Google just released a new software remote for Android TV and Google TV devices. That's a fancy way of saying that you have a new way to use your phone to control your smart TV's Android-powered guts. Of course, Google's had a dedicated app with that functionality for a while, but it wasn't great. In fact, Google recently de-listed and ended support the old app. So, what's this new method like? In short: Pretty good for most people.
Google TV on Chromecast and smart TVs could soon become a more enticing platform as Google plans to add free to stream TV channels to it. Google TV currently acts as an aggregator for various streaming apps, complete with personalized content recommendations.
Realme is working on a 4K Google TV streaming stick that it seemingly plans to launch in India ahead of the festive season next month. While there are plenty of Android TV sticks available in India and other parts of the world, Realme could possibly become the first company to launch a streaming stick running the new Google TV interface.
Earlier this summer, Google TV users began seeing a library of content curated by actress Laverne Cox right on their home screen. It's yet another way Google has tried to switch up its recommendations, outside of algorithmically-based suggestions and new releases. As we roll into September, a new face is stepping into the "Watch With Me" space, and he's bringing a whole host of new choices right to the "For You" tab.
Google's TV-focused branding is kind of weird. So when I say Google TV, am I talking about A) the short-lived precursor to Android TV, B) the new interface that runs over Android TV (but isn't exactly the same thing), C) the thing that let you buy and rent TV episodes via Google Play, or D) the new app that also lets you do that, but kinda sorta controls Google TV (the one from B)?
By now, many of us are familiar with Google TV, the interface layer that Google introduced with last year's Chromecast and later spread to other Android TV units. The homescreen is focused on recommending shows and movies for you, relegating some of your apps along with app search and discovery to a secondary tab. A major side effect is the lack of proper access to the full Play Store, even though the app is still there. Here are some tricks you can use to open it.
The Chromecast with Google TV interface has mostly been lauded as an improvement over Android TV, but there are still some things missing from it. Until now, for example, it's not been possible to hide shows from the 'Continue watching' section of the homescreen, but that looks set to change. As Android TV continues to pick up Google TV features, at least this one important thing is going the other way.
Who doesn't like content suggestions that are perfectly tailored to their tastes? If you don't think Android TV was doing a good job at that until now, Google is pushing out a new update that works on improving just this, in addition to throwing in a couple of new features.
Great excitement accompanied the launch of Chromecast with Google TV, much of it around the new interface and what looked to be a much more robust recommendations system. The watchlist syncs with your Google account and, in theory, the For you screen should show you closely-matched content based on your search history, likes, and past viewing. There's even a screen where you can train it to know your taste better, but it's completely borked right now.