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Google Updates YouTube with Discovery Features

Google TV gets some new navigation functions, just ahead of an expected refresh for Apple TV.

Google is updating the YouTube app for Google TV owners this week, promising performance improvements and easier ways to discover videos you like.

Google quietly announced the refresh on Sunday. The revamped app will be available as an update in the Android Market.

The new YouTube app for Google TV now features channel pages, and you can see related videos and more videos by the same user when you press up or down on your remote. A feature called Discover also allows you to browse through YouTube channels by categories.

“First you’ll notice the app works faster with smoother navigation for a better experience,” says Google TV product manager Jurek Foryciarz in Google's statement. “Whether you’re looking for hilarious comedy, delectable cooking content, or the latest news, you can find great channels for any of your interests.”

With the improved integration of channels on YouTube for Google TV, the company continues its push for original channels that began last year. In a bid to attract more viewers and compete with streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix, these new channels are intended to complement the amateur videos and the non-exclusive, professional movies and TV shows on YouTube.

Updated Apple TV Looms

Google is not the only one pushing updates for its set-top box software. Apple is expected to make a further foray in living rooms with an updated Apple TV set-top box, too. Last updated in 2010, the Apple TV appears to be running out of stock at all major retailers, which according to a 9To5Mac report, indicates an updated version is looming.

Beside an updated Apple set-top box, several reports in the past few months suggest the company is also working on a full-fledged television set. First hints are found in Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs, in which Isaacson quotes Jobs as saying of his quest for integration: "I finally cracked it." The set purportedly features Siri-style voice input and would ship as early as 2013.

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today @ PCWorld on Twitter._


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