Google TV development has been slow going lately, but there is one application that has made it feel worthwhile sticking with this entertainment experiment. Able Remote ventures into the remote app space with some convincing power features to compliment a full suite of well working basic functions.
On the surface, this app does the same things that a typical GTV remove app performs. I can change channels, browse favorites, and other simple functions like powering the TV and AV receiver on and off. I’ve found voice commands to be an interesting novelty and something I hope they continue to develop and expand. The rest of the base features all worked well, including photo sharing, app or channel launching.
The strengths are in the pro and power features. It took some time, but I was able to create a couple macros that enabled me to launch into my FiOS on demand and other more complicated commands. I was able to set up some web bookmarks for those sites that have streaming, like Rootz Live. I have widget capability allowing me to place a clock, the weather, or an RSS widget on my GTV screen.
The main paid feature (in app) is the ability to customize the home menu buttons. This has helped complete this application for me. I now have a home screen with basic TV functions, one with the apps that I use the most, and one with favorite channels. I can also put a button on my remote menu to access my macros and widgets. Without the customization, Able Remote feels clunky by forcing power users to constantly hit menu to find advanced options.
For those who have not given up yet on Google TV, Able Remote is the current hands down better alternative to any remote for Google TV outside of its own native remote. This app is well worth it’s in app purchase for extra features and is poised to become the premier Google TV remote. Now here’s to hoping that Google continues to support and push that Google TV ecosystem into more homes.