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Google is Rethinking Android TV, Planning on Redesign & Easier Compatibility

Android TV is getting its second redesign in less than two years, according to Google senior director of project management for Android TV Shalini Govil-Pai. In an interview, she told CES Las Vegas that in 2019 Google plans to rethink the Android TV consumer experience and focus more attention on developing the platform. She proposed that about a third of her division’s focus going forward would be on Android TV.

Govil-Pai, who was previously a director at YouTube, moved to Android TV last year. She says that it became clear that Android TV wasn’t making good use of Google’s search engine and AI capabilities.

According to TechHive, Google isn’t ready to debut the redesign yet. The first redesign came out in August 2017, and according to many reviews it didn’t live up to expectations. Govil-Pai said that potential updates might include reworking personalized recommendations and changing some of the difficult-to-follow displays.

To reach a wider audience and mainstream success, Android TV will have to find more support among other services. Right now, DIRECTV NOW and Hulu Live TV aren’t compatible. Even other Google apps like Google Photos and YouTube Music aren’t available on the platform.

The other major issue Govil-Pai and her team are trying to address is allowing Android TV to work on cheaper hardware by reducing memory requirements. She says they have been working with Netflix to find ways for makers of smaller devices to support the apps on their products.