Just over a year ago, Google moved a couple of apps into the Play Store that make it easier to update core portions of Android TV. Now, we’re seeing those put to good use as a fresh update has rolled out to Android TV to give the homescreen a polished new look.

As with most Android TV interface updates, there’s nothing all that major here. The overall layout of the platform is roughly the same as it’s been since the Android Oreo overhaul. However, Google has spent some time updating the UI a bit to make things look a bit cleaner.

Noted by some Reddit users, there are two primary changes to this update. For one, rounded corners are in place all over the homescreen. You’ll find this on every application tile as well as the content previews from the Play Next row and also app rows such as Netflix and YouTube. This also extends to the app drawer and various buttons on the homescreen. Everything has these new rounded corners or “bubble” designs. There’s also a new animation when you open apps, but it’s a subtle change.

The other big change from this update is the arrival of Google Sans. The company’s signature font has been arriving in various other apps and also in portions of Android recently, so it makes sense for Android TV to adopt it as well. This isn’t a system-wide change, but the homescreen shows that font wherever standard text is used.

Android TV’s rounded corners and Google Sans – Image Credit

Notably, this all lines up very well with Android Pie’s aesthetic. So far, we’ve not seen a single consumer device with Android TV get that update, so perhaps this is a hint that Pie is prepping for a wider rollout. With new hardware such as the JBL Link Bar on the horizon, that seems entirely possible.

This update seems to be rolling out widely to Android TV users at the moment. The majority of reports are coming from Nvidia Shield users, myself included, but considering this change stems from a Play Store update there’s no reason why it shouldn’t also arrive on other Android TV hardware with Oreo. Both Android TV Home and Android TV Core Services updates are rolling out now.

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Ben Schoon

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