Google TV is now out there in the wild. There’s no indication of how it’s selling just yet, but my hunch is that like early Android, it may be some time before sales really take off. That shouldn’t be too surprising considering that the platform is built on top of Android. But there aren’t a lot of apps yet that are tailored for these new devices. They need more. And they know the way to get them. Free giveaways!
As they’ve announced on their Google TV blog today, the search giant is giving away 10,000 Google TV units to developers. Yes, 10,000.
The give-away started this morning at the Adobe MAX conference where they dished out 3,000 units. And it will continue over the next couple of weeks as Google will patrol the Google Code forums to look for developers who sound even remotely interested in developing for the platform. Or you can submit a request to get a unit for development.
As we’ve always said, the coolest thing about Google TV is that we don’t even know what the coolest thing about it will be. The experience is in the hands of its users and developers, and everyone is invited. Come play.
The Google TV unit being given away is the Logitech Revue, a device which normally sells for $300.
Sadly, this giveaway is U.S.-only for the time being. And yes, they want some sort of proof that you are actually a developer that plans to make an app for the platform. I’m thinking about learning Java to build a solid fart app for the platform to get a free unit myself.
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We knew Google had the power to remotely remove Android apps -- Microsoft and Apple have backdoors into their mobile operating systems, too -- but it's always a little disconcerting to see a kill switch used. Such is the case today, as we've just heard Google unleashed the hounds this week, siccing bits and bytes of remote deletion power on a pair of "practically useless" but still Terms of Service-infringing apps. Curiously enough, Google admits that most who'd downloaded these programs had deleted them already, and that this "exercise" of the remote application removal feature was a "cleanup" operation. Google says users will get a notification beamed to their phone if an app is removed, however -- so as Big Brother as that all sounds, at least the company's being nice and transparent about the whole matter, eh?
Google flexes biceps, flicks Android remote kill switch for the first time originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 25 Jun 2010 04:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Google has just updated the pie chart on its Android Developers site that shows just how many Android users are running each version of the mobile OS. The latest stats: 32.4% of users are on the most recent version, Android 2.1. That’s a rise of 5.1 percentage points since mid-April. But the bulk of users are still running earlier versions — 29.4% are on 1.6, and 37.2% are on 1.5.
This data is important to developers because it indicates how fragmented the market is, and which operating systems they should ensure their applications are compatible with. As we’ve noted before, the fact that over two thirds of Android users are still tied to an outdated operating system is a serious problem — for example, anyone who isn’t on 2.1 can’t run the official Twitter app. (Google may address this at its I/O conference later this month).
One other reason this is interesting: Google is now updating this OS pie chart more frequently. There was a four month gap between the previous updates that stretched from January 2010 (before the Nexus One was released) until mid-April. The latest updates came only a few weeks apart.