Preview of Google TV Add-on for the Android SDK

Google announced thaGTV: TV Meets Web, Web Meets TVt Android Market is coming to Google TV at Google I/O with a preview of the Google TV Add-on for the Android SDK. Google TV devices will be Android compatible with the upcoming OS update to Honeycomb. That means developers can build new Android apps for TV, optimize existing mobile or tablet apps for TV and/or distribute those apps through Android Market.

Although this add-on does not contain all features of Google TV, it will allow developers to emulate Google TV and build apps using the standard Android SDK tools. It also provides new APIs for TV interaction, such as TV channel listing. Google TV emulation is currently supported on Linux with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) only, but Google will provide support for other operating systems later on.

An existing Android app may work well on Google TV or it may require fixes depending on the design and use case. You can test your apps to determine if they would be a good fit for TV with Google TV Add-On and see whether any tweaks are required.  Google also published UI guidelines to help developers with topics like optimizing for D-pad navigation, presenting information for 10-foot viewing, designing apps that work well across devices, etc… The guidelines include information on how certain UI elements on Google TV differ from other Android devices.

As with other devices, apps that require features not supported on Google TV (such as Touch Screen, Bluetooth, GPS, etc..) won’t appear in Android Market on Google TV.  Google recommend developers to follow guidelines carefully in order to have the apps listed in Google TV marketplace.

In order to install Google TV Add-on, you must have the following installed on a Linux workstation:

  • The Android SDK system requirements, as documented in the topic Setting Up a Development Environment.
  • KVM kernel (required only for Google TV emulation).
  • BIOS virtualization extensions (required only for Google TV emulation).

The full installation instructions are available on Google TV Add-on page.

For further information and to interact with other developers you can visit Google TV Android Developer Community


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