Yahoo links second screen devices to connected TVs

By Cory Bergman 

Connected TV apps have always suffered from a key challenge: they’re much harder to navigate than the apps on your phone or tablet. But today, Yahoo announced a new open source platform at its developer event that bridges iOS and Android apps with Yahoo’s Connected TV experience. The goal is to encourage developers to build second screen experiences for Yahoo’s TV platform — in this case, for 2012 Sony Bravia EX 40, 46 and 55 inch TV sets.

To demonstrate the new platform, Yahoo launched a companion mobile app (above) that lets you navigate Yahoo’s connected TV apps from your Android phone using touch and gestures. Much better than arrowing up/down/around with your remote control.

Meanwhile, Google has rolled out its out connected TV platform, Google TV, that also has the capability to link second screen Android apps with the TV set. LG is rolling out a new TV line this month running on the Google TV platform.

All this adds up to the other challenge of connected TV apps: convincing developers that there’s enough scale to justify building them on these different platforms in the first place. Android may help even the field — and all eyes are on Apple — but in the meantime, we’ll look for innovative examples of second screen apps that tie to connected TVs.