After the recent launch of Google Fiber in Kansas City, the internet search giant is moving fast to develop apps for Apple’s iPhone and iPad—which will enable Fiber TV subscribers to watch video on demand programming and shows recorded in their DVR, and will allow users to use their iPad or iPhone as a TV remote.
Initially, Google provided subscribers with Nexus 7 tablets to be used as remote controls. These versatile tablets also responded to voice commands, making it one of the most advanced offerings of any pay TV provider. Last week, the company enabled subscribers with Android mobile devices to navigate their TV via their smartphone or tablet.
“We’ve heard from our users that they love being able to browse shows and control their TV with their tablet. But we’ve also heard that sometimes, they’d like to be able to use the App on whatever device they have handy,” blogged Larry Yang, head of product management for Google Fiber.
With this latest announcement, Google joins Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Comcast, and Verizon in offering Android and Apple compatible apps that allow subscribers to use their mobile devices like a remote control.
At this point, the next frontier for Google is to offer true TV Everywhere service, which would allow subscribers to stream live TV on their mobile devices as long as there is an internet connection. However, securing the rights necessary to offer this service is not sure thing. Major broadcasters like CBS, ABC, and pay TV rival Comcast (who owns NBC) may not be too eager to negotiate for many reasons. Still, it seems like Google Fiber is here to stay—so the rest of the pay TV industry needs to act fast if they want to survive and maintain their market share.