Google is in the process of rolling out an update to Android TV that adds a number of new features, including the same watchlist accessible through the company’s Chromecast with Google TV. Collectively, the update will look to improve how recommendations are delivered and how users store videos for watching at a later time.
Android TV has been around for some time now and powers many smart TVs, and streaming players like the Nvidia Shield TV. However, Google more recently launched Google TV with its latest Chromecast device. Since then, Android TV has been slowly embracing changes that help the look and feel of the user interface to more closely resemble the design of Google TV.
The latest update is a prime example of this, as the watchlist used by the Google TV platform is now set to become available on devices powered by Android TV. Once available, the user will be able to add titles to a dedicated watchlist row that’s visible on the Discovery tab of the home screen. In fact, users can actually add movies to their watchlist on many other devices, including their smartphone, and find they’ll automatically sync up with the watchlist on Android TV. Google says the update is rolling out to Android TV this week.
In addition, the update is also adding what Google refers to as “immersive detail pages.” Essentially, Android TV users will be presented with updated and more cinematic-like results, including auto-playing of trailers where available. However, users can opt to turn off the auto-play feature by disabling “video previews” in the Device Preferences section of the settings menu.
Besides the new watchlist and the more immersive video pages, Android TV users can also expect an improved recommendations experience in general. The user will be able to provide feedback by clicking left or right on a title to tell the system whether to show less or more similar titles in the future. The fine-tuning of recommendations won’t be available as standard, but can be activated through a new “Improve your recommendations” card users will see once the update arrives. Once activated, the user will be able to perform as many likes and dislikes as they want, with the system automatically updating the recommendations algorithm once finished.
Again, these features are largely already available on the Chromecast with Google TV, so for any households already using the latest Chromecast as one of their streaming devices, the changes will feel quite familiar. For those solely reliant on Android TV devices, the changes should make it easier to find and manage content in the future.