Shobana Radhakrishnan, Senior Director of Engineering - Google TV
Paul Lammertsma, Developer Relations Engineer
Today, there is more entertainment content available than ever before. In fact, our research shows a third of U.S. households now watch more than 25 hours of TV every week. As the role of TV continues to evolve, it’s our goal to build a tailored TV experience that gives users easy access to the entertainment they love.
We’re excited about the future of Android TV OS, now with over 110 million monthly active devices, including millions of Google TVs. Android TV and Google TV are available on over 300 partners worldwide, including 7 of the 10 largest smart TV OEMs and over 170 pay TV operators. And thanks to the hard work of our developer community, there are more than 10,000 apps available on TV, with more being added everyday.
Since last year’s I/O, we’ve continued our commitment to enable you to build better and more engaging experiences on Android TV OS. In addition to platform updates, new features, like expanded integrations with the Live tab, offer opportunities for users to better engage with your content. And if you haven’t begun using WatchNext API, take a moment to learn how to add it to your app to make your content more discoverable and accessible.
Today, we are introducing new features and tools on Android 13 that focus on overall performance & quality, improve accessibility, and enable multitasking.
Performance & quality: To help build for the next generation of TVs, we’re introducing new APIs to help you better detect a user’s settings and give them the best experience for their device. AudioManager allows your app to anticipate audio routes and precisely understand which playback mode is available. Integrating your app correctly with MessiaSession allows Android TV to react to HDMI state changes in order to save power and signal that content should be paused.
Accessibility: To improve how users interact with their TV, we’ve added support for different keyboard layouts in the InputDevice API. Game developers can also reference keys by their physical location to support different layouts of physical keyboards, such as QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboards. A new system-wide accessibility preference also allows users to enable audio descriptions across apps.
Multitasking: TVs are now used for more than just watching media content. In fact, we often see users taking calls or monitoring cameras in a smart home. To help with multitasking, an updated picture in picture API will be supported in Android 13 with the APIs from core Android. Picture in picture on the TV supports an expanded mode to show more videos from a group call, a docked mode to avoid overlaying content on other apps, and a keep-clear API to prevent overlays from concealing important content in full-screen apps.
Android 13 Beta for TV is available now, allowing you to test your apps and provide feedback on the latest release. Thank you for your continued support of Android TV OS. We can’t wait to see what amazing and innovative things you continue to build for the big screen.
Posted by Maru Ahues Bouza, Director of Android Developer Relations
There aren’t many platforms where you can build something and instantly reach billions of people around the world, not only on their phones—but their TVs, cars, tablets, watches, and more. Today, at Google I/O, we covered a number of ways Android helps you make the most of this opportunity, and how Modern Android Development brings as much commonality as possible, to make it faster and easier for you to create experiences that tailor to all the different screens we use in our daily lives.
#1: Jetpack Compose Beta 1.2, with support for more advanced use cases
Android’s modern UI toolkit, Jetpack Compose, continues to bring the APIs you need to support more advanced use cases like downloadable fonts, LazyGrids, window insets, nested scrolling interop and more tooling support with features like LiveEdit, Recomposition Debugging and Animation Preview. Check out the blog post for more details.
#2: Android Studio: introducing Live Edit
Get more done faster with Android Studio Dolphin Beta and Electric Eel Canary! Android Studio Dolphin includes new features and improvements for Jetpack Compose and Wear OS development and an updated Logcat experience. Android Studio Electric Eel comes with integrations with the new Google Play SDK Index and Firebase Crashlytics. It also offers a new resizable emulator to test your app on large screens and the new Live Edit feature to immediately deploy code changes made within composable functions. Watch the What’s new in Android Development Tools session and read the Android Studio I/O blog post here.
#3: Baseline Profiles - speed up your app load time!
The speed of your app right after installation can make a big difference on user retention. To improve that experience, we created Baseline Profiles. Baseline Profiles allow apps and libraries to provide the Android runtime with metadata about code path usage, which it uses to prioritize ahead-of-time compilation. We've seen up to 30% faster app startup times thanks to adding baseline profiles alone, no other code changes required! We’re already using baseline profiles within Jetpack: we’ve added baselines to popular libraries like Fragments and Compose – to help provide a better end-user experience. Watch the What’s new in app performance talk, and read the Jetpack blog post here.
#4: Going big on Android tablets
Google is all in on tablets. Since last I/O we launched Android 12L, a release focused on large screen optimizations, and Android 13 includes all those improvements and more. We also announced the Pixel tablet, coming next year. With amazing new hardware, an updated operating system & Google apps, improved guidelines and libraries, and exciting changes to the Play store, there has never been a better time to review your apps and get them ready for large screens and Android 13. That’s why at this year’s I/O we have four talks and a workshop to take you from design to implementation for large screens.
#5: Wear OS: Compose + more!
With the latest updates to Wear OS, you can rethink what is possible when developing for wearables. Jetpack Compose for Wear OS is now in beta, so you can create beautiful Wear OS apps with fewer lines of code. Health Services is also now in beta, bringing a ton of innovation to the health and fitness developer community. And last, but certainly not least, we announced the launch of The Google Pixel Watch - coming this Fall - which brings together the best of Fitbit and Wear OS. You can learn more about all the most exciting updates for wearables by watching the Wear OS technical session and reading our Jetpack Compose for Wear OS announcement.
#6: Introducing Health Connect
Health Connect is a new platform built in close collaboration between Google and Samsung, that simplifies connectivity between apps making it easier to reach more users with less work, so you can securely access and share user health and fitness data across apps and devices. Today, we’re opening up access to Health Connect through Jetpack Health—read our announcement or watch the I/O session to find out more!
We’re making it easier for users to access your apps via voice across devices with Google Assistant, by expanding developer access to Shortcuts API for Android for Cars, with support for Wear OS apps coming later this year. We’re also making it easier to build those experiences with Smarter Custom Intents, enabling Assistant to better detect broader instances of user queries through ML, without any NLU training heavy lift. Additionally, we’re introducing improvements that drive discovery to your apps via voice on Mobile, first through Brandless Queries, that drive app usage even when the user hasn’t explicitly said your app’s name, and App Install Suggestions that appear if your isn’t installed yet–these are automatically enabled for existing App Actions today.
AND THE LATEST FROM ANDROID, PLAY, AND MORE:
#9: What’s new in Play!
Get the latest updates from Google Play, including new ways Play can help you grow your business. Highlights include the ability to deep-link and create up to 50 custom listings; our LiveOps beta, which will allow more developers to submit content to be considered for featuring on the Play Store; and even more flexibility in selling subscriptions. Learn about these updates and more in our blog post.
The new Google Wallet gives users fast and secure access to everyday essentials across Android and Wear OS. We’re enhancing the Google Wallet API, previously called Google Pay Passes API, to support generic passes, grouping and mixing passes together, for example grouping an event ticket with a voucher, and launching a new Android SDK which allows you to save passes directly from your app without a backend integration. To learn more, read the full blog post, watch the session, or read the docs at developers.google.com/wallet.
#13: And of course, Android 13!
The second Beta of Android 13 is available today! Get your apps ready for the latest features for privacy and security, like the new notification permission, the privacy-protecting photo picker, and improved permissions for pairing with nearby devices and accessing media files. Enhance your app with features like app-specific language support and themed app icons. Build with modern standards like HDR video and Bluetooth LE Audio. You can get started by enrolling your Pixel device here, or try Android 13 Beta on select phones, tablets, and foldables from our partners - visit developer.android.com/13 to learn more.
That’s just a snapshot of some of the highlights for Android developers at this year’s Google I/O. Be sure to watch the What’s New in Android talk to get the landscape on the full Android technical track at Google I/O, which includes 26 talks and 4 workshops. Enjoy!
Posted by Wolfram Klein, Product Manager, Android TV OS
Alongside today’s Android 12 Beta 3 release for mobile, we’re also bringing the third Beta of Android 12 to Android TVs. We’re excited to bring new media features, UI improvements, and privacy controls to the experience with Beta 3 while we continue our work of preparing the full release.
At the heart of the TV experience is beautiful and seamless media playback. In the US, users are spending well over 4 hours a day watching media on TV, and are always asking for the highest resolution playback possible. With Android 12, we are releasing three new features to better support ever-improving picture quality.
Refresh Rate Switching Settings: For a smoother viewing experience,Android 12 now supports seamless and non-seamless refresh rate switching. Apps can now integrate these settings for playback of content at optimal frame rates. The Match Content Frame Rate user setting has been added to allow users to control this feature, and apps can call Display.getMode to know if a user’s device supports seamless rate switching.
Better display mode reporting: We are improving how TV devices report display modes and making hotplugging behavior more consistent. App developers no longer need to use workarounds for accurately detecting display modes or for handling HDMI hotplug events.
Tunnel Mode Updates: Updates to Android’s tunnel mode are making it even easier for app developers to support consistent and efficient playback across devices by reducing media processing overhead in the Android Framework.
A beautiful media experience needs an equally stunning user interface to match. Android TV brings two new additions to the UI that help developers provide users with a richer visual experience on high performance devices.
Background blurs: Background blurring using RenderEffect (for in-app blurs) and WindowManager (for cross-window blurs) can now be used to easily enhance the visual separation of different UI layers.
Example background blur used to separate UI layers.
4K UI support: For added visual fidelity, Android TV OS now officially supports UI rendering at 4k resolution on compatible devices. 4K UI resolution can be tested in the upcoming Android 12 emulator for TV to allow app developers to prepare their app for devices with the higher resolution.
Privacy and Security
With Android 12, we’re continuing to focus on giving users more transparency and control while keeping their devices and data secure. Beta 3 for TV includes many of the new privacy features from the Android framework.
Microphone and camera indicators: Users will now see any time apps are accessing the microphone or camera by showing an indicator on the TV screen. For better visibility of recent app accesses to microphone and camera, users can visit their privacy settings on TV.
Microphone and camera indicators showing during a video call. Video credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova.
Microphone and camera toggles: Two new global privacy settings are now available, allowing the user to easily toggle access to the microphone or camera. When those toggles are disabled, apps will be unable to access microphone audio and camera video.
Microphone access toggle in a user’s global privacy settings.
Device Attestation: To assure that your application is running on certified and authentic hardware, the Android KeyStore API has been extended to support attestation of basic device properties.
The Android 12 Beta 3 release for TV is available as a system update to ADT-3 devices today. Also available in the coming weeks, you can use the preview version of the Android 12 emulator to test and build your apps for TV. We hope this helps you test your Android TV app implementations for the next generation of devices. To learn more about getting your Android TV app ready, visit our Android TV OS developers page.
We can’t wait to see what you will build with Android 12 on TV!
Posted by Ben Serridge, Director of Product Management - TV Platforms and 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
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
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
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
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
Posted by Wolfram Klein, Product Manager, Android TV
We’ve been turning it up to 11 all summer long, leading up to the launch of Android 11 on mobile. Now, following right behind the mobile release, we are launching Android 11 on Android TV to bring the latest platform features to the big screen.
Android 11 on Android TV introduces performance and privacy improvements, new features tailored for the TV, and updated developer tools, in addition to enabling many of the features we announced during the #11WeeksOfAndroid.
Android TV continues to bring many of the benefits that come with the core Android update to the TV. With Android 11, performance improvements, like enhanced memory management, and privacy features, like one-time permissions, are introduced to make sure TV devices work quickly and securely.
With extended gamepad support, silent boot mode for system updates, inactivity prompts, and OEM configurable wake keys, Android 11 allows greater control over TV functions. New framework functionality for managing System LEDs and physical microphone mute buttons also facilitate integrations for far-field microphone enabled devices.
Testing on the TV is now easier than ever. The addition of test harness mode on Android TV and Play Store support in the Android TV Emulator help you seamlessly inspect your apps as you develop.
Android TV OEM partners will be launching and upgrading devices to Android 11 over the coming months. To help you test your Android TV app implementations for the next generation of devices, Android 11 will be available as a system update to ADT-3 devices today. To learn more about getting your Android TV app ready for Android 11, visit our developers page.
We're looking forward to seeing your apps on Android 11!
2020 may go down as the year of the video call. It’s become an indispensable tool, one we all use more than we likely would have imagined. But meeting fatigue is probably hitting you hard in the afternoon. Using the right devices can make a big difference in making video calls more enjoyable and engaging. Here are a few new ways to use Google Meet and Duo across a series of new devices to create a better meeting experience.
Take your video calls to the big screen
With Google Meet on Cast, you can turn any room in your house into your own personal conference room, taking advantage of your TV or a Smart Display. Whether you want to step away from the notifications on your laptop or phone to be more present in a meeting or you’re on mute in a larger meeting and want to concentrate on your task at hand, casting to your TV can help you be more productive and stay focused.
Meet and Cast can also pair up to simplify distance learning. Students can view their classmates and lesson plans on the big screen while working from their laptops, and teachers can get a broader view of their students on a call.
To get started, you‘ll need to have a Google account, update to the latest version of Chrome and ensure that your Chromecast device has the latest firmware installed. Google Cast functionality is available for all Meet users, and casting works on Chromecast, TVs with built-in Chromecasts and Nest displays.
The big screen isn’t just for work meetings, though: We also want to make video calling your friends and family better, too. In an effort to bring the video calling experience to more parts of your home, Google Duo is rolling out a Beta on Android TV in the coming weeks. With Google Duo, you can initiate one-on-one and group calls from your TV, and if your TV doesn't have a camera built-in, you can simply plug in a USB camera.
Beyond TVs, Duo and Meet also work seamlessly with Nest Hub Max. You can simply say “Hey Google, join my next meeting” or “Hey Google, start a group call” and jump right into the video hands free, staying productive from a separate device on your desk.
Build the ultimate home office
With the Acer Chromebase and ASUS Remote Meet Kit from Google Meet hardware, you can elevate your work-from-home space into a dedicated home office. Google Meet hardware syncs automatically with Google Calendar so you can join meetings with a single touch, and is built on Chrome OS which brings over-the-air updates, peripheral support and advanced management capabilities. This frees up your laptop for more immersive meetings.
This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. This week we’re focusing on Android Beyond Phones. So what’s new on Android TV?.
With users asking for more TV shows, movies, and apps than ever, the big screen has become a big deal. There are now over 80% more Android TV monthly active devices than a year ago! Working with 7 of the top 10 Smart TV OEMs and over 160 TV Operators has helped give users more options to spruce up their living room with Android TV. But connecting with this many people wouldn’t have been possible without the developer ecosystem building ~7,000 apps for Google Play on Android TV. Together, our users can now watch, play, and do more on their TVs.
Over the past year, we’ve introduced new features to Android TV to make discovering and accessing your content even easier for users. We updated Google Play with a refreshed look and new app collections while making it easier for users to subscribe to apps. We made additions to the Android TV home screen to highlight trending and important content. And most recently, we released Cast Connect, so your users can cast their favorite content directly to its native Android TV app.
We’ve heard from you on how else we can help support you, and we are excited to announce new ways to help you continue to improve engagement and commerce on the TV:
Easier acquisition and monetization
Google Play Instant on TV: Get users into your app, fast. Google Play Instant allows users to try your app instantly, without installing it.
Let users try your app instantly on Google Play with Google Play Instant on TV
Android TV Emulator with Play Store support: Test your TV projects seamlessly.The Android TV emulator now supports Google Play, so you cantest subscriptions faster through the emulator instead of testing on real devices.
PIN code purchases: Make purchases easy.Users will soon be able to purchase content with a PIN code instead of a password on Google Play.
More engaging user experiences
Gboard TV: Typing on TV made easier. New layouts and features are being added to the Google keyboard on TV, including speech-to-text and predictive typing.
Use Gboard TV to bring speech-to-text and predictive typing to your app.
Auto low latency mode: Make gaming on the TV even smoother. Ask Android TV to disable post-processing, and minimize latency whenever a gaming application is shown fullscreen.
Leanback Library Improvements: Simplify app navigation and compatibility with the latest from the leanback library: top tab navigation, paging through media titles and shared code bases across mobile and TV are all simpler now!
For more than seven years, Google Cast has made it easy for users to enjoy your content on the big screen with Chromecast or a Chromecast built-in TV. We’re always looking to improve the casting experiences, which is why we’re excited to introduce Cast Connect. This new feature allows users to cast directly to your Android TV app while still allowing control from your sender app.
Why is this helpful?
With Google Cast your app is the remote control - helping users find, play, pause, seek, stop, and otherwise control what they’re watching. It enables you to extend video or audio from your Android, iOS, or Chrome app to a TV or sound system. With Android TV, partners are able to build apps that let users experience your app's immersive content on their TV screen and control with a remote.
With Cast Connect, we are combining the best of both worlds; first, by prioritizing playback via the Android TV app to deliver a richer and more immersive experience, and second, by allowing the user to still control their experience from your Android, iOS or Chrome app, and now, also directly using their Android TV’s remote control. Cast Connect helps the user easily engage with other content directly on the TV instead of only having to use your mobile device to browse for additional content.
Cast Connect User Journey on Stan
We’re working closely with a number of partners on bringing Cast Connect to their Apps and, most recently, we’re excited to announce that CBS and our Australian SVOD partner, Stan have launched Cast Connect. Starting today, the Cast Connect library is available on Android, iOS and Chrome. To get started with adding Cast Connect to your existing framework, head over to the Google Cast Developers site. Along the way, the Cast SDK team and the developer community are available to help you and answer questions on Stack Overflow by using the google-cast-connect tag.
Ever plop on the couch, turn on your TV, and get lost in a grid of apps? With so many TV apps, it can take over 11 minutes to find something to watch. Luckily, Android TV can make it easier—and now we're making two updates to help you discover and access new favorites.
Highlights on your home screen
Next time you pick up the remote, pop above your favorite apps row and scroll through suggestions or catch a quick trailer to help you find something you’ll love to watch.
We’re now sharing cinematic teasers for the most popular movies and shows handpicked for you by Google Play’s entertainment experts or sponsored by media partners (starting in the U.S.). You can also add in suggestions from your favorite streaming services by linking them to your Google Account from your phone or laptop.
Subscriptions in a snap
With new releases coming out daily, the latest must-see show might be on an app that you haven’t subscribed to. Filling out sign-up forms with your remote or phone can be time consuming, so we're making it easier to subscribe to apps on Google Play. Simply find your app and click on "Subscribe and install." Google will do the rest and set up your account using your email address with just a couple clicks. We're piloting this with a few apps in the U.S., like the premium Starz app, DC Universe, and EPIX NOW, with more to come soon.
These features can be accessed on thousands of Android TV streaming devices, TVs, projectors and soundbars from your favorite brands. And if you’re wondering what to watch next, don’t forget to check out NBCUniversal’s Peacock and HBO Max, now available on Android TV devices.
With the rise in quality content that’s keeping us glued to the big screen, it’s no surprise watch time on the TV continues to grow. As users spend more time in their living rooms, they are also looking to get more from their smart TVs and streaming devices. To help developers meet these needs, we are always working to support the latest Android features on Android TV.
Today, we are releasing an Android 11 Developer Preview for Android TV with many privacy, performance, accessibility and connectivity features. More information can be found on the Android 11 Developer Preview web page.
The Android 11 Developer Preview on TV is for developers (not for consumer use), this image is for ADT-3 developer devices only, it is available by manual download and flash. All user data on the ADT-3 device will be wiped out after flash. Once the device has been flashed to Android 11, you will not be able to go back to the previous Android 10 build.
Download the system image (link) and unzip the file.
Plug in the ADT-3 developer kit for Android TV and enable Developer options.
Run flash-all.sh in the unzipped folder to perform manual system image installation to the ADT-3 device.
The flash-all script uses fastboot and adb tools to upgrade the system. The latest version of fastboot is recommended; developers can find it in the Android SDK Platform-Tools package.
We encourage you to test your Android TV app on the Android 11 Developer Preview. If you have any feedback, please reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.
Tune in to the Android Beyond Phones week of the #11WeeksOfAndroid on August 10th for even more developer resources from Android TV.