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Android TV

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The Anker Nebula Capsule II with Android TV is the new portable projector to beat

Anker has been producing portable projectors since 2017, when it released the first Nebula Mars. Since then, it has made a sequel to the Mars, and a smaller Nebula Capsule the size of a soda can. While the hardware and build quality were excellent on all of them, the heavily-modified Android software always left a lot to be desired.

Anker's newest model, the Nebula Capsule II, is significant because it's the first portable projector to run full-blown Android TV. No more struggling with a remote to navigate Android apps intended for phones — you get a real TV interface with real TV apps.

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Google's complete redesign of the Play Store for Android TV will arrive later this year

During a Google I/O talk about the current state and future direction of Android TV, Project Lead Anwar Haneef spoke about making the humble TV the heart of the smart home. One of the upcoming improvements he briefly showed off was the long-awaited update to the Play Store app for the platform.

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Android TV exec talks new hardware, app numbers, and future plans

Many, including us here at Android Police, have felt that Android TV is languishing as a platform, especially considering some of its best standalone hardware is coming up on four years old — admittedly, it has aged gracefully. According to a recent interview from TechHive, Google's commitment to the platform is only increasing, though, and both big changes and new hardware are planned.

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[Update: Google confirms fix for some] Casting content to Android TV from a Google Home is still broken

No matter if your default video device is an Android TV box or a Chromecast, you can say "Play Star Trek on CBS All Access" or "Play Android Police on YouTube" to a Google Home speaker, and the content will start playing on the streaming device. However, this functionality has been broken for many Android TV users for nearly a month, and Google hasn't stated when a fix will be available.

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[Update: Sony support page] Google is experimenting with sponsored channels on Android TV home screens, and users are pissed

Much to the chagrin of users, some Android TV boxes and television sets have been surfacing home screen channels with a whole row of sponsored content. A similar feature that shows featured Play Store apps is switched on by default, but it's easy enough to disable it. The new sponsored channels are proving a little harder to get rid of.

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TeamViewer now supports Android TV for remote viewing, file transfer, and more

TeamViewer has been on Android for years, but the feature set varies from one device to the next. Some device makers have add-ons that allow full remote control, but you're usually stuck with a more limited experience. The app can still be useful, though. TeamViewer just added support for Android TV, and even without full remote control, TeamViewer adds some handy features to your TV box.

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Most Android TV devices should now be controllable by Google Home

Owners of Android TV boxes and sets have been asking one question ever since Google Home and Assistant launched: why can't I control my device with voice commands from my smart speakers? It works for Chromecast, so why wouldn't Android TV be supported? Worse yet, some things half-worked, like turning the TV on/off, and asking for YouTube videos or photos from your personal collection. But more intricate controls like volume, playing videos from other sources, pausing, or turning on subtitles, weren't possible. Now, they should be.

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[Update x2: Fix rolling out] Sony appears to be blocking Kodi on its recent Android TVs

Kodi (formerly XBMC) has attracted an undeservedly bad rap outside media streaming circles, garnering a piracy-associated reputation that isn't quite merited — at least, in my opinion. Whatever you might believe, it looks like Sony might be taking a critical view of the project, too, as reports indicate that at least some of the company's recent Android TVs are actively blocking the app.

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Shield Software Experience 7.2.3 brings NHL app and much-needed option to restart WiFi

With every update, small or big, Nvidia's Shield TV gets better and better. Three years on, it's still easily the best standalone Android TV box you can buy. Today's update to Shield Software Experience 7.2.3 isn't a major one by any means, but it brings a feature I've wanted since the start: the option to restart WiFi and re-scan for networks.

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Google Assistant on Android TV can speak four new languages

We rarely speak of Assistant on Android TV because changes in the platform are highly dependent on TV and set-top box manufacturers, infrequent updates, and sometimes server-side pushes from Google. But language support is something we keep an eye on, as it allows users who don't speak English to use the Assistant on their TVs.

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