Select Android TV Users Gaining Access to User Profile Feature
Google may be moving on from its Android TV operating system, but it doesn’t appear it’s ready to sunset the interface and replace it with Google TV on all older smart TV models just yet.
Some users of the Android TV OS are noticing a new feature included in the last update to their smart TVs. Now, in the top right corner of the screen between the settings button and the time display, some Android TV users can access a profile-switching feature. This feature was not available before on Android TV, though users with TVs operating on the Google TV OS have had it since May of 2022.
When a user clicks the new profile switch button on the Android TV inteface, it brings them to a page that asks them to “choose the primary account for your TV,” and provides options to either add or remove new accounts. Watchlists and purchases are still linked to the primary user account.
Images From a Redditor Showing New Profile Switching Feature on Android TV
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Users of YouTube and its live TV streaming service YouTube TV will be among the users most affected by the change. YouTube identifies the accounts of Android TV users based on the profile their smart TV is using, instead of having a separate profile-switching feature within the YouTube app for those users. That means that to switch YouTube profiles on an Android TV-powered smart TV, users will have to switch profiles on the TV itself instead of in YouTube itself.
It’s intriguing that Google is still releasing updates for the Android TV OS. In June of 2021, the company announced its goal of having all third-party TV manufacturers move from the Android TV to the Google TV OS for new models. Android TV still serves as the backbone for Google TV, but the company has built new so many features around it that they decided a name change was appropriate when Google TV launched with the first generation of Google Chromecast devices in 2020.
Since then, while the updates have gotten fewer and fewer for Android TV, they’ve ramped up considerably for Google TV. In August of 2022, Google TV introduced a new update with improved storage abilities and smoother user interfaces, adding streamlined loading times as well. In October the OS got some new safety features on its kids profiles, including watchlists and enhanced parental controls.
Google TV may be the shiny new operating system on the block, but the company has not forgotten users who still own smart TVs powered by Android TV. The new profile-switching feature is not available on all Android TVs across the globe, but customers in the United States could see the update soon, if they haven’t already.