Android TV Gets New Google TV UI Refresh & Features
While Google’s focus has been on its Google TV platform, it’s still giving love to Android TV in the form of a new UI refresh that will include some new features, too.
Today, Google is adding three new features to Android TV to make it feel a little more like Google TV: Watchlists, recommendations, and detail pages.
The first “new” feature has been a mainstay in streaming services seemingly forever, but it is a welcome addition to Android TV. Now, Android TV users can click “Add to Watchlist” from their streaming device, phone, or laptop via Google Search or in the TV app. The items saved to the user’s watchlist will appear in the “Discover” tab.
Google has also fine-tuned Android TV’s recommendations setup, where now users can select “more like this” or “less like this” in the Discover tab by selecting the “Improve your recommendations” card. Once you exit out, the Discover tab will automatically refresh based on the user’s new settings.
Lastly, Google is changing the way users see content and Android TV with a “Details” upgrade. Now, users can see trailers of the show they’re highlighting to get a little more insight into what the show or movie is about. This is similar to how Netflix autoplays trailers of original programming you’re hovering on. Unlike Netflix, though, you can turn these off in the “Settings” tab (under Device Preferences —> Enable video previews.)
Android TV has done well for Google throughout its lifespan, and it may even be growing faster than Roku TV or Amazon Fire TV based on recent YouTube download figures. Granted, download figures of an app that is owned by Google might not be the best indicator of how many users are on the platforms, but it’s a good sign that Google has a hit on its hands.
Google promises these updates will arrive on Android TV devices, “beginning this week,” so users can expect to see them soon.