For those that missed the news, Android TV 13 has now been retired by Google. As a result, no images are expected to be made available, and this means that no Android TV devices are likely to be upgraded to Android 13. Instead, those devices will now jump straight to Android TV 14.
The problem for Android TV devices that originally launched on Android 10, Android 13 was expected to be their final update. Google only requires Android TV device-makers to provide two major OS upgrades over the course of three major OS releases. Basically, Android TV 10 devices are required to be updated To Android 13 if they skipped either Android 11 or Android 12.
While this would suggest that the retiring of Android 13 for TV means those devices won’t get another update now, that doesn’t appear to be the case. According to Mishaal Rahman (a trusted source on these things), impacted devices will now be eligible for an upgrade to Android 14, ensuring they still get two major OS upgrades.
Conversely, this change might result in Android TV devices launched on Android 11 getting one less update opportunity. According to Rahman, while Android 10-launched devices will have the Android 13 update replaced with an Android 14 update, Android 14 will remain the final update for Android 11-launched devices.
Another caveat is Operator Tier devices. There are a number of linear TV companies that use Android TV to power their branded set-top boxes and devices, with DirecTV’s Gemini lineup a prime example. Again, according to Rahman, users of Operator Tier devices launched with Android 10 are likely to find Android TV 12 is their final upgrade.
Of course, Android TV users that are eligible for an Android 14 upgrade shouldn’t get too excited just yet. Google has only just released the first Android TV 14 beta, and the stable version is likely to be some time away.
Not to mention, device owners will ultimately have to wait on the individual manufacturer to push Android TV 14 out to its devices.