We’ve heard this feedback a few times from our customers in Kansas City; it seems that some folks have become hesitant to leave their home connections. They want to be able to have access to Fiber even when they’re out and and about in KC, not just within the confines of their own home.
So my team of engineers started thinking about possible solutions. How do you get a Gigabit everywhere in the community? We realized that the answer was all around us — utility poles. Poles already have our Fiber strung to them; all we had to do was come up with a way to make that Fiber accessible. That’s what we’ve done today. I’m happy to announce our newest project: Google Fiber Poles.
For more information, and to locate a pole near you, visit google.com/fiber/poles
Posted by Michael Plump, Product Lead, Fiber-to-the-pole
So our team started building an App that would let them do that. And last week, we launched a redesigned Google Fiber TV App on Google Play, that will work on any Android device running Version 4.1 or later. An iOS app is also coming soon.
I asked Stergios Anastasiadis, our Engineering Manager for the App, three questions about what the App can do.
Q: Stergios, what’s new about this version of the App?
A: Well, you already hit on the fact that a lot more people, with a lot more devices, are going to be able to use the app. Personally, I really like being able to use my phone to control Fiber TV. Since I always have my phone in my pocket, it’s super easy and fast to find the show I want to watch, without needing to dig around for my remote, or wrestle my tablet away from my daughters.
Q: I know you guys spent a ton of time designing a new look for the App. Tell me a little about that process.
A: Our new user interface, or “UI,” is built with one thing in mind — letting you find the shows you want to watch quickly. We’ve made our search button available from every screen in the app, so you’ll never have to search for “search.” You’ll also notice that images and text are more prominent on the screen, so that it’s easier browse through shows and movies quickly. My favorite part of the new design is that it now works in portrait mode — something that a lot of our users asked for, which is super useful when you’ve got a slice of pizza in your other hand.
Q: One big question. Why even bother with an app?
A: There are two answers to this question. First, an app gives us the chance to build cool new TV experiences for you. For example, we’ve built a “watchalong mode,” which lists actor and show info on your tablet or phone while the show is playing. “Watchalong mode” puts you on the fast track to becoming a movie trivia buff — or at least will help you remember what that actor/actress’ name is.
Secondly, we want to make life easier for you. Using a traditional remote control is fine for quick tasks like changing channels. That’s why Fiber TV comes with a brand new, Bluetooth-enabled remote control. But remote controls aren’t always the best tool for browsing through your DVR library or searching for shows. The app makes these things easier and faster.
If you have Fiber TV, you can download our new App via Google Play. We’d love to hear your feedback and new feature suggestions, so let us know what you think by writing a review!
Posted by Larry Yang, Head of Product Management
Today, another city in the Kansas City area is getting the chance to join the growing Silicon Prairie — Olathe, Kan. A few minutes ago, the Olathe City Council approved an agreement to bring Google Fiber to their city. Olathe has become one of the fastest-growing cities in Kansas and has attracted an influx of new businesses and residents. They’ve all noticed what a great community Olathe is, and so have we. We think that Fiber and widespread Internet access will help to create jobs, grow local businesses, and make Olathe even stronger as it grows.
We still have a lot of planning and engineering work to do before we’re ready to bring Fiber to Olathe. Once we get those processes underway, we’ll be able to announce more about pre-registration and construction timing. We’ll be sure to publish an update as soon as we have it. This announcement doesn’t change our published construction schedule for eligible homes in Kansas City, Kan. and Central Kansas City, Mo.
Many thanks to the Olathe City Council and the people of Olathe for helping to make this happen. Hopefully, this is the first of several announcements that we'll be able to make about bringing Google Fiber to additional cities in the KC metro area; so stay tuned.
Posted by Rachel Hack, Community Manager, Google Fiber
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — we’re committed to making these qualities that you’ve come to expect from Google Fiber TV better and better. And, thanks to the amazing capacity of Fiber, we can also include some new experiences and tools that will make watching TV even cooler. For example, 3D channels.
Thanks to two great new channels, 3net and ESPN3D, our Google Fiber TV customers (who own 3D glasses and a 3D-capable TV) will now be able to watch 3D programming right in their living room.
Subscribers to our Gigabit + TV Plan will get 3net, which features an extensive library of original 3D programming, including natural history, documentary, action/adventure, kids and family, lifestyle and cuisine, concerts, movies, scripted series and more.
ESPN3D, the industry’s first 24/7 3D sports network, is now available through Google Fiber for $5/month (plus tax) with your Gigabit + TV plan.
Starting today, existing customers can find 3net on channel 338, and call us to sign up for ESPN3D.
Posted by Larry Yang, Head of Product Management