The Next Google TV's Borrowing a Lot from HoneycombS

Google TV: not much of a success. Android Honeycomb: pretty well-received! So Google's pouring sugar from one hand onto dirt in the other for their next stab at the holy union of internet and. Geek.com's spilling what's new.

The freshest details come from Google's "Fishtank" program, wherein devs are given access to a pre-release box loaded with the next generation of TV-slinging software. The new OS will be built atop Android 3.1, and it shows—the same sci-fi looks of deep neon blue and angularity show through. And! Hey! A real version of Google Chrome! No chintzy "oh hey there's a browser of some sort of my TV" bullshit. A real browser.

There's also an ambiguous "dual view" option, which might allow for double apps or, more likely, an app-plus-teevee combo mode.

The box itself is reference hardware—so it could easily change before it's sold. But so far, it sounds pretty standard:

An Intel CE4100 reference platform loaded with Google TV v2.0 beta, a power cord and a keyboard. The device itself is 12.5″ wide x 11″ deep x 2.5″ tall. The keyboard shipped with the device is the same wireless keyboard found with a Logitech Revue, only the reference unit does not have the receiver hard-wired, so you get a Logitech Unifying USB dongle to slide into the back of the device. There's not much known about what is inside the box, but we do know a bit about the CE4100 chipset. Intel's System on a Chip, originally codenamed Sodaville, was built specifically for web connected set top boxes, using a 45nm architecture specifically built to handle internet and broadcast applications. Additionally, this chipset claims to be able to handle Flash and 3D gaming, which helps paint a picture for what these devices will be capable of.

The back of this device shows quite a few more ports than what's available on existing Google TV set top boxes, including coaxial ports, which would suggest Google has decided to let non-HD users enjoy Google TV as well.

That all sounds fine, but we don't really care. What's going to make Google TV relevant, if anything, is making the software more enjoyable to use than Apple's puck (or enjoyable whatsoever). So here's hoping Google steals the best parts of itself for TV 2.0. [Geek.com]