A better home screen and Google Assistant are coming to Android TV — all things announced at I/O in an effort to persuade you to adopt the platform.
There was a bevy of exciting announcements revealed during the keynote at Google I/O 2017, but one of the quieter sleeper hits was the news that Android TV would receive a much-anticipated makeover. In a lengthy blogpost, Google expanded on some of the enhancements and how it plans to make its Android-based living room platform worth adopting into the home:
The new Android TV home screen organizes video content into channels and programs in a way that’s familiar to TV viewers. Each Android TV app can publish multiple channels, which are represented as rows of programs on the home screen. Apps add relevant programs on each channel, and update these programs and channels as users access content or when new content is available. To help engage users, programs can include a video preview, which is automatically played when a user focuses on a program. Users can configure which channels they wish to see on the home screen, and the ordering of channels, so the themes and shows they’re interested in are quick and easy to access.
The top of the new Android TV home screen interface will also include a quick launch bar with your favorite apps, as well as a Watch Next channel, which exists to help you find just that. The latter will feature programs and shows that are based on your own viewing habits, so it should theoretically become more accurate in its suggestions overtime.
Google Assistant is also making its way over to Android TV later this year. You’ll be able to use it in the same manner that you do with a smartphone or Google Home when it arrives and it will launch first in the U.S. on Android devices running Marshmallow, Nougat, and Android O.
If you’re a developer curious to get into the trenches, Google’s set up an entire Android TV Developer page on Google+ for your edification.