Google TV goes Android 3.2, next up Ice Cream Sandwich

Google (s GOOG) rolled out a significant update to its Google TV platform this week, which started to reach Sony’s (s SNE) Google TV devices a few days ago. The update brings Google TV to Android Honeycomb 3.2, which makes this the last big update before the platform migrates to Android 4, a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich. The new software has so far only been made available to Sony devices, but an update to Logitech’s (s LOGI) Revue is forthcoming.
Here’s what’s new to this update:

  • Google TV now supports hardware acceleration, which should make apps with animation effects much snappier.
  • Updated devices also support HTTP Live Streaming. This should not only help with HTML5 web video, but finally make local media streaming through apps like Plex work on the platform.
  • Improvements to the way Google TV identifies channels will make it easier for app developers to build their own EPGs.
  • Google TV’s Chrome browser was also gets an uplift.

So when will Ice Cream Sandwich come to Google TVs? We asked a Google spokesperson, but didn’t receive a reply in time for this story. There are rumors that the Ice Cream Sandwich update will be made available before the end of the year. Google TV folks have said in the past that there will be smaller updates throughout the year, with a bigger emphasis being put on updating apps for the platform in the coming months.