August 01, 2011, 6:04 PM — Google and Apple compete in a number of markets -- smartphones, tablets, mobile apps, digital content subscription services, etc.
Another is TV, and if news over the past few days regarding each company's digital television endeavors is any indication, Apple has an early leg up.
On Monday the company announced a change signaling it's getting serious about Apple TV and digital convergence. A software update now allows users of second-generation Apple TVs to download purchased videos and watch them on any Apple device they own. Previously users could rent TV episodes from iTunes. Now Apple is offering to store your video purchases in the iCloud (when it's available later this year).
Another change brought by Monday's update helps users keep their file-purchasing history organized. Second-gen Apple TV owners can navigate from the main menu to a list of all shows purchased by the user, on any device. Helpfully, the software update adds a cloud logo next to these items so users know they can access them from Apple TV.
Apple also added a Vimeo app to Apple TV, offering users the opportunity to stream content from that service to their devices.
Meanwhile, as Apple fine-tunes its TV strategy -- and perhaps induces more customers to pay $99 for its set-top box -- Google has its own set-top situation. From last Friday:
Logitech International, the company that manufactures Google's Revue TV set-top device, said during an earnings conference call on Thursday that customer returns exceeded sales in the fiscal first quarter.