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Android TV

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VLC version 2.5 brings more Material Design UI, enhancements for Android Auto & TV

VLC, the video player that can handle practically anything you throw at it with no config tweaking, has been updated to version 2.5, marking the first update to the stable channel of the popular media player in over a year. In addition to a lot of interface tweaks bringing it more in line with Material Design guidelines, visual changes have also come to Android TV and Auto.

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You can now assign Android TV devices with Assistant to specific rooms

Early last month, we started seeing the option to include Google Homes and Assistant-enabled speakers in rooms inside the Home app, just like you would for your lights and switches and thermostats. Now it seems that option has propagated to Android TV devices as well.

Artem spotted it this morning: in his Google Home app, his two SHIELD TVs appear in the Home control tab, under the Assistant section. Tapping on them lets him assign them to a room. Technically, that should allow him to turn on and off the TV along with the lights for example. That's one advantage I can think of.

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Opera's Android TV browser renamed to 'Vewd Browser'

Several years ago, Opera Software spun off its TV division as a separate company, fittingly named 'Opera TV.' While the company was responsible for the various TV ports of the Opera browser, it also developed an entire software platform designed for media players, car head units, and smart TVs - similar to Roku OS and Android TV.

Opera TV was purchased by Moore Frères & Company in 2016, and in August of this year, the company announced it was rebranding itself as 'Vewd.' Now the Android TV browser, which is included on some Sony Smart TVs, has changed to 'Vewd Browser.'

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Android Oreo feature spotlight: Android TV now recommends apps to install during setup

It has been a while since the last Android Oreo feature spotlight, but there are apparently still discoveries to be made. Oreo was a pretty substantial update for Android TV, with a new launcher in tow. The update has another change for Android TV - recommended apps during the setup process.

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Cartoon Network app now works on Android TV

Cartoon Network has an impressive legacy, with shows like Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog, The Amazing World of Gumball, and Regular Show under its belt. At this point it's mostly a 24/7 channel for Teen Titans GO, but you're into that, you might be excited to hear that the official app now supports Android TV.

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Android TV app for Comcast Xfinity coming in 2018, but only for Sony TVs at first

Over a year ago, Comcast revealed that it was working on an Xfinity app for Android TV. It was part of the 'Xfinity TV Partner Program,' designed to make its television service available on smart TVs and internet-connected streaming boxes. That way, you wouldn't have to lease a cable box (unless you didn't want TV congesting your home internet network) - just install the app and start watching content.

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Nexus Player gains Google Assistant functionality with November security patch

The Nexus Player, Google's first (and only) digital media player (see note) has received support for Google Assistant as part of the November security update. This is the third Android TV device to receive the Assistant, after the nVidia Shield and select Sony Bravia televisions.

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Plex v6.9.0 adds Assistant integration on Android TV, transcoding status overlay, and a whole lot more [APK Download]

The Plex team is back with another update to the Android app, complete with its customary giant changelog. The most notable addition this time is support for Assistant on Android TV, but there's a little something for everyone no matter how you're using Plex.

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Sony's Android TVs now support the Google Assistant

If you're lucky enough to own a recent Sony 4K HDR set with Android TV, you now have access to the Google Assistant. As well as using it to explore video content and get information, you'll also be able to control your smart home devices, just as you can with the Assistant on your phone or a Google Home product.

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Play Music v8.1 appears with dedicated Android TV app and a significantly new look [APK Download]

The Play Music app on Android TV has remained mostly unchanged since the platform launched three years ago. If you've grown tired of the wall of orange and all of the completely original Material Design components that were used when Android TV first launched, you'll be happy to see that Play Music is now sporting a new look. A new Android TV-specific variant of the Play Music app is rolling out through the Play Store with a completely redesigned look.

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