Google TV's UI
After you finish setting up peripherals and are ready to drop into the real Google TV experience, Logitech will whisk you through a quick five-step tour of the keyboard controller's special keys, such as Dual View and Menu. Finally, you arrive at the Home screen looking at your Bookmarks.
As you can see, Google's icon tiles are pretty big. The most you can fit in one screen is nine tiles, and there's no way to resize them in order to fit in more. Clearly, this was done in order to optimize for a 10-foot interface, but the fact remains that many users have big screens and those users are likely to accumulate a lot of bookmarks over time. Either users are going to face a lot of scrolling or else Google is going to improve its icon navigation. We should at least be able to switch into more of a list view, as shown in the Applications screen below. That said, you'll notice that little edit link in the bottom-left corner. With this, you can select which items to show or remove on your apps list in order to help consolidate.
Honestly, simple as the Google TV interface looks, it can still be confusing at first. What's the difference between Bookmarks, Applications, and Spotlight? YouTube shows up in Spotlight, but isn't that an application? (It's not, but some might get mixed up on this point.) Aren't Bookmarks and Most Visited kind of redundant? (They show the exact same icons when you first start using Google TV.) This needs some work, but it's not a deal-breaker. To simplify things, you can use the edit link to select and rearrange your home screen items.
One of the perennial problems with cable and satellite providers is the never-ending growth of channels you feel compelled to track. The What's On area of Google TV helps manage all of your hundreds of channels. As you can see below, Google breaks everything in your current time slot down into genres. Dig into a genre folder and you'll not only see what's currently playing but how much time is left in the show.
Deceptively simple in its appearance, Google TV is loaded with things to explore -- far more than we realized at first look. Perhaps this is why Google is waiting until next year to open up its TV app store and broaden its functionality. Consumers have a lot to digest, even now at the first-generation launch. We can't give you an exhaustive tour of everything you'll find in Google TV today, but in the following pages, I'll try to hit some of the highlights and give a sense for the product's current breadth.