Google has injected a new cinematic slideshow above the top row of apps in the Android TV interface to make it easier to find content you might like. It will contain curated TV show, movie, and app recommendations from Google, as well as sponsored content. Google says that “each source will be clearly labeled on the content, giving users transparency,” so that users can differentiate between curated recommendations and paid advertisements, and that it will contain only media and entertainment-related content. If you pause on one of the items, it’ll start playing a preview, like how Netflix’s TV app does.
Recommending popular, relevant content and apps will probably be useful for most people, but some likely won’t be too thrilled to see giant ads at the top of their home screen.
The other update arriving on Android TV is a reworked subscription flow that makes it easier to subscribe to paid subscriptions, like TV streaming services. Where you’d normally have to grab your phone to complete the process, or painstakingly use a TV remote to fill out your credentials, the new addition lets you authorize the payment and automatically set up a subscription by linking your Google account from Android TV with just a few clicks.
Android TV doesn’t commonly see too many updates, so why now? There’s never a bad time to add some quality-of-life features, but based on rumors, Google could be getting things in order for its next streaming device. We’ve covered the leaks for a device, codenamed “Sabrina”, that allegedly runs Android TV instead of operating just as a Google Cast-ready device and includes a remote with Google Assistant functionality. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but either way, Android TV just got a little better today.