In a move that few would have predicted, YouTube for Google TV seems to have been removed from the Play Store. People who have downloaded it previously can still see its entry, but beyond that, it's as good as dead. Further, there appears to be no alternative app to replace it. That doesn't mean there won't be, though. It's possible that the primary YouTube app could be updated with Google TV support in the future, but without a confirmation from Google, all we can do is speculate at this point.
If you haven't heard, Google makes a ton of Android apps. It can be a real hassle to keep up with them all, as the company is occasionally prone to updating a handful of them at once. So today we're lumping together new versions of My Tracks, Google Fiber, Google TV Search, Google Shopping Express, and Voice Search for Google TV all in one post. Links and changelogs for all five apps are available below.
Updates don't alway meet their deadlines, and that's fine. The Android 4.2.2 Google TV update that LG promised back in May may be late, but it's here, at least for some models. This is big news for people who have invested in Google's television offering, as it bumps the platform up from a rather old Android 3.2 Honeycomb base.
Unfortunately, some things are lost in transition. While updated Google TVs will have better mobile app compatibility thanks to Android NDK support, the Chrome browser has changed from the PC to the Android version, meaning there's no Flash support.
Netflix customers now all have the option to stream their favorite television shows and movies in the highest quality bit rate that the company offers. HD? No, Super HD. It's 1080p, but with less compression. Netflix first rolled out this higher quality offering way back in January, but they only worked with ISPs with whom they have a direct connection. Now they're ready to stream Super HD to everyone. They're also hoping more ISPs will adopt Netflix Open Connect, their video content delivery network that tries to reduce internet congestion by storing content on servers as close to users as possible.
I know, Chromecast and Google TV are obviously two different products. They don't share the same features or functionality, and one can be wildly more expensive than the other. But they're also attempting to solve the same problem, albeit with competing philosophies. That problem? Making your TV smarter.
The Chromecast chooses to do this as a sort of 'bridge,' making your smartphone, tablet, or computer the control center for your TV, while the Chromecast itself just acts as a sort of facilitator for this process.
We've shared some rather cool things you can do with Google TV in the past, but if you happen to have one, chances are you actually want to use it for watching video every now and then. While Netflix, Crackle, and YouTube may be enough to provide your movie, sitcom, and cat fix, none of them offer much in the way of news reporting. Now there's no chance I could introduce a source that would please all of our readers, but I'm sure at some of you will be pleased to know that AOL has released HuffPost Live for Google TV.
Update: It turns out you can get a Samsung HomeSync in the US... if you live in the greater Chicago area. AT&T is selling the devices at its flagship store on Michigan Avenue, and only at this store. We called up the location for information about pricing and availability, here's what we were told: the HomeSync is $299 (no contracts or anything), is currently in stock at that location, and you do not have to be an AT&T customer to purchase one.
If you missed out on Woot.com's Sony Internet Player deal last week, Best Buy's Deal of the Day has something that will make you smile. The NSZ-GS7 is again on sale for 50% off, bringing the price down to a more affordable $99.99. And unlike the Woot.com deal, this one comes with free shipping. Just take action before today is over - you wouldn't want to miss out on this deal a second time.
If you've been meaning to get into the Google TV game and want to do it on the cheap, consider this your chance. The Sony Internet Player is Woot.com's deal of the day, selling for just $99.99, half off of its original retail price. As always, Woot primary sales are valid for one day or until the stock runs out. Standard shipping is just five bucks.
Sony has released three different stand-alone Google TV units, and this one is the second: the NSZ-GS7, first sold in 2012.