Android TV

Android TV has been around for quite a while, but until recently, the platform hadn’t really been all that popular. In just the past year, Google has seen a lot of growth, but that hasn’t come directly from consumers. Aside from a massive lack of hardware offerings, that’s been due to Google’s apparent lack of interest in the platform. Now, though, Google is giving Android TV a “renewed focus.”

At Google I/O 2018, the company is revealing a ton of new information about its various products, and that includes Android TV. If you’ll recall at last year’s I/O, Google revealed a brand new interface for Android TV, but that never really caught on mainly due to a lack of developer support.

For 2018, though, things are changing, or so Google says anyway. Apparently, performance has been Google’s big goal for Android TV in terms of improving things, as it detailed to Android Police. Even high-end, powerful Android TV devices like the Nvidia Shield run into performance issues on a regular basis, and other options have had the same problem.

Google says that as part of its “renewed focus” on the platform, performance will be improved. That starts with Android P, which contains a bunch of new changes that improve speed and reliability. Since it’s not uncommon for OS updates to be massively delayed on Android TV, though, Google is also working on bringing those same improvements to past versions of the platform as well.

In regards to updates, Google is also promising to improve those as well. The company says that it is developing new generic Android TV system images that will streamline development, making it much easier and faster to get out new updates.

Google also says that it hopes adoption of newer versions of Android TV will improve as we go forward. Devices like the JBL Link Bar are just the first in a group of “over the top” devices coming, and other traditional set-top boxes and TVs are coming this year that will all run Android Oreo out of the box.

Android P will still apparently debut for TVs well after it does on smartphones, but by next year the company hopes things will be on the same timeline.

With that update, Google is also delivering a lot of new features. Android P on the big screen offers up and improved setup processor with auto-install, Autofill for easier sign-in, and the aforementioned improved performance. We’ve got more on that in another post, and the update will debut on the ADT-2 Android TV dongle soon, at least for developers.

9to5Google’s Take

Android TV has grown and matured a lot since its debut, but it has always felt like an afterthought for Google. With the arrival of new hardware and this new focus on improving the platform, it’s simply encouraging. Hopefully, this sticks around the long run and Google manages to bring Android TV more and more into the spotlight.

What do you think? Will Google’s “renewed focus” on Android TV yield any success? Drop a comment and let us know!

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About the Author

Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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