In recent weeks, clues have been popping up all over the news: The search-engine giant wants a piece of the television action.
Over the past two weeks, a series of tantalizing clues about Google's interest in conquering TV have appeared in the news.
A look at the evidence:
1. The Motorola Purchase: Bloggers have written extensively about all the patents Google is getting in buying Motorola Mobile. Less noticed is Motorola's set-top box business, one of the two top producers in the U.S. market (the other is a division of Cisco). If Google doesn't sell the set-top box division (as some have speculated they will), these boxes could be the leverage Google needs to get cable companies to cooperate with a product that combines broadcast TV, Internet streaming, on-demand content, and social networking (something akin to Pandora's feature of sharing customized channels).
2. Google's Rumored Interest in Hulu: A purchase of Hulu, the on-demand TV-show and movie streaming site, would represent a bid to work more closely with networks and other content creators, as The Atlantic Wire reported yesterday. Bids are due tomorrow.
3. Google TV's New Compatibility with Android Apps: Google announced yesterday that developers could begin building Android apps for TV. Since most apps for phones rely on the touch-screen user interface -- something TVs don't have -- developers will be starting mostly from scratch on imagining the possibilities of the TV-Android combination.