Revue with Honeycomb update

December 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm Leave a comment

Last Monday, I received the Honeycomb update to my Logitech Revue.

The interface has changed and for the better.  It’s easier to navigate with 3.1 than the previous version.  I think Google may have hired someone who specializes in User Interface Design, or something.

Chrome seems more stable now, as previously I experienced frequent crashes when using it.

Overall, the system seems more responsive to the keyboard.  Smoother.

The NetFlix app is somewhat different.  Some don’t like it, but I think it’s fine.  It still seems to stream video as well as it ever did.

The star of this show will almost certainly be the ability to load third-party applications.  In addition to getting apps from the Android Market, you can side-load apps.  Simply download the .apk file in Chrome, go to the Downloads App, and then you’ll be able to install it.  If you have some on your PC, you can email them to yourself, and login to webmail to download them, or upload them to your dropbox account, then sign in on the Revue in Chrome and download…

I think we need to give it a bit of time for some more “killer apps” show up.  One current app that is extremely useful is called GTVBox Video Player.  It lets you browse SMB shares and stream media across your LAN.  If you download video files in a format that the Revue can play natively (such as FLV and MP4), this lets you place them in a share and watch them at your liesure.  Oh, did I mention GTVBox also supports AirPlay, so you can stream stuff (including iTunes DRM, I believe) to GTVBox from your iDevice or AirFlick on your Mac.  Best of all, the author seems intent on improving GTVBox, so we’ll probably see lots of other improvements in the near future.

Eventually, perhaps someone will come out with a way to fool Hulu and other websites into thinking you are browsing from a PC…  If they do, that’ll probably be the “Killer app” for the Revue.

Now, you may be worried that buying a Revue at the current fire-sale prices you’ll be stuck with something that’s almost worthless in a year.  It’s true that this is almost certainly the last major update from Logitech…  The newest version of Android, “Ice Cream Sandwich” just came out, about 2 months after the GoogleTV 3.1 update came out.  I doubt we’ll be seeing amazing new GoogleTV boxes from anyone in the next 6 months.  If any new GoogleTV hardware did show up, it would most likely run something very similar to the 3.1 version of GoogleTV now on the Revue and Sony units, since the ICS version of GoogleTV is probably 4-6 months from seeing the light of day.

BONUS:  BestBuy brick & mortar stores seem to have the Logitech accessories on clearance now.  I just picked up the mini keyboard (originally $129) for $49 at my local BestBuy.

The Revue is a pretty solid network streamer now, among its other features, and at the bargain price of only $99, I’d suggest it over the 2nd generation AppleTV and even over the Roku.

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Entry filed under: General.

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