Tag Archives: Google TV

7 ways to make the most of the Google TV app

When it's time to unwind and watch TV, I always sit down with my two must-haves: my favorite snack and my smartphone. Whether I’m following up on my friend's recommendations, reading up on the cast or just using my phone as my remote, it’s always by my side.

And I’m not the only one: Our research shows us that two-thirds of U.S. adults research entertainment on their phone daily, and almost half watch content on their phones for an hour a day.

We made the Google TV app on Android to help you discover what to watch with recommendations from across your apps, and to make it easy to start watching movies and shows. Starting today, you’ll also be able to download the Google TV app for iOS from the App Store. And if you already have the Play Movies & TV app for iOS, it will update to the new Google TV app.

Visual of iPhone 13 with Google TV app open with different show and movie titles.

Google TV app is now available on iOS

To celebrate, here are seven ways you can get the most out of the Google TV mobile app whether you have an Android phone or iPhone.

  1. Get recommendations from across your apps: Let the Google TV app know which streaming apps you subscribe to. You’ll see suggestions from your favorite apps all in one place, based on what you’ve watched and what interests you so it’s easier to find your next favorite.
  2. Create one Watchlist for your discoveries: Found a new favorite while browsing across your apps, but can’t watch it right now? Save new finds to your Watchlist in the app and pick right up on the big screen later.
  3. See Watchlists from your favorite stars: Check out the Watch With Me row on the “For you” tab to get a look at the TV and movies that inspired the lives and careers of our favorite entertainers, artists and cultural icons.
  4. Rate movies and shows: After watching, or as you browse, mark titles “watched,” or quickly rate them with the like or dislike buttons. You’ll get even better recommendations based on your interests on both the app and your Google TV devices.
  5. Take your library on the go: Your Watchlist, recommendations and the movies and shows you have previously rented or purchased with your Google account go with you, whether that’s out the front door or just to the other room, so you can watch wherever you want.
  6. Get all the latest on all your favorites: Visit the Highlights tab to stay up to date with a personalized daily feed of news, reviews and more about the entertainment you love.
  7. Use your phone as your remote: If you own a Google TV or other Android TV OS device, you can click the remote button in the app and connect to your TV to control your TV with your phone and use Google Assistant. You can even use your phone’s keyboard to quickly type complicated passwords, movie names or search terms.

What’s new with Google TV & Android TV OS

Shobana Radhakrishnan, Senior Director of Engineering - Google TV

Paul Lammertsma, Developer Relations Engineer

Image of Android and Google TV Iconography

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.
Image of Google TV interface with picture of Dune showing

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.

Watch With Me on Google TV: Andra Day’s watchlist

Movies and TV can make us laugh, cry and even shape who we are. Our watchlists can be surprisingly revealing. We’re teaming up with entertainers, artists and cultural icons on a newWatch With Meseries on Google TV to share their top picks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the TV and movies that inspired them.

Singer, songwriter and actress Andra Day sheds light on untold stories through both movies and music. “I think music, movies and TV are entertainment, but they can also heal society and individuals, and allow yourself to be in other worlds,” she says.

Though she more recently made the jump into acting, Andra always has been inspired by how movies can mobilize people and help everyone feel represented. “Watching challenging movies, particularly when it's not a perspective that is your own, helps you to grow in love and in empathy, you know?” she says. “I think challenging movies just make us better people and make us a better society.”

Google TV showing the Watch With Me page with Andra Day’s watchlist.

We caught up with Andra to find out what she’s learned from her favorite picks — and to find out a little more about her, too.

What does your watchlist say about you?

Andra Day: What I hope my watchlist says about me is that I love all different kinds of people. I love being able to immerse myself in other places, periods and lives.

Do you like to watch movies alone or with other people?

Andra Day:I like watching movies with other people. But I’m also someone who likes to rewind if I missed something. And other people don’t always love that…

What’s the most episodes you watched in one sitting?

Andra Day: It depends on the show and also if I can’t fall asleep. But I have watched 10 episodes in one sitting before!

What’s the first movie you ever watched?

Andra Day:Oooh, my first memorable movie I ever watched was “E.T.” I love everything about it, from baby Drew Barrymore to aliens.

What’s your favorite genre?

Andra Day:If I had to pick one, I want to say a documentary to make myself look good, but it's probably an action movie.

What is your go-to movie snack?

Andra Day:To be honest, it’s hot Cheetos, but I’m trying to make it hummus and celery!

Check out Andra’s watchlist and see the iconic movies that inspired her jump from music to acting on Google TV, rolling out over the next few days. Share your favorites as well using #WatchWithMe!

Watch With Me on Google TV: Chloé Zhao’s watchlist

Movies and TV can make us laugh, cry and even shape who we are. Our watchlists can be surprisingly revealing. We’re teaming up with entertainers, artists and cultural icons on a newWatch With Meseries on Google TV to share their top picks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the TV and movies that inspired them.

Awards season is here, making it the perfect time to chat with director Chloé Zhao, who took home the golden trophy in 2021. Her film “Nomadland” won best picture and best director, and is a perfect example of Chloe’s unique ability to deliver incredibly human, universal experiences. “As a storyteller, it’s important to have empathy,” she says. “You don’t necessarily have to have gone through what your character went through, but it is important to be vulnerable and open enough to let those characters guide you through it.”

We sat down with her to learn more about her filmmaking and the directors who inspire her. “I would say I'm not your typical cinephile. You know, I haven't seen everything, but there are a handful of directors who I worship and I’ll watch their films over and over again.”

Google TV showing the Watch With Me page with Chloé Zhao’s watchlist.

Before we brushed up on her list of influential films and TV, we asked Chloé a few questions to learn more about her — and get a peek at her watchlist.

What does your watchlist say about you?

Chloé Zhao:My watchlist says that I’m someone who is very inconsistent, has a wide range of interests and can be a bit strange. I’m attracted to interesting stories and characters who can be perceived as a bit messed up.

What did you grow up watching?

Chloé Zhao: Mangas, Anime and Wuxia dramas — especially the ones starring Tony Leung! — were a huge part of my childhood. I constantly draw influence from these mythical and magical stories in how I approach filmmaking.

Who do you typically watch TV and movies with?

Chloé Zhao:I always watch TV with my dogs — I don’t have a choice! They have to sit next to me, one on each side.

Is it acceptable to talk during a movie?

Chloé Zhao: It’s not easy to make a movie, so as a filmmaker, I prefer people to not talk or check their phones during them. There’s incredible content on phones these days, so we have to force people to turn them off!

What’s one show you love to watch?

Chloé Zhao:I love “The Office.” Greatest show ever. I especially like watching the love-hate relationship between Dwight and Jim!

Dive into Chloé’s watchlist and learn more about the directors that inspire her on Google TV, rolling out over the next few days. Tell us your favorites using #WatchWithMe!

New Android features for messaging, entertainment and more

The Android team has been busy working on a suite of updates that add new dimensions to the apps you already love. From huge updates to messaging (including more connection with your iPhone friends) to powerful photo editing tools and even smarter ways to pay for parking, these upgrades bring more helpful technology to messaging, entertainment and more.

Share more with your iPhone friends, and stay on top of your inbox with Messages

An illustration of an Android user seeing the text reactions from an iPhone user

Feel the ❤️. Or the 😂. Or whichever emoji your friends are feeling in the moment. Reactions from iPhone users will now appear as emoji on text messages — just like when you’re messaging with someone using an Android device. And now everyone can enjoy your videos in the same resolution you do when you send them as Google Photos links right inside the conversation. Soon, you’ll be able to send your photos this way, too.

New birthday reminders in Messages means you'll never miss their special day.

That’s not all that’s coming to Messages. There are also updates that help you break through the clutter to focus on the conversations that matter most:

  • Automatically sort your messages into Personal and Business tabs with an organized inbox, so you can find what you need faster.
  • Reduce the clutter of one-time password messages by having them automatically deleted after 24 hours.
  • Get gentle nudges to reply to messages you may have missed or need to follow up on.
  • Never forget to wish your friends a happy birthday, with reminders to reach out to your friends on their special day.

Read more about the new messaging updates in our blog post, and explore them on your device as they roll out over the coming weeks.

Type what you really want to say with grammar correction

Animation of an Android phone on a messages conversation. As the user types, Gboard offers suggestions to improve the sentence.

Grammar correction on Gboard helps you type the way you want to be heard.

More than just a spell check, the new grammar correction feature on Gboard works entirely on your device to detect grammatical errors and offer suggestions to help you bring your thoughts to life.

When words aren’t enough to tell your story, Emoji Kitchen now has more than 2,000 new emoji mashups available as stickers via Gboard. You can make it rain 🍔, share your love for 🥨 or make your favorite emoji sparkle 💫 in an endless array of messaging possibilities. And for Pixel users, Gboard will convert your words into colorful stickers built with your exact text when typing in messaging apps in English (U.S.).

Accessible conversations, even when you’re offline, with Live Transcribe

Animation of an Android phone demonstrating the Live Transcribe app. As the user speaks, their words are automatically converted into large text on the screen.

Live Transcribe now works wherever you go, even if you don't have Wi-Fi or data.

Developed in collaboration with the premier university for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, Gallaudet University, Live Transcribe provides real-time speech-to-text captions to enable everyday in-person conversations between people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing. Preinstalled on Pixel and Samsung devices and available as a free download to all, the app now offers an offline mode for when Wi-Fi and data aren’t available, like on an airplane, in the subway, or in other areas without consistent internet access.

Turn more photos into portraits with Portrait Blur

Illustration of an Android phone Blurring the background of a pet photo.

Portrait Blur now can be used on photos of more subjects, like pets, food and plants, too. Even if the picture was taken years ago.

If you’re a Google One member or a Pixel user, you can already use Portrait Blur in Google Photos, a powerful photo editing tool that can intelligently blur the background on photos of people, post-snap. Coming soon to the Photos app on Android, these users will be able to use this effect on photos of more subjects, like pets, food and plants, too. Even if the picture was taken years ago. Even if portrait mode wasn’t on at the time. Whether it’s photos of your four-legged friends on vacation, an artistic shot of your prized houseplant or just what you had for lunch today, the only thing left to focus on is how you’re going to share them.

All the latest on all your favorites with Highlights on Google TV

Illustration of an Android user looking through Highlights on Google TV in front of his TV

The new Highlights tab on Google TV offers a personalized feed of entertainment news, reviews and more based on movies and shows you’re interested in. Catch up on articles about the entertainment you love, or track the next big sensation, all in one place.

Animation of an Android phone scrolling through a feed of articles and backstage videos from a selection of popular television shows.

Learn more about your current and soon-to-be favorite shows with Highlights on Google TV mobile.

And if you discover something new that you’re interested in, one tap will take you straight to the movie, TV series or video the article is based on, so you can play, rate or Watchlist it for later.

Pay for parking with Google Assistant

Animation of an Android phone, demonstrating a user following the steps to pay for parking using Google Assistant.

Pay for parking using just your voice, with a little help from Google Assistant.

Google Assistant and Google Pay can now help you pay for parking, check your parking status, and extend your parking using just your voice. Just say, “Hey Google, pay for parking” once you’ve parked, and follow Assistant prompts to pay from your phone. No more coins, no more confusion. And when you need to check your parking status or pay for more parking, just say “Hey Google, parking status” and “Hey Google, extend parking.” Available in ParkMobile street parking zones in over 400 cities in the US.

Fine-tune your digital habits with the screen time widget

Animation of an Android phone, demonstrating how the screen time widget can be resized on the Home screen. The app displays the users daily screen time, as well as their top three most used apps.

Customize your Home screen and fine-tune your digital habits with the screen time widget.

Staying on top of your screen time is all about balance. A new screen time widget helps get the ball rolling by offering a glimpse of the three apps you use the most each day. Tap the widget to open Digital Wellbeing, where you’ll find some helpful ways to fine-tune your digital habits, including:

  • Daily timers for your apps
  • Focus mode, which pauses distracting apps at set times
  • Bedtime mode, which silences your device and changes the screen to black and white at bedtime

Share with more people with Nearby Share

Animation of an Android phone using Nearby Share to send a scenic photo to multiple nearby Android friends.

Use Nearby Share to share files with more people around you.

Nearby Share already lets you easily share photos, videos, documents, links, audio files or entire folders between nearby devices. A new update makes it easy to share with multiple people rather than just one person at a time. Simply tap to add more recipients during a transfer. It’s rolling out now on all Android 6+ devices.

These new features make it easier than ever to share new ideas, enjoy your favorite entertainment, and explore the world around you — just another set of features as your Android device becomes more helpful all the time.

Treats, trends and touchdowns — it’s game time

We are just days away from the biggest night in football and Google is here to help you prep. Warm-up with some trending food and stats, get ready to watch the game with Google TV, tackle football-related queries with Assistant and re-watch all your favorite commercials on AdBlitz. Start to finish, we’ve got you covered.

Gameday stats

It isn’t a gameday without delicious food. This time last year, we saw searches for wings increased more than 130% compared to a typical Sunday in 2021 on Google Maps, and around this time every year, we see search interest in buffalo wings spike. This year, we decided to take a look at what the most-searched wing flavors were across the United States.

Map of the United States showing which the most-searched wing flavors were by state.

But Sunday isn't just about food: We also checked out regional search interest in this year’s teams and quarterbacks.

Map of the United States showing which quarterback was the most-searched by state.
Map of the United States showing which football team was the most-searched by state.

And the big game isn’t complete without an epic halftime show. Take a look at this year’s performers ranked by search interest over the past year.

Most-searched 2022 halftime artists over the past year in the U.S.

  1. Eminem
  2. Snoop Dogg
  3. Dr. Dre
  4. Kendrick Lamar
  5. Mary J. Blige

Say “Hey Google” to get your head in the game

Get into the game day spirit with Google Assistant, which is ready to answer all of your questions about football’s biggest game day. Start with some of these questions that will have you sounding like a pro:

  • “Hey Google, who’s going to win the big game?”
  • “Hey Google, help me talk like a football fan.”
  • "Hey Google, Touchdown!"
  • “Hey Google, give me facts about football.”

From endzone to AdBlitz

The commercials are (almost) just as important as the game, and you can find big game ads on the YouTube AdBlitz channel. There you can stream playlists featuring the most comedic, dramatic, action-packed and inspirational commercials and teasers. YouTube lets you decide which brands scored big with their game day ad, too — and the five ads with the most views by February 20 will be given the honor of entering the AdBlitz winners’ circle.

Catch the game with Google TV

Tune into the big game on Sunday and stream everything from kickoff to the winning play with your Google TV device, other Android TV OS device or in the Google TV app on Android devices in the U.S. Coverage begins at 12pm ET on NBC and Peacock, or on the NBC channel in your preferred live TV app with a YouTube TV or Sling TV subscription.

If you’ve recently bought a new Google TV or other Android TV OS device, you can get started by enjoying six months of Peacock Premium at no extra cost (terms apply). Just head to your Apps tab and scroll down to find your Peacock offer.

Watch With Me on Google TV: Chris Paul’s watchlist

Movies and TV can make us laugh, cry and even shape who we are. Our watchlists can be surprisingly revealing. We’re teaming up with entertainers, artists and cultural icons on a new Watch With Meseries on Google TV to share their top picks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the TV and movies that inspired them.

Remember waking up on Saturday morning and catching up on the latest episode of your favorite show before it ended? Chris Paul does. Before being crowned the king of the basketball court, Chris was just another kid from North Carolina who loved watching TV with his brother. “Back then, you couldn’t record your show or get it on demand to watch later,” he says. “You had to watch it when it came on.”

TV and movies were a way for him to learn about the world. “Growing up without social media made a lot of things different,” he says. “My brother and I used to get home from school and watch movies four, five days in a row. TV gave us a fresh perspective and a way to see what our dreams could be. As I got older, I looked back and saw how these shows and movies shaped my life.”

Google TV showing the Watch With Me page with Chris Paul’s watchlist.

What does your watchlist say about you?

Chris Paul: My watchlist says that I’m someone who has watched a lot of different things, and has a pretty diverse taste. I like the stories being told and the impact that TV and movies have on you.

What’s your favorite genre?

Chris Paul: My favorite genre would be comedy. I love to laugh. The stuff that makes a good comedy are the punchlines, the characters and the storyline. I think you can naturally tell when things are sort of off the cuff… a good comedy can’t be predictable.

What are some must-watches in your household?

Chris Paul: At home, we love getting together with the kids to watch TV, whether it be movies or shows. But I had a few movies that my wife had to see before we got married – like I asked her if she had seen them and she said no. We weren't going to get married until she saw “The Last Dragon” because that movie is a staple in just culture.

What’s something you love watching that might be unexpected?

Chris Paul: I don’t just love watching comedies, I like watching horrors too. But, something that I really liked to watch, probably nobody would expect is “Below Deck.” It’s interesting to watch a reality show about people working on yachts and what their life is like.

Do you like watching TV with the captions on or off?

Chris Paul: I’m a captions-off person, but now I watch with captions on. My wife likes having the captions on and always grabs the remote to turn them on to listen and read at the same time.

Who’s your favorite person to nerd out about shows and movies with?

Chris Paul: I love talking to my brother CJ about shows and movies more than anything. And I think people probably hate when me and my brother are around because all we do is quote lines from shows and movies on the regular. No matter what it is, that's all me and my brother do.

Check out Chris’s watchlist and catch some of his favorite lines on Google TV, rolling out over the next few days. Tell us your favorites using #WatchWithMe!

CES 2022: Better together with Android and beyond

Editors note: Google planned to attend CES 2022 but pulled out due to concerns over COVID-19.

The average U.S. household had 25 connected devices in 2021, up from 11 in 2019. If you’re like me, you want to pick and choose the devices that work best for you regardless of brand. You also want to easily set up and move from one device to the next throughout your day, and without having to pull up the same song or task over and over again.

Android was built for everyone, everywhere and to give people more choice in devices, whether it’s based on the design, features or overall value. Over the years, we’ve evolved Android to support more devices in your life such as watches, tablets, TVs and even cars. And beyond Android, our work at Google includes laptops, headphones and speakers, smart home devices and much more.

That’s why we’re building on our efforts and introducing more simple and helpful ways to make your devices, from Android’s ecosystem and beyond, work better together.

Quickly set up and connect your new devices

It can be fun and exciting to get a new device — but that can turn into a headache when you start setting it up. We’re making this process a little less daunting with pairing support for more devices.

Fast Pair has already helped people connect their Android phones with Bluetooth accessories over 100 million times. It enables instant set up and device pairing, bringing up the companion app for installation and transferring your Google credentials. We’re continuing our work with partners to further extend Fast Pair’s functionality beyond audio connectivity with wearables, headphones, speakers and cars and extending it to TVs and smart home devices, so you can instantly start using all the devices in your life.

Starting in a few weeks, when you turn on your Fast Pair-enabled headphones, your Chromebook will automatically detect it and pair with it in a single click, letting you stay focused when studying or working wherever you are. If you get a new Chromebook later this year, you can use your Android phone to quickly set it up and get immediate access to all of the information you’ve already saved, like your Google login and your Wi-Fi password.

Log in credentials transferring from a side by side Android phone to a red Chromebook laptop.

In the coming months, you’ll be able to set up your headphones for when you need to watch quietly with your Google TV or Android TV OS device at home. And with built-in support for Matter on Android, you’ll be able to use Fast Pair to quickly connect new Matter-enabled smart home devices to your network, Google Home and other accompanying apps all in just a few taps.

A phone showing the process of connecting a smart bulb into the Google Home app with Fast Pair for Matter-enabled devices

Lock and unlock your devices

Today, you can already unlock your Chromebook with your Android phone to quickly get right to work. In the coming months, we’ll bring this feature to your paired Wear OS smartwatch so you can instantly unlock and access your Chromebook and Android phone or tablet when you’re close by.

A phone unlocks next to a watch face motioning through a passcode

And with a digital car key, you can now use your compatible Samsung or Pixel phone to lock, unlock and start your supported BMW vehicles from your phone. Starting later this year, on phones with Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology, you won’t even have to take your phone out to use it as a car key. You’ll also be able to securely and remotely share your car key with friends and family if they need to borrow your car. We’re working to bring digital car keys to more Android phones and vehicles later this year.

A phone over an outlined graphic of a car and an unlock motion

Complete tasks and share media across devices

To amplify your visual and audio experiences, your devices should instinctively know which of them you want to use and when. We’re building a technology for Bluetooth-enabled headphones that will enable them to automatically switch the audio to whatever device you’re listening to. So if you’re wearing headphones to watch a movie on your Android tablet and you receive a phone call, the movie will pause and the headphone audio will automatically switch to your Android phone and then switch back to the movie when you’re done. Spatial audio on your headsets will make you feel like you’re really there by adapting the sound based on your head movements, positioning the audio in the space all around you. These features will be available in the next few months on supported headphones.

A video of a movie with dancers playing on a tablet, with a phone on next to it receiving a phone call

We’re also making it easier to move and manage your content across any device. With Chromecast built-in, your Android phone already allows you to share videos to displays and TVs as well as audio content to select speakers from Nest and others. To help you cast music and podcasts you’re listening to from your Android phone to more of your speakers, we’re bringing Chromecast built-in to more brands, starting with all Bose smart speakers and soundbars in the next few months.

A phone above a Bose soundbar showing a cast connection

Whether you’re at home or on the go, we’re also adding features to Phone Hub on Chromebooks later this year that help you accomplish more across your devices. Today, you can use your Chromebook to view and respond to chat notifications, toggle Do Not Disturb, set off the ringtone to find your phone or continue browsing recent Chrome tabs. Later this year, if you’re working on your Chromebook and your Android phone is out of reach (such as charging in a different room), you’ll be able to stay in touch by accessing chat apps from your phone directly to your Chromebook –without needing to install them again on your Chromebook. We’re also excited to add Camera Roll to the Phone Hub, which makes access to your most recent photos and videos as easy as one click.

A phone receiving a text message, with the message appearing on a red laptop for responding

Today, you can already use your voice while driving to close the garage door, turn off the kitchen lights, turn down the thermostat and check if you locked the front door. You’ll soon be able to ask Google for help even before you leave the front door. With remote actions, you can use your voice to warm up and cool down your car, lock and unlock and get information (like how much battery you have left) on all Assistant-enabled devices. These capabilities are coming first to vehicles from Volvo Cars in the coming months, with more to follow.

Do more with Android and Windows PCs

For the first time with Android, we’re also focused on building for other platforms, like Windows, whether it's in gaming, productivity or other areas. For example, by connecting your Android phone to your Windows PC with Fast Pair, you’ll be able to quickly set up Bluetooth accessories, sync text messages and share files with Nearby Share. We’re working with Acer, HP and Intel to bring these experiences to select Windows PCs first later this year.

An HP Windows PC laptop next to a phone showing Nearby Share as a feature for sending files

These features will be rolling out throughout the year. Moving forward, you’ll continue to see us invest in more helpful ways for your devices to work better together.

Watch With Me on Google TV: Taraji P. Henson’s watchlist

Movies and TV can make us laugh, cry and even shape who we are. Our watchlists can be surprisingly revealing. We’re teaming up with entertainers, artists and cultural icons on a newWatch With Meseries on Google TV to share their top picks and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the TV and movies that inspired them.

You may know Taraji P. Henson from her iconic roles in “Baby Boy,” “Empire,” “Hustle & Flow,” “Hidden Figures” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” While she dominates the big screen, she’s been using her platform to promote representation. “I didn’t get into acting for fame. I do it for the lives that I can touch because representation is very important and helps build empathy for others.”

Taraji is also passionate about eradicating stigmas around mental health and believes entertainment can help bring awareness to the pain that people may be facing silently. “When I found myself doing work in the mental health field, I realized how much movies and TV help depict the struggles that others go through for us to relate to and how we should all be a little more empathetic when we’re dealing with others.”

Google TV showing Watch With Me page with Taraji P. Henson’s watchlist

We sat down with Taraji to learn more about her work and what she watches.

What does your watchlist say about you?

Taraji P. Henson: My watchlist says that I’m someone who loves to laugh and I’m always rooting for the underdog. My picks should hopefully give you insight into people’s lives and how we should open up our hearts and minds.

What’s your favorite holiday ritual?

Taraji P. Henson:My holiday ritual is watching “The Christmas Story” on repeat.

What’s your top choice genre?

Taraji P. Henson:Comedy is my top choice. I always want to laugh! And I think the best way to teach is through Comedy because you get to laugh, but you also don’t feel like you’re being preached to.

Do you have a favorite guilty pleasure?

Taraji P. Henson:I love watching reality TV, especially any of the Real Housewives franchises!

What’s one rule you have for watching TV or movies with a group?

Taraji P. Henson:Shut up and be quiet! I don't want to hear you next to me talking or crunching on your popcorn.

Who’s your favorite person to nerd out about shows and movies with?

Taraji P. Henson:My best friend since the seventh grade. She was also an art student with me, and we grew up watching the movies on my watchlist together like “Sixteen Candles” and “Beaches.”

What’s the best way to watch your watchlist?

Taraji P. Henson:Wear some comfy sweats or PJs on the sofa with the lights off. Be sure to turn the sound on loud!

So get comfy and settle into Taraji’s watchlist on Google TV, rolling out over the next few days. Be sure to share with us your favorites using #WatchWithMe!

5 ways to watch more for less with Google TV

There’s more streaming entertainment than ever — and if you want to watch it all, the cost of subscriptions can add up quickly. In fact, our research showed that 67% of TV streamers are concerned about how much they’ll pay for streaming in the future.

With Google TV, you don’t have to limit your watchlist — or break the bank. Just in time for the holidays, here are a few ways you can watch more, for less, with Google TV in the U.S.

TV showing the Google TV Live Tab with integrated Pluto TV linear channels

Free Live TV channels from Pluto TV now in the Google TV Live tab

  1. Watch free live, linear streaming TV channels on the Live tab. Starting today, we’re partnering with Pluto TV so you can access more than 300 free live TV channels on Google TV. Visit the Live tab to see what’s on now or check out the Free Live TV recommendations in the For You tab. This new integration with Pluto TV will be available on all Google TV devices in the coming weeks.
  2. Check out movies on YouTube. Access thousands of feature-length movies for free with ads from the Movies & Shows tab in the YouTube app. Don’t miss holiday favorites like “Jingle All The Way,” “Serendipity” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
  3. Try out more free Google TV apps. Head on over to the Apps tab to find a row of “Free movies & TV” apps to download, including Tubi, Xumo and Red Bull TV.
  4. Enjoy six months of Peacock Premium, at no extra cost. For a limited time, when you activate a new Google TV (or other Android TV OS device) in the U.S., you can get Peacock Premium at no extra cost. (After that, it’s $4.99 a month plus tax, but you can cancel at any time — check out all the details for more information.) You'll get everything Peacock has to offer — hit movies and shows, exclusive originals, WWE, live sports and more. Visit the For You or Apps tab after you set up your device to redeem the offer.
  5. Redeem Google Play Points for movies, shows, apps and more. If the movie or TV show you’re looking for isn't available from your services or free providers, you can rent or buy over 200,000 movies and TV episodes directly from Google TV, starting at $2.99. Whether it’s a new release or an old favorite, just search for it with your voice and click “Rent.” And with the Play Points loyalty program, you can earn points for every dollar you spend and redeem them for free Play Credits, which you can use to buy more movies, shows, books, apps and games.

And in 2022, we’ll be bringing you more ways to watch for free. In the meantime, kick back with free live TV, premium shows from Peacock and on demand movies on your Chromecast with Google TV and TVs from Sony andTCL.