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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.