Google’s Foray into Home-entertainment

Google is attempting to reach out to its billion users from within their own private spaces. What better way to do it than plan a wireless  system for streaming music? This is Google into the hardware consumer market. Note well that Google has not officially confirmed this. The WSJ has made these claims.  Techie-Buzz has broken it to you as it happened. This seems probable given that Google showcased “Project Tungsten” last year. Plus, check out an application to test a device made by Google at the  US Federal Communications Commission here. Google welcomed Simon Prakash, the senior director of product integrity at Apple, increasing speculation about its move into home entertainment.

Currently, Google has been focused on providing software solutions via its Android operating system. Now it seems to be on the path of delivering “power” to the people, by providing options to enhance current devices that allow users to “control” their environment. Cut a long story short, this looks familiarly like NFC (Near Field Communication) with your smart phone being your magic wand.

With its purchase of Motorola’s Mobility Inc, Google looks to cement its position in the consumer hardware business. The battle lines have clearly been drawn between Apple and Google. Hopefully, this translates into a better range of products and prices for consumers. Moving into this sector has been something of a long-standing dream for Google, with the entertainment device apparently being under development for several years. It looks like Google dreams of an Android-controlled world, where every convenience can be brought to you using your Android smart phone. Android@Home does look like fun.

Google has an online repository on music.google.com where you have a wide selection of music to choose from. Although it has a good interface overall, it could do with some tweaking. It competes with iTunes Match from Apple and Cloud Player from Amazon. Plus, there is Project Tungsten for the NFC angle of controlling entertainment at home. Motorola will bring with it extensive experience and know-how on personal entertainment devices. Though these companies seem to be in different sectors, they are in the businesses that make them strategic partners. The business of consumer satisfaction has moved on from profits into something more consumer-centric.

According to the WSJ, the Sonos co-founder Tom Cullen, commented on Google’s interest in the home-audio hardware value of $8 billion,

 “I’d be stunned if they actually thought it was worth it, because it’s peanuts for them,” Mr. Cullen said. Google generated about $38 billion in revenue last year”.

Strange indeed, but then again, how much was the portable music sector worth before Apple brought in the iPods and revolutionized it? I am just wondering when Google is going to turn its eyes onto gaming.

Hulu Plus Now Available on Android

users, here is something to cheer about. Hulu has officially launched their Hulu Plus app for Android. It brings the same viewing experience for users of on Android based devices.

We’ve always said our mission is to provide the world’s premium content to people when, how and where they want it. And we know that a lot of people want that content on their Android smartphones. We’ve been working hard to make that a reality, and today, we have begun our early rollout of the Hulu Plus application on Android smartphones.

Hulu Plus will currently be available on six phones only which include the Nexus One, Nexus S, HTC Inspire 4G, Motorola Droid II, Motorola Droid X, and the Motorola Atrix with support for other devices coming out shortly.

Users of these devices can download a copy of Hulu Plus from Android market here. This link will not be available for incompatible devices so you might be disappointed. Another important thing is that Hulu Plus does not support most of the new Android based devices, however, we do hope that support for them will come out shortly.

Hulu Plus is a popular extension to the free TV show watching service which charges users to watch previous seasons of some famous shows on FOX, NBC and more. It is currently owned by Comcast and is actively looking for a new buyer.

Till then I will continue enjoying watching Family Guy and other shows on my desktop or .

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