Posted by Ben Serridge, Director of Product Management – TV Platforms and Dan Aharon, Product Manager
Today we announced a significant milestone for our team at Google I / O 2021: We have over 80 million active devices per month on Android TV OS, with growth of more than 80% in the US alone. We wouldn’t be here without the hard work of the developer community, so a big, big thank you to all of you.
Android TV OS is the operating system that powers a number of devices around the world, including the new Google TV experience that launched last fall. Google TV has generated tremendous excitement among consumers, developers and industry partners alike, delivering a content-forward TV experience that allows users to discover more of the movies and shows they love. Google TV is available on streaming devices such as Chromecast with Google TV, Smart TVs from Sony (and soon also TCL!) And as an app on Android devices. This presentation will show you how to prepare your app for Google TV.
Our goal is to always enable you to create better and more engaging experiences on Android TV OS. An example of this is the widely used Watch Next API, which increases app reintegration by ~ 30% in certain cases1. Well over 100 large media partners already use the WatchNext API. You can find more information on adding your app here.
We’re also announcing several new tools and features to help make development for Android TV OS easier and enable you to deliver engaging experiences for your users. Some are already available, others will be available soon:
- Cast Connect with Stream Transfer and Stream Expansion: With Cast Connect, users can cast from their phone / tablet or Chrome browser to your app on Android TV. Stream Transfer and Stream Expansion allow users to transfer media to other devices and / or play audio on multiple devices.
- Emulator updates:
So that your app works better on Google TV without the need for new hardware, we are now making our first Google TV emulator for Android 11 available. An Android 11 image will also be available with the traditional Android TV experience. You can now also use a remote control that more closely mimics TV remotes right in the emulator.
- Firebase Test Lab:
Firebase Test Lab runs millions of tests on behalf of developers every week. At the request of developers, we’re happy to announce that Firebase Test Lab is adding Android TV support. Firebase Test Lab virtual devices run your app in the cloud on Android TV emulators, allowing you to scale your test to hundreds or thousands of virtual devices. Physical devices will be available soon.
- Android 12 Beta 1:
We’re making Android 12 Beta 1 available for television today on ADT-3. With this release, the developer community can take advantage of many of the changes and improvements that come with Android 12. We encourage you to try it out and give us feedback.
Thank you for your continued support for the Android TV OS platform. The future of television is bright and we can’t wait to see what you build next!
1 Average increase in the number of days active in the app over a period of 28 days among the 28DAUs of the app, based on 3 apps analyzed in the period 11/2020 – 2/2021.