Android TV / Google TV universal remote

As promised last month, the Google Home app now features a built-in remote to control your Android/Google TV. Starting on Android, you no longer have to use the Google TV app or the included physical remote to control your television.

Previously, the remote was only available in the Google TV app. While the client is useful and made it easy to access via a FAB in the bottom-right corner, it was not a natural destination for most people. The Quick Settings tile shortcut was another alternative.

In the Google Home app, the remote makes thematic sense as the place you control your smart device. Set-up involves going to the device page and selecting “Open remote” in the bottom-left corner. You have to enter a pairing code initially, but everything is saved after that. There is curiously no option for “D-pad” control, just “Swipe” – swipe to navigate and tap to select.

Otherwise, you get power and keyboard input in the top-right, while back, home, and Assistant (on Chromecast with Google TV) appears below. Other devices offer volume up/down and a quick mute button. 

In a future update, Google should elevate the remote to the top row of shortcuts. It would be much faster (and friendlier) than going to the device page. 

Google Home 2.46 is rolling out now for Android via the Play Store. The iOS version is also set to get the remote, but that 2.46 update today does not introduce the TV controls. 

More on Google Home:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: