Google’s Android TV app was ahead of its time when it was released in 2014, but somehow it didn’t catch on with users.
Instead of presenting a row of app icons for different video providers, Android TV offered a row of recommendations from different apps. The arrangement was intended to allow users to find something to watch without leaving the home screen.
The idea of presenting applications from multiple video service providers has caught on in recent years, leaving Google TV looking dated and dusty.
That’s set to change later this year with Google’s Android O update. The new version of the mobile operating system will include an overhauled Android TV that is more committed to displaying links to individual movies and TV programs right on the home screen.
What makes the new version of Android TV better is that it presents its recommendations in rows. (Google refers to the rows as “channels.”) Channels might consist of NBA games, HBO movies, trending videos from YouTube, and so on. Each video app can have multiple channels, which means, for instance, that the app from Ling TV might have separate channels for live and on-demand programs.
The new Android TV even includes a "Watch Next" row that pulls video suggestions from across different apps.
Users can customize their displays by arranging channels in any order they like and by hiding unwanted channels.
Netflix, which does not interact with Android TV’s current recommendations system, intends to offer a recommendations channel for Android O.
|Image Source: Rob Bulmahn (Flickr)|