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Android TV's latest update will make it a lot more like the new Google TV
- Android TV devices are getting an interface overhaul.
- The update will add personalized streaming recommendations to the platform.
- It will also bring a new Netflix-like home screen redesign.
The company announced today that Android TV devices, including set-top boxes and television sets, will be updated with three new tabs: Home, Discover, and Apps. You’ll see all three on the top of your screens when you switch on your Android TV devices.
The new Discover tab will bring one of Google TV’s most sought after features to older Android TV devices — streaming recommendations. It looks a lot like the For You tab on the new Chromecast with Google TV and will compile personalized suggestions for movies, TV shows, and live TV based on what you watch and what’s trending on Google.
Next up, the new Home tab will essentially replace the rows UI you currently see. You’ll now get Netflix-like content tiles arranged in different sections (see top image). The Apps tab will present just that — all the installed apps on your Android TV.
Android TV interface update: Availability
It’s unclear if the new Android TV interface will come to all older and existing versions of the platform. Most Android TV devices are running Android 9 or 10 right now, unless you have one that’s more than 4-5 years old, in which case you might be stuck on Android 8.
We also don’t know if this is an interim step before a full-fledged Google TV update lands on your Android TV devices or if this is the extent of update existing devices will get.
Even with this refreshed UI, you won’t get Google TV features such as the ability to add content to a watchlist. There’s also no word on the ability to create multiple user profiles, something that’s crucial for a platform that offers personalized recommendations.
The new Android TV update will start rolling out today on devices in the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, and France. Google says the rollout will extend to more countries in the coming weeks.