Google TV's new homescreen experience is a big departure from the interface we've become familiar with on Android TV, thanks to a content-first approach that gives more importance to what you'd watch over where you'd watch it. It also has an "Apps" tab to browse the old-fashioned way, and if you prefer to make this your default interface, you can do so... at a price.

The UI, which was first highlighted by 9to5Google, can be enabled in Google TV's settings under "Apps-only mode." A big screen explains what you'd be losing by triggering this setting, namely Google's recommendations and your watchlist, but more importantly, search and Assistant are deactivated, and previously-purchased titles can't be played. They can be cast from a phone, though.

You still get featured content on the homescreen, but it won't be personalized, and you can obviously access all your apps. Those will continue to work as they always did, so their own recommendation and history system is unaffected.

If you decide it's all worth it to you and enable the mode, you'll get a simpler homescreen where the "Apps" tab becomes your "Home."

For some users who always open Netflix, Plex, YouTube, or any other app, and know what they'll watch and when, and who never need search or Assistant, this can be a much simpler and more straightforward experience. But it's definitely not ideal for those who need help picking a new show or movie, who have a large library of existing Play Movies and TV purchases, or who enjoy access to Assistant on their TVs.

  • Thanks:
  • Ramit Suri