07
Jan
IMG_1428

I went to LG's CES press conference, so I kind of feel obligated to write about it, even though nothing much happened. The biggest news out of the conference is that the translated "Google TV 3.0" press release we came across a few weeks ago is bogus. At the time we thought it meant a new version of GTV was coming, but it turns out it's just the same software that's been out since November, with a new launcher made by LG, which they referred to as their "3rd generation skin."

So what's new about the 3rd Gen skin? Almost nothing. There's a new home screen, although we've already seen it in the "3.0" press release. It looks like this.

wm_IMG_1483

It works exactly as you'd expect - you can arrow-key through the options or use the mouse on the remote. There wasn't much else to show because it wasn't hooked up to the internet. It's nice looking, and seems to be well laid out, but this is the only thing LG has changed. Go one screen in any direction and you are booted to the standard black and blue GTV interface.

wm_IMG_1485wm_IMG_1472

The remote is "new," although it looks like nearly every other GTV remote in existence. The front is a regular remote; the back is a keyboard. The one new feature is a microphone, so you can now do the Voice Search stuff Google Added back in November directly from the remote.

We were hoping to hear about an Optimus G sequel. Their press release teaser video spent a good amount of time showing light glinting off a cloaked, black, phone-shaped object, and when you do that, people tend to expect a new phone. Instead, they spent most of the presentation talking about washers, dryers, and refrigerators which were already released ("We shaved 20 minutes off the drying time [pause for crickets]"), phones that were already released (the Nexus 4 and Optimus G), and 4K TVs (more like $40k TVs). There wasn't much in the way of Android-related news. Oh well, on to the next thing!

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • Aaron Berlin

    The voice control stuff and new PrimeTime app IS Google TV 3.0. I think it's actually available on LG's existing GTV right now.

  • RedPandaAlex

    The Google TV team has been referring to the suite of improvements late last year as Google TV 3.0. It's not just LG.

    What I'm curious about is, do these new units not even have an updated processor? Is everything still using that Marvel chip?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Where has Google referred to anything as "Google TV 3.0"? Here's the voice search announcement.http://googletv.blogspot.com/2012/11/google-tv-now-faster-and-easier.html?m=1You would think something like that would be headline news. LG never called it "Google TV 3.0" either. http://googletv.blogspot.com/2

      • Aaron Berlin

        I'm probably revealing myself as an enormous spaz, but that's how the team refers to it on their G+ hangouts. Ping Kevin Lau on G+ and he'll confirm.

        • RedPandaAlex

          Yep

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

            OK, I updated the post. Google doesn't seem to officially use version numbers, so neither will I. The point is we thought the translated "3.0" press release meant a new version was coming, and it isn't.

  • Kenny O

    lol....LG's too busy playing catch up with all those Nexus 4 back orders to do anything else right now

    • yarrellray

      Lg is soft period. Yeah ok great the Lg Nexus 4, Lg Optimus G not bad. But what happened to the 5.5 inch Galaxy Note 2 competitor. ??? They better be scared of coming up against the big dog.

      • Kenny O

        Wait.....what....I thought everyone loved the LG Optimus Vu.....it makes a great coaster.

    • http://twitter.com/sellcellphone SellCell.com

      I think the Nexus 4 has only been available on the Google Play store for a total of 2 hours since its launch. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ajac09 Anthony Evans Jr

    huh? I listened to it on cnet and they talked about the VU II a little bit

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I feel a bit mean spirited saying this, but...does this mean we can stop pretending that LG is interesting? The Optimus G and Nexus 4 were exciting, but only because LG managed to get the latest processor from Qualcomm and let Google take the lead on the rest of the N4.

    Seriously, can we go back to thinking of LG as a permanent 2nd tier Android OEM?

    • Kenny O

      They have to start somewhere :-)

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        The hard part isn't starting, it's keeping the momentum going once you've got your foot in the door. They should have announced a new service or a crazy new launcher or even an app that lets you pair your phone to an LG tv (with NFC to automate the pairing) and use the phone as a remote control. They don't even need to ever release it, they just needed enough to keep some attention on them. They managed to get people in the gadget circles to say their name without chuckling, they should have at least tried to slip something in to keep the attention going. :)

        • Fabi├ín Aguilar

          I have a LM6200 LG TV and it already allows you to use your smartphone as a remote. Keep in mind this TV is not a Google TV it has LG firmware. So maybe I'm off the subject here.

    • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

      I never stopped thinking that way. It's the *only* reason I didn't even bother trying for a Nexus 4. My G2x sitting a few inches from me won't let me forgive them.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        I was in the position of needing to get a new phone. I wasn't interested in the SGS3 and the One X+ was interesting, but I felt like a major revision was coming in 2013 that would make the X+ a bit of a lazy mid-term refresh. I also wasn't going to get a Note 2 as a primary phone (I use the phone one-handed and don't wear baggy pants). The Nexus 4 had the advantage of being highly hackable and cheap to get off-contract. I'm not regretting the N4 at all, though I'm a little disappointed by it's lack of OTG support and Google (or LG?) being lazy about releasing the inductive charging base. I won't say LG didn't screw up something with the N4, but nothing about it is a catastrophe like many of their other releases.

        • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

          Yeah, my friend who I (regrettably) recommended the G2x to and he purchased it about a month after I did (before problems started really becoming apparent) bought the N4, and he was equally skeptical but took the plunge anyway. He's said similar good things about it, but I still remain skeptical.

          • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

            At this point, all of the hardware issues are known. OTG support is basically a lost cause, the screen colors are a bit washed out (but made better if you use a kernel that can set it's own custom settings), and the back is made of glass (if you see that as a bad thing).

            From this point on, LG's role is just to keep making the same thing, which is a fairly safe bet (unless they replace the screen like HTC had to with the Nexus One). Now the onus is on Google to keep the phone in good working order...and I've recently broken down and put that responsibility onto CyanogenMod as well ;)

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