Google TV Overview Updated September 17, 2021

Google TV

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288 'Google TV' stories

July 2011 - December 2022

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Building on the company’s work to get on the big screen in every living room, Google TV delivers a new experience that’s remote-centric and built around keeping all of your content in one place.

What is Google TV?

Not to be confused with the 2010 release of the same name, Google TV is a platform built for smart TVs, set-top boxes, and streaming dongles. It runs native applications and also supports the Google Cast standard.

Google TV isn’t as simple as the well-known Chromecast that’s been on the market for years. Rather, it’s an Android-based platform built on top of the foundation laid out by Android TV. That means it arrives with support for thousands of apps and some really useful features, as well as being a super flexible platform that allows you to do things that the likes of Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV just don’t.

The platform’s core focus is streaming, and Google’s killer feature is the ability to put all of your favorite content in one central location. Google will ask what streaming services you currently use and pull the directory from each one that it supports, a list that includes over 30 total services. We’ve also reported on Google TV preparing support for multiple user profiles, but that functionality hasn’t yet debuted.

First, searching for content on Google TV shows you everywhere it’s available. That might include in Google’s own store — formerly known as Play Movies — but it can also include Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and many other services. Through my time using the Chromecast so far, I’ve actually found this extremely useful. There are movies on my list that I had no clue were available on HBO Max. Get On Up starring the late Chadwick Boseman is just one example.

The second way that Google TV helps you find your way through all of these content sources is by putting your watchlist in a single location. Let’s say a new movie or show catches your attention. You can add it to your watchlist directly from the Chromecast or from Google Search via the web. In both cases, that means you’ll see that piece of content added to your list 

Google TV also integrates features such as Google Assistant heavily into the platform.

What apps are available on Google TV?

You’ll download apps to Google TV devices from the Play Store. The Android apps are optimized for use with a remote control and include a range of different options from streaming to workouts to music to games. Major services are all available, too, including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, Paramount+, and more. As of 2021, Google has over 8,000 apps available for its platform.

How is it different from Android TV?

At face value, Google TV and Android TV are fairly similar platforms, and behind the scenes, that’s a message that’s only enforced. The newer platform is built on top of “Android TV OS,” which is the same platform that powers the “standard” Android TV we see on older devices such as the Nvidia Shield TV, Mi Box, and others.

Another useful feature on the launch is the integration of live TV services. YouTube TV started this feature, showing its guide directly on the homescreen under the “Live” tab. In June 2021, Google expanded this feature to one of its main competitors, Sling TV.

Google TV isn’t just a new launcher on top of Android TV, though. There are modifications to the operating system to provide a cohesive design and enable some new features even though, overall, the platforms are very similar. Google mentioned in May 2021 that this newer experience puts a bigger emphasis on app quality.

At Google I/O 2021, Google announced that both platforms combined have over 80 million active devices around the world, a big increase from just a year prior. Most of that growth was inside of the US as well, a key market for the company’s new Chromecast streaming device. At the same even, Google announced a revamped phone-based remote that’s going to be built into Android phones and the Google TV app. As of September 2021, that update seems to be right around the corner.

Where can I use Google TV?

Google TV was first made available on the latest generation of the popular Chromecast dongle. The 2020 release cost $50 and runs the Android-based OS out of the box. In early 2021, it remains the only way to use this platform, but it won’t stay that way for long.

chromecast google tv remote

TV manufacturers and other set-top-box makers will also be able to use Google TV on their devices. That kicked off with Sony opening up sales in early 2021. On the more affordable end of the spectrum, TCL is also now selling 4K TVs with Google TV on board, and even has plans to launch a super-sized 8K model.

Another big partner for Google, Hisense, recently confirmed it has no immediate plans for Google TV and instead will stick with the older Android TV experience. Samsung also has no plans for the platform.

By 2022, Google will phase out Android TV as a consumer platform, pushing more devices to debut with the updated interface. Android TV will still exist, but only in limited places such as Pay TV devices.

You can read the latest coverage on Google’s platform below.

Google TV Stories Yesterday

FIFA+ comes to Google TV and Android TV, expanding World Cup viewing options

Through an exclusive deal with VIDAA OS – a Hisense product – Google is able to bring FIFA+ to Google and Android TV devices, expanding the ways users can watch coverage of the World Cup and soccer, in general, going forward.

After months in preview, Google has finally launched Android 13 for Android TV OS. It won’t be available on any devices you have for a while, but here’s what it brings to the table.

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Google TV Stories December 1

The Google TV app is starting to roll out a neat new trick, with the ability to cast TV shows and movies from multiple streaming services from one location, as well as a revamped remote for Android TV OS devices.

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Google TV Stories November 21

Over the past few years, Google has been transitioning to Android App Bundles as part of modernizing development practices. In May of 2023, App Bundles that support archiving will be required for Android/Google TV devices.

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Where to watch the 2022 World Cup on Android, Google TV, and ChromeOS

This week marks the somewhat overdue start of the 2022 World Cup. This guide will direct you to the best streaming service you can use to watch the World Cup on your Android, Google TV, or ChromeOS device.

Google TV Stories November 15

Sky’s Now TV streaming service arrives on Android TV and Google TV

Sky has just brought its Now TV streaming service to Android TV and Google TV with an official app.

Google TV Stories November 10

Ahead of the 2022 World Cup kicking off on November 20, Google is adding a handful of features to help fans keep track of the tournament across Search, Maps, and Google TV.

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Google TV Stories October 27

As it continues to face intense scrutiny for its practices with Android partners, Google has just struck a new deal with Amazon that will allow Android partners to produce Amazon Fire TVs.

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Google TV Stories October 25

Google is beginning to reveal the improvements coming to Android phones, TVs, watches, and more as part of the October 2022 Google Play system updates, including a fix for using Google Wallet with Face Unlock on the Pixel 7

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Google TV showcases the horror-filled watchlist of Hamilton and Glass Onion’s Leslie Odom Jr.

The latest installment of “Watch with Me” on Google TV has arrived, this time with the watchlist of Leslie Odom Jr.

Google TV Stories October 20

Android 12 is finally available for Chromecast with Google TV (4K) and available out of the box on the HD model too. But it’s an update that doesn’t bring a ton of user-facing features. One addition in Android 12 for Chromecast with Google TV is frame rate matching, but in its current state, it’s not all that useful.

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Google TV Stories October 18

Google TV’s latest update will bring watchlist and recommendations to Kids Profiles

After adding support for Kids Profiles last year, Google TV is expanding the ability for parents to control what their kids are watching.

Google TV Stories October 17

Chromecast with Google TV is finally set to get an Android 12 update, and the new Chromecast (HD) gives us an early look at what the platform will bring to Google’s big-screen experience. Here’s everything new in Android 12 for Google TV on Chromecast.

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Google TV Stories October 10

The smart TV market has largely consisted of a handful of popular platforms, and as we move forward, growth is becoming more and more difficult for smaller players. Now, Google TV is set to face a new challenge, as Samsung and LG are expanding their Tizen and WebOS-based platforms to other smart TV brands.

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Google TV Stories September 28

Google TV integrates with over 40 streaming services and apps, here’s the full list [U]

Perhaps the most useful thing about the new Google TV platform is the ability to aggregate and organize content from a variety of different sources. Which ones, though? Here’s a full list of streaming services and apps that Google TV supports.

Google TV Stories September 26

Storage has been by far the biggest problem around Google’s Android-powered Chromecast, but the new Chromecast with Google TV (HD) actually unlocks a little bit more storage compared to the prior model.

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Google TV Stories September 22

It’s actually happening. After nearly two years and very few updates during its lifespan, the Chromecast with Google TV is getting updated to Android 12.

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Two years after the original, the Chromecast with Google TV is getting a sequel. The Chromecast with Google TV (HD) costs just $29.99, here’s what it brings to the table.

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Google TV Stories September 16

Android TV and Google TV have doubled new TV shipments in Europe

Google’s efforts to take over the living room have grown considerably over the past several years, and it seems the platform is continuing to pick up steam. According to a new report, Android TV and Google TV have doubled shipments in Europe over the past three years.

Google TV Stories September 8

Google TV will curate movies with audio descriptions in accessibility push

As Google works to further improve accessibility on Android, the company is also making efforts on the big screen. Now, Google TV will begin to showcase content that has audio descriptions available.

Google TV Stories September 6

The Chromecast with Google TV first launched almost two full years ago, and it seems the second step in Google’s streaming lineup is incoming. The low-end Chromecast with Google TV, known unofficially as the “HD” model, is apparently right around the corner, and pricing is finally being hinted at.

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Google TV Stories September 1

YouTube on Google TV and smart TVs tweaks its sidebar with ‘More’ section including movies

YouTube’s app for Google TV, Android TV, and other smart TV platforms is picking up a small tweak to clean up its sidebar with a “More” section.

Google TV Stories August 22

The Chromecast with Google TV launched to mostly positive feedback, but the product has since been hit by performance and, even more so, storage problems. Now, a new update is working to address both of these concerns.

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Google TV Stories August 17

Google TV rolling out new ‘Watch With Me’ collection from Scandal’s Kerry Washington

Google TV is all about recommendations, and today the platform is rolling out a new homescreen section with picks from actress Kerry Washington.

Google TV Stories August 8

Google TV and Android TV reportedly pushing for at least 16GB of storage on new devices

Android TV and Google TV have been around for a while and can be found on a variety of hardware, but often the biggest problem with the platform is its limited storage. According to a new report, Google is pushing for new Google TV and Android TV devices to ship with at least 16GB of storage.

Google TV has been on the market for almost two years at this point but has seen only a few major features added in that time. Now, just days after we reported on free live TV channels coming to Google TV, a new report reveals Google’s plans to bring Nest Audio support and integration with Fitbit and Wear OS to the platform.

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Google TV Stories August 5

After first being reported nearly a year ago, Google TV is now making tangible progress toward launching 50 channels worth of free, ad-supported streaming content, and we have your first look at the channel list.

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Google TV Stories August 3

According to a support page, Google seems to be planning another update for its Chromecast with Google TV dongle to arrive sometime in August.

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Google TV Stories July 21

Disney+ update breaks Dolby Atmos support on Android TV and Google TV for some

Disney+ has quickly become a staple for many with compelling original content and a huge back catalog of Marvel, Star Wars, and of course, Disney content. With the latest updates to Disney+ on Android TV, though, the app has apparently broken Dolby Atmos support.

Google TV Stories July 18

Amazon Prime Video may be one of the biggest streaming services out there, but its interface has also long lagged behind the competition when it comes to usability. Now, the Amazon Prime Video app is getting a massive redesign on Google TV and other platforms.

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Google TV Stories July 11

Chromecast with Google TV now available in India for ₹6,399

Google first launched its revamped TV platform in 2020 on the Chromecast with Google TV, and now the device is finally on its way to India.

Google TV Stories July 8

How to control your Android TV using the Google Home app

Android TV and Google TV are great options for streaming media, playing cloud-based games, or even turning your TV into a virtual fireplace. Ok, well, mostly the first two. But did you know that you can use your phone as a remote control for your Android TV/Google TV? Here’s how.

Google TV Stories July 5

Google TV is delivering a new way to give you recommendations, with a “What to Watch” show from Entertainment Weekly available now.

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Google TV Stories June 30

To make it easier to get started with a new smart TV or dongle, Google TV may soon automatically log in to your previously connected apps and services.

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Google TV Stories June 23

How to add Google TV Profiles

Google TV is an all-around great OS that finds itself on devices like Chromecasts and some TVs. Recently, Google added the ability to add different profiles to the media hub – here’s how you can add or remove profiles in Google TV.

Google TV Stories June 21

As announced in March, Google Play users on Android are starting to see the Movies & TV store disappear from the app.

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Google TV Stories June 20

We never thought the day would come, but it’s finally here. Google TV profiles are rolling out right now.

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Google TV Stories June 16

YouTube TV gets 5.1 surround sound with latest app update on Android TV and Google TV

Earlier this month, Google announced that its YouTube TV service would finally be rolling out support for 5.1 surround sound on more platforms. Now, the surround sound update is actually rolling out to Android TV and Google TV with the latest YouTube TV app.

Google TV Stories June 10

First announced last year, Google TV is officially rolling out its revamped screensaver that brings “Proactive Personalized Results” to your TV.

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Google TV Stories June 8

According to a new report from Business Insider, Roku and Netflix may be in talks to see the streaming giant acquire Roku’s business.

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Google TV Stories June 7

As the current school year winds down, Google is getting ready for the next one with a number of education updates across Classroom, Workspace, and Chromebooks, like the Screencast app and Cast moderator on Google TV.

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Google TV Stories June 1

Today Google announced that the Google TV app is finally available on iOS. Alongside that announcement, the company has also confirmed that the Google TV app on Android is now available in over 100 countries, and will expand even further soon.

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Almost two years after it hit Android, the Google TV app is finally coming to iOS for iPhone and iPad users.

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Yesterday Google officially announced that its Chromecast with Google TV would be expanding to eight new countries in Europe. Now, the Chromecast with Google TV is finally coming, officially, to India, and three other new countries.

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Google TV Stories May 31

The Chromecast with Google TV is a solid, if poorly aging streamer, but it’s still one of the best options you can get today. Now, going on two years after its debut, Chromecast with Google TV is finally expanding to just about every country in Europe.

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Google TV Stories May 30

Today Xiaomi announced its very first set of Amazon Fire TV smart TVs, with a trio of options hitting the market. It’s now the second Google partner for Android TV OS to adopt the Fire TV platform in under a month.

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Google TV Stories May 23

The Chromecast with Google TV is a great product, but it’s one that’s clearly showing problems as it ages. One issue is that the Chromecast hasn’t received an actual system update in nearly six months, which is why a recent tweet from Google feels like such a tease.

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It’s finally happening. After a false start last year, Google TV is rolling out Profiles starting today.

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