google tv homescreen

Google’s Android TV is taking on new levels of importance thanks to a redesigned UI coming to some devices, and in turn, it looks like major updates might get a bit faster too. Right alongside smartphones and tablets today, Google has just debuted the first preview of Android TV 12.

The first preview for Android TV 12 is launching today and brings along with it the new Google TV experience. That makes sense, as previously Google had confirmed that any retail Android TV devices sold starting in 2022 would be required to use Google TV instead of Android TV. As a result, the developer device for Android TV, the ADT-3, is being updated to Google TV as a part of this update.

What’s new on Android TV/Google TV in Android 12? At the moment, that remains mostly unclear. Google doesn’t call out any changes specifically for TVs, aside from the arrival of the Google TV interface on ADT-3. Presumably, though, some of the behind-the-scenes changes coming with this update such as HEVC transcoding, AVIF, multi-channel audio, and various other tweaks will appear in some capacity.

The most important bit of news here is the timing. In years past, major updates for Android TV were announced months, if not years after the release on smartphones. For example, Android TV 11 was announced in September 2020, around the time that Android 11 was first made publicly available. To date, the update hasn’t rolled out in any meaningful capacity, only being available on ADT-3. If the first preview of Android TV 12 launching this early is any indication, we can probably expect far more timely updates this time around.

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Ben Schoon

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