Android TV Gets A ‘Free TV Channels’ Home Screen Shortcut

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Android TV is getting a new Free TV channels app shortcut, offering device users in the U.S. another way to access a wide range of live FAST channels directly from the Home screen.

Over the past year, Google has slowly been increasing the number of free channels that Google TV users have access to. Back in August, for example, more than 25 new free channels were added to Google TV. This was also following a much larger update in April that introduced a new live TV experience, along with the ability to browse more than 800 free TV channels.

While Android TV users don’t have access to quite as many channels, over 115 of them can now be accessed through the new Free TV channels app shortcut that’s being added to the Favorite Apps row on the Home screen. According to Google, the new shortcut began rolling out yesterday (Dec. 5) and will continue to roll out to devices over the next few weeks.

Earlier this year, Google rolled out a Live tab on Android TV devices, similar to the one available on Google TV devices. According to Google, the Live tab is still the best way to access the full live TV experience on Android TV.

For even more free TV, The Live tab remains your one-stop destination for exploring a wider range of free content from more providers, including Pluto TV, Tubi, Plex, and Haystack News.”


When it comes to Google TV, there’s less of a need for such a noticeable shortcut app, as the interface already integrates a good amount of live channels. Not only does Google TV suggest live programming in the main recommendations row, but it also houses dedicated live TV rows, such as Free live TV and Free live news & opinion.

Presumably, one of the reasons for introducing this new Free TV channels app shortcut is to help bring more attention to the available free channels, and especially considering Free TV channels is far more descriptive of the free experience than Live.

John Finn
John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
X: @J_Finns

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