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Android TV


Android TV milestone: YouTube reaches 50 million installs on the platform

Unlike the mobile Android operating system, Android TV isn't a subject Google often gloats about. Every year or so, we get a small hint about the platform's popularity, but no monthly active users or total sales units have been shared recently, or ever. This lack of marketing has lead many to think Android TV is close to abandoned, when in fact Google has been actively pushing the platform to vendors more than end users. In March, the company announced 160+ TV providers were using its OS. Now, we're getting another hint: YouTube for Android TV has just passed 50 million installs.

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Xiaomi Germany just confirmed the existence of the Mi TV Stick

During a live event announcing the Redmi Note 9 series in Germany, Xiaomi offered a first glimpse at its long-rumored Mi TV Stick. Other than the image above and the orally delivered slogan "for a better and simpler TV experience," no further details have been given, though these tidbits already help us guess quite a few things about the device.

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Google is testing subscription sign-ups on the Android TV Play Store

Last year at the I/O developer conference, Google teased a redesigned Play Store for Android TV, together with a new feature that would allow easy one-click subscriptions. While we have since picked up that new Play Store UI, one-touch subscriptions were still lacking — until now. We've spotted a newly published support page that describes the functionality, and Google has confirmed to us that it the company has started "piloting" the long-awaited feature.

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Chromecast audio streams can now play in the background on Android TV (APK download)

Earlier this month, an update to the Chromecast built-in app on Android TV finally brought with it speaker grouping, but it was removed soon after. It turns out this update introduced another feature that went unnoticed until 9to5Google spotted it: Chromecast audio streams no longer need to remain in the foreground to keep playing, they now support background playback.

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Hulu introduces new television interface, coming soon to Android TV

Hulu's TV applications feature massive title cards that take up the entire screen, which makes browsing for content incredibly tedious. It seems the company has finally realized this, as it has started to roll out a new interface on Roku and tvOS devices, and soon Android TV.

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Google Play Movies & TV could get a nifty redesign on mobile and Android TV

Google's Play Music & TV service has been long overdue for an update and revamp, especially on Android TV. The app has stagnated behind its counterparts, like the Play Store and YouTube, which got an interface uplift on Android TV in the past months, but it should be getting an overhaul according to new leaked screenshots.

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Free trials for Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and tons of other streaming services

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hulu all have free trial policies, but not all of them advertise them in a clear way. It's also possible you've just not used them in a while and have forgotten you could be getting up to a month of free stuff to watch using a different email—we won't tell. But beyond the big players like HBO and YouTube Premium, there are probably a whole bunch of streaming services you didn't even know existed in the first place: be it indie films, horror, anime, British TV like Doctor Who, or just classic flicks you can rent for free from your library, there's a whole lot of free stuff to watch out there right now.

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Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 10 5G and budget wireless earbuds land in India

Xiaomi’s extensive reach in the Indian smartphone market is largely due to its entry and mid-tier phones popularized under the Redmi sub-brand. The company did branch out to budget flagships with the Mi Mix 2, Poco F1, and the Redmi K20 Pro in the last couple of years, but it kept this crucial market devoid of a real flagship. That changes now as Xiaomi has introduced its premium Mi 10 5G in India, along with a pair of truly wireless earbuds and a 4K Android TV box.

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Android TV speaker group support vanishes as quickly as it appeared

Android TVs can finally be added to speaker groups — or, at least, they will be once the feature finishes rolling out more widely. First spotted over the weekend by the folks at Android TV Guide, the change allows at least some Android TV devices to be added to speaker groups in the Google Home app. And that's not the only change, you can also disable ongoing cast notifications for Android TV devices.

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New report seems to confirm next-gen Chromecast will run full-on Android TV

Chromecast today, Nest Cast with Google TV tomorrow? Google's next-generation streaming dongle may be different both in brand and software according to multiple sources close to the project.

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