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Google TV Honeycomb Update Quick Walk-Through

The Honeycomb update for Google TV started rolling out to Sony TV units on Monday and is just now popping up for Blu-Ray units. Since we have the Blu-Ray version, we are just getting to it and wanted to toss out this quick gallery of some of the first things we noticed. So far, this update looks like it may blow past most of our expectations. In just a couple of minutes with HC for my TV, I can easily say that it has become useful for the first time in months. Things like the “TV and Movies” app and Android Market are essentially game changers in my opinion.

Jump on past the break to see what’s new. 

(Click all images for larger versions)

Apps and Home Screen

Whenever you press the “Home” button on your remote now, you get to the image on the left. It’s a quick shortcut menu of sorts that lets you jump into some of the more popular apps like “TV and Movies,” Netflix, the Market, and Chrome. With a simple click though, you can jump right into your entire app drawer. Everything is easily accessible in Honeycomb.


Ahhh the Android Market on your TV. Does it get better than this? So far, there are just a handful of apps that I have had zero chance to explore, but can say that installation, search, and launching of them is super easy. It’s just like the market on your tablet or phone, but with a black background. One cool thing I noticed, was when you click install and jump out of the market, you get a notification progress bar on screen until it is done.

TV and Movies

Favorite feature by far. “TV and Movies” makes it ultra-easy to find your favorite shows and movies, tells you when they are own, and even lets you watch them instantly through things like Amazon and YouTube. You know if they are showing in HD, get to see descriptions of each episode, and can sort by category (comedy, drama, etc.)


YouTube was given a massive makeover. Simple searches, new on-screen controls, HD sorting, and so much more were added.


Haven’t found a ton of differences in the browser, but will have to assume that it’s at least stable unlike the previous versions. New menus give you more options to tweak and play with, and my settings from pre-Honeycomb all seem to have been carried over (bookmarks being the big one).


When apps are installed, your newly introduced inbox is filled with a notification for it. From the “Home” screen, you can access your notifications in the far left corner along with your most recently used apps.

I’ll have much more time tonight to dig deeper into this latest update, but so far am very impressed. The hardware side of things could use an upgrade and I would not call it “fast” by any means. Hopefully the GTV team has made enough software tweaks to make that a non-issue.

  • Anonymous
  • Dana S.

    Wow this is torture waiting for my revue to be updated……!!!

    • Anonymous

      I keep checking

  • Need this on my Logitech Revue.

  • GaGator

    How is the DLNA server?  I’d like to display my local content AV files directly from a USB3 drive, rather than tie up my network and a PC just to serve a TV.  Files are mostly ISO, TS video, the usual mix.  One comment above cites issues with .avi files.  Anyone?

  • Derklassik1

    I got this on my Sony gtv 32in. After a few days with it, I feel disappointed at best. Half of my avi files won’t play now. Besides having the market (although very few good apps, most of them useless) there isn’t much other then cosmetics.

    I cannot believe it took google 1y to release this thing.

  • Jason

    The Honeycomb for GTV looks awesome and I can’t wait for it to hit the Revue! I keep checking, hopefully soon

  • Anonymous

    i set my revue up last night and tested it for a while. It was nice that it detected all of my shared videos via windows media center. video playback was good. i can’t wait for this new update.

  • Test

    Does it have VPN settings like phones and tablets?

    • Derklassik1

      no it doesn’t have.

  • Spotify? No?  Yell at me when they have it.

    • it has a browser, just stream music like you normally would on a computer

  • I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not that good. I also found your posts very interesting.

  • Is Google TV expected to get a Hulu Plus app? Hulu Plus along with Amazon and Netflix integration into the TV and Movies app would make my cord-cutting dreams come true!

    • I just signed up for hulu+ and it drives me nuts that I still have to watch the commercials.

      • Ridiculous, but I suppose a paid subscription is for access to premium content, not ad-free content. 🙁

  • Anonymous

    Can anyone please tell me if Google TV supports any 3D content?  Will it at least allow it to pass-through?   I will be getting comcast and it will have a couple 3D channels.  Can anyone shine any light on this subject?   Thank you in advance!

  • Vanessarenee1030

    Does it have hulu yet?

  • Anonymous

    When will this show up on my moto cable box? 🙂

  • Cabalja

    Wondering if you can connect a usb thumbdrive to the Revue an then use a program like apps2sd to install and run apps from the Market. The Revue has pretty limited ROM and could bog down pretty quick.  Could you imagine hooking up a usb ssd drive? That would rock!

  • Anonymous


  • aceada

     tells you when they are own 
    i want to own them lol

  • Binglut9

    Got the update….its way nicer

  • Pardes33

    revue is better than the sony version?  caz of specs?

  • I got a Logitech Revue specifically for this reason. My only concern is that even though there are features that attract me a lot to this new way of internet on the tv, I can’t help myself but think that the gaming aspect is missing in all of this. What I would expect, would be for a way for met to link up to the Revue wirelessly with my Android phone and use it as a controller to play Angry Birds or some other game. Doesn’t have to be a super graphics game like Vendetta or some other application. I hope this comes soon as I wouldn’t mind playing a few Android games on my TV.

    • Anonymous

      You probably will be able to. There’s already an app for the android phone to act as a mouse/keyboard/remote for it.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know what the storage is on these devices?  Logitech Revue here, but anything will do to give me an idea.  That’s something I can’t ever recall seeing in specs for GTv.  Funny to think about only now.

    • Specs from GoogleTVForums: http://www.googletvforum.org/forum/google-tv-hardware-discussion/891-logitech-revue-hardware.html

      Intel Atom CE4150 1.2 GHz processor, with a 400 MHz GPU
      Gigabyte GA-SBKAN2 motherboard
      Samsung K9F8G08U0M 1 GB NAND Flash (Single Level Cell) Datasheet Mirror
      Hynix H27UBG8T2ATR 4 GB NAND Flash (Multiple Level Cell) Datasheet
      Silicon Image Sil9135 HDMI 1.3 Receiver Chip Information Datasheet from TI
      Nanya NT5CB128M8CN-CG 1 GB DDR3 SDRAM (1 Gb X 8) Datasheet
      Realtek Semiconductor RTL8201N 10/100M PHYceiver Datasheet
      Microchip PIC24FJ64GA004-I/PT 16-bit microcontroller Datasheet
      Phison S2251-50 USB to Flash Controller (Datasheet not available to end users according to manufacture)

      There are some other specs, but for the most part that is what the Revue is. Probably why it took Google so long to get this update done is the fact that the processors are not ARM, but x86 which changes things.

      • JMac726

        so i guess it’s not getting any faster…

        • Well not necessarily. All of these mobile OS were built primarily for ARM processors not x86 architecture. Hence why you haven’t seen Intel or AMD brake into the mobile business as fast as Qualcomm, Marvell, TI and nVidia. I’m pretty sure that Google wanted to optimize the OS for the x86 platform as much as they could. That is the great thing about Android, it should be compiled on any processor or architecture and with minimal tinkering should run smoothly.

      • Anonymous

        cool thanks man.  i’m sure it did take them longer because of intel, but this is going to pay off in the long run.  i can’t wait til intel enters the mobile game

  • Anonymous

    Is there any way to make that big dropdown on the home page go away forever? At least minimise it? When I refresh it always has it’s d**k out. 🙁

  • Brandon Catalano

    what about the revue!?

    • Anonymous

      logitech = samsung of google tv’s 😛

  • Anonymous

    Where’s da ICS? Shoulda bought the Nexus TV 🙂

    • JMac726

      Why’s it gotta be Nexus, you have a problem with RAZR tv?

      • Dankball

        How about Rezound tv?

        • That TV is only ICS ready

          • Anonymous

            Hopefully you have the right sort of sound system to go with it.

      • Anonymous

        It’s already out of date, they haven’t released it, and it still doesn’t have teh honeyz 😀

      • giftofgab

        you mad, bro?

    • Anonymous

      Why does it have to have ICS? The only difference between Honeycomb and ICS is ICS can work with small low res screens. In essence, ICS is Honeycomb for phones.

  • Anonymous

    This is what Google TV should have been at launch.

  • I wish I had GoogleTV.

    • It’s only $99 with $10 dollar discount from Fry’s.

    • Anonymous

      $99 is a pretty low cost of entry…take the plunge!