If you're lucky enough to own a recent Sony 4K HDR set with Android TV, you now have access to the Google Assistant. As well as using it to explore video content and get information, you'll also be able to control your smart home devices, just as you can with the Assistant on your phone or a Google Home product. Read More
The Play Music app on Android TV has remained mostly unchanged since the platform launched three years ago. If you've grown tired of the wall of orange and all of the completely original Material Design components that were used when Android TV first launched, you'll be happy to see that Play Music is now sporting a new look. A new Android TV-specific variant of the Play Music app is rolling out through the Play Store with a completely redesigned look. Read More
Voice controls are easily one of the best things to have happened to the living room. Gone are the times when we needed separate 'clickers' for every device, and even the universal remote's days are numbered. Now you can even add Hulu on Android TV to the growing list of "yell-compatible" apps, via the Google Assistant. Read More
Google doesn't allow manufacturers to heavily customize Android TV, but that hasn't stopped some companies from delivering updates slowly (coughSonycough). Philips' smart TVs have been stuck on Marshmallow, but that appears to be changing. The company has now started rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to its 2016 and 2017 smart TVs. Read More
Last week, Google announced that the Assistant is coming to Android TV starting with the NVIDIA SHIELD TV. The firmware update started rolling shortly thereafter and users were able to grab the new Google app that came with it: version 3.0.
After probing on Google+, we got limited feedback that v3.0 of the Google app for Android TV can be installed on other Android TV devices and it does indeed activate the Assistant on them. However, before you scream victory, there are several limitations to keep in mind.
First, since the SHIELD has an Arm processor, we only have the Arm APK now and thus this won't work on TVs or boxes with an x86 processor like the Nexus Player. Read More
A new update is rolling out to NVIDIA SHIELD devices today, and it brings some major improvements. It's not an Oreo update, but that's not exactly vital for Android TV. What you do get is Google Assistant, YouTube 360, and a lot more. Read More
After waiting and waiting (and waiting), Google is finally starting the rollout of Assistant to Android TV. Announced at CES back in January, this functions like a combination of a Google Home and a Chromecast in one thing... and that's awesome. This will be coming first to Nvidia's SHIELD TV starting today. Read More
Of all the new gear I've installed in my new apartment, the SHIELD TV has got to be one of the 5 we use the most. We've hooked it up to a nice 55" Samsung 4K HDR TV and we love using it for watching/casting YouTube videos, streaming Plex from our server, and playing a few games. I'm fixated on Riptide Renegade while the Mr is all about SkyForce Anniversary now. For something so tiny (you should really see how small it is), it does provide countless options for entertainment and I'd pick this Android TV box any day over other streaming set-top boxes or gaming consoles — as you might have guessed from our title choices, we're casual, albeit easily addicted, gamers. Read More
The Nexus Player is getting pretty long in the tooth, as it was released in 2014. It's still supported with software updates though, and was one of the devices to receive Android O Developer Previews earlier this year. However, a nasty bug was discovered close to official release, which caused the Nexus Player to upload a massive amount of data for no apparent reason. Read More
When Arris announced last week that it would start making set-top boxes for cable providers running Android TV, one reader brought our attention to the fact that this wasn't a rare occurrence. We already knew about Airtel and Dish, but there are many more cable boxes running Android TV around the world that we didn't know about but luckily, there's one site that lists them all.
This isn't an official source — Google's Android TV site barely lists a couple of TVs and boxes — but it's compiled by a user (who seems to be a fellow Lebanese, hi!) and it's quite exhaustive. Read More