‘Exploring fitness’ won’t get Google close to Apple Fitness+


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Headlines are making the rounds about possible improvements to the Google TV platform. That’s exciting, because Google TV is in and of itself an exciting, important platform.

Under the headline “What’s next for Google TV,” the notes package from Janko Roettgers puts new Google TV Director of Product Management Rob Caruso on the record about a few things. It starts out with a descripton of state of the platform — some 250 device partners across the globe and seven of the top 10 TV manufacturers making TVs with Google TV baked inside. “If you really want some inside baseball, that’s pretty much how every press call with any platform starts — with numbers telling you just how big and important the company you’re talking to is at the moment. It’s good context, but…).”

The Google TV remote in front of Apple TV Fitness.
Chromecast with Google TV — that’s its remote control here — possibly could see better fitness integration this year. But it’ll still lag behind Apple. Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

What’s really caused headlines, though, is the talk of fitness integration. “Fitness is another big area of exploration,” Caruso told Roettgers. That’s important for a number of reasons. First is the Fitbit acquisition so it makes sense that they’re looking at Google TV with fitness in mind. The second is that we’re all spending more time at home in front of our TVs, so it’s good timing to look at Google TV with fitness in mind.

But that’s a long way from getting anywhere near some sort of shippable product. And if there’s anything Google loves to d, it’s to do its best imitation of Lucy van Pelt. Products are the football, and we’re all Charlie Brown. Look no further than the fact that this is the second incarnation of Google TV as a product.

Good for us (and not great for Google) is that there’s already a high mark when it comes to fitness and TV integration. It is, of course, from Apple. There’s no avoiding the comparison, and it serves as a pretty good starting point for what Google needs to do to actually get something in front of customers that they’ll actually use.

Some of it will be easy. Some of it won’t.

First, you need the fitness

It’s not all that difficult to…