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Android TV is getting a new launcher with Android O

Android TV hasn't had much attention from Google in the past few months. The first Android O Developer Preview had no noticeable differences on the platform, and YouTube TV still doesn't have an Android TV application. I suppose good things come to those who wait, because Android TV is getting a brand new launcher with Android O.

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YouTube in the living room now supports 360-degree video

I can't say I watch 360-degree videos much on YouTube... or at all. But I'm sure some people do, and if you are one of those people, you'll be happy to know that you can now easily view 360-degree content on your living room TV.

Google says the new functionality should work on any YouTube television apps, be it on your Xbox One or Android TV. I assume it will work on the Chromecast as well, but that was not explicitly mentioned. When viewing 360-degree content, you can use your remote's directional keys to move the viewfinder.

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YouTube has passed 1 billion hours of videos watched per day, watchtime on TV increasing rapidly

YouTube is no pushover. It's a gargantuan platform for content creators and, odds are, there is something on there for everyone to enjoy. Personally, I watch stuff there more than on Netflix, Hulu, or Plex — it's usually about something involving video games. Turns out that all of us who watch YouTube collectively view 1 billion hours of videos per day. Think about that for a second.

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Google Home now streams TV content from many more services, including HBO Now and Hulu

One of the most interesting new features introduced during the Google I/O keynote has to be the integration between Google Home and Chromecast. The intelligent assistant can now show visual responses to interactions you have via any Chromecast connected TV. For a while now we've been able to play videos through our Chromecast via YouTube and Netflix, and now many more services are being added.

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Google Home will soon provide you with contextual visual responses

While Assistant on the Google Home is useful, there are certain things that are best expressed visually rather than via audio. Whether you're wanting to see your calendar information, check out what's trending on YouTube, or navigate to your next event, Home will soon provide you with visual responses on the appropriate screen.

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NBC releases its app for Android TV

Last night the US cable network NBC released an app for streaming content to the Android TV platform. It's pretty similar to NBC's other Android app, but, you know, for Android TV. The UI has been reworked to look better on a larger-format display but, presumably, offers all the same content you expect.

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TBS and TNT Android apps get major updates, now support Chromecast

Turner's TBS and TNT networks have always been at the forefront of digital TV content in the US, having been the first to stream live on-air content several years back. In an attempt to maintain that good reputation, both providers have announced considerable multiplatform upgrades to their digital offerings, including updated Android apps and support for Google's Chromecast.

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Epix launches "EPIX Cast" streaming feature, no additional hardware required

Premium cable and satellite television network Epix has launched its very own casting technology that doesn't require any extra hardware. The imaginatively named "EPIX Cast" enables any Android device loaded with the Epix app to stream content to any connected TV set. This is all part of the company's "TV Everywhere" approach, which it hopes will attract customers through being easy to use and ubiquitous.

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SideReel launches Android app... 6 years after iOS

This flew right under our radar for a while before we noticed it. SideReel, the famed second-screen engagement app for iOS, made its way to Android at the end of March. That makes it over 6 years since the iOS version came out. If you've used the site to keep track of your favorite shows, having an app for Android will probably be useful.

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[Update: Now it's cheaper] Deal Alert: Get a 75" 2016 Sony LED UHD Android TV from Best Buy for $2150 today ($650 off)

It's been a little while since we had an actual Android TV pop up in our deal alerts. Our first one for 2017 is a big 'un. As part of its Deal of the Day, Best Buy has Sony's XBR X850D (2016 version) television for $2,150, which is a savings of $650.

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