During today’s Google I/O presentation, the tech giant shared that it now counts more than 80 million monthly active Android TV OS devices.
Android TV OS—which has seen more than 80% growth in the U.S.—includes the new Google TV platform that launched last fall. Google TV is currently available on streaming devices like Chromecast with Google TV and smart TVs from Sony and soon TCL. Over time, all new retail devices on the Android TV OS will have the Google TV experience.
While Google works on expanding availability of Google TV, it’s making an emulator available to Android developers so they can build for Google TV without requiring new hardware. The new Google TV Emulator available runs on Android 11, along with an Android 11 image with the traditional Android TV experience, and lets developers use a remote that more closely mimics TV remotes.
The company also announced:
- Cast Connect with Stream Transfer and Stream Expansion, which will allow users to cast from their phone/ tablet or Chrome browser onto a developer’s app on Android TV. The feature also allows users to transfer media to other devices and/or play audio on multiple devices.
- Firebase Test Lab, which promises to run millions of tests every week on behalf of developers, now includes Android TV support. Firebase Test Lab Virtual Devices can run developer apps in the cloud on Android TV emulators and allow for scaling a test across hundreds or thousands of virtual devices. The company said the feature will be available for physical devices soon.
- Android 12 Beta 1 is available today for TV on ADT-3, a pre-certified Android TV dongle.
For consumers, Google is introducing an Android TV remote-control feature for Android phone. In addition to controlling playback and other functions, the app will use the phone's keyboard to enter the text when searching or entering passwords/credentials.