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What’s new in Android TV (and Google TV!)

Posted by Ben Serridge, Director of Product Management – TV Platforms & Dan Aharon, Product Manager

Today at Google I/O 2021, we announced a significant milestone for our
team: we have over 80 million monthly active devices on Android TV OS, with
more than 80% growth in the US alone. We would not be here without the hard
work of the developer community, so a huge and heartfelt thank you to you
all.

Android TV OS is the operating system that powers a number of devices
around the world including the new Google TV experience launched last fall.
Google TV has generated a lot of excitement from consumers, developers, and
industry partners alike, offering a content forward TV experience that helps
the user discover more of the movies and shows they love. Google TV is
available on streaming devices like the Chromecast with Google TV, smart TVs from Sony (and soon TCL!), and as an app on Android devices. Check out this presentation
on how to get your app ready for Google TV.

Our goal is to always enable you to build better and more engaging
experiences on Android TV OS. One example of this is the widely utilized
Watch Next API which increases app re-engagement by ~30% in certain
cases1. Well over 100 major media partners are already using WatchNext API and
you can learn more about how to add your app here.

We are also announcing several new tools and helpful features to make
developing for Android TV OS easier and enable you to create engaging
experiences for your users. Some are already available and some will be
available soon:

  • Cast Connect with Stream Transfer and Stream Expansion: Cast Connect
    allows users to cast from their phone/ tablet or Chrome browser onto your
    app on Android TV. Stream Transfer and Stream Expansion allow users to
    transfer media to other devices and/or play audio on multiple
    devices.
  • Emulator updates:
    To help you make your app work better on Google TV without requiring new
    hardware, we are now making our first Google TV Emulator available,
    running on Android 11. There will also be an Android 11 image with the traditional Android TV
    experience. You can now also use a remote that more closely mimics TV
    remotes directly within the Emulator.
  • Firebase Test Lab:
    Firebase Test Lab runs millions of tests every week on behalf of
    developers. Following requests from developers, we are excited to share
    that Firebase Test Lab is adding Android TV support. Firebase Test Lab
    Virtual Devices run your app in the cloud on Android TV emulators and
    allow you to scale your test across hundreds or thousands of virtual
    devices. Physical Devices will be coming soon.
  • Android 12 Beta 1:
    We are making the Android 12 Beta 1 available for TV on ADT-3 today. With
    this release the developer community will be able to take advantage of
    many of the changes and improvements coming with Android 12. We encourage
    you to try it and provide us with feedback.

Thank you for your continued support of the Android TV OS platform. The
future of TV is bright and we can’t wait to see what you build
next!

1 Average gain in number of days active in the app in a 28-day period
amongst app 28DAUs, based on 3 apps analyzed during the 11/2020 – 2/2021
period.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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