Thought Google TV emptied its bag of tricks with that nifty new YouTube feature that lets folks shoot videos from their phones to their Googlefied TVs with a single tap? Think again, friend. GTV's far from a one-click pony, and today the platform's getting voice search and a new quick guide to make finding your favorite shows, movies and videos a more painless experience.
Voice search allows users to now access channels and apps by simply speaking their names into either a Magic Remote or Android phone with the GTV remote app -- it's rolling out to folks with LG Google TVs this week, while other GTV hardware should get the update in the coming months. Searching by show titles and movie genres is supported, and it returns results from YouTube, live TV, Netflix and more. Plus, the system can also answer natural language queries with results from the web, too.
Google TV PrimeTime quick guide
In addition to voice search, GTV has renamed its TV & Movies application and added a quick guide version of the app to let folks find other video content without having to navigate away from what they're watching. Called PrimeTime, the quick guide is a less obtrusive means for finding shows, videos and movies. It still uses the suggestion engine to make recommendations based upon viewing habits, and, of course, the full PrimeTime app experience is still available. We got to chat with Google TV's Director of Product Management, Rishi Chandra, about the updates, so join us after the break to hear what he had to say.
As it turns out, these two additions to the GTV platform are all about reducing friction in the UX. In other words, Chandra is aiming to make it easier for users to both find and access content they want to watch. Voice control provides simple, direct access to videos from myriad sources and allows users to cut through the layers of menus and guides prevalent in most current television UIs. Meanwhile, the PrimeTime quick guide gives users a more intuitive (and visually attractive) guide with which to find the latest Bond movie or Spongebob episode. And, because the voice recognition's done on the back end and the PrimeTime app leverages Google's Knowledge Graph, the system will continue to improve as Google better understands users' desired content and the types of questions being asked. Intrigued? There's more from Rishi and a demo of voice search below.