions eliminates the need to send driving directions from your computer to your phone, since you can simply speak the address into your phone and launch the navigator. Chrome to Phone is still a useful feature, even if it is less attractive than Voice Actions. Check out the video for more.