Google TV users can expect the interface to be a little rounder next year, as Google has confirmed it is making the switch from rectangular app icons to circular app icons. According to Google, the new round icons are due to arrive in early 2024.
While this may seem like a small change, it is one Google is making with a very clear purpose in mind – to provide more space for more apps. According to an Android Developers post explaining the change, there are now over 10,000 apps available on Android TV.
With so many apps available, space is a rare commodity and Google says the creation of more space will make it easier for Google TV users to find apps. Specifically, the change will apply to the Your apps row on the Home screen.
At present, Google TV tends to house about seven app icons comfortably in the Your apps row. The image provided by Google of the new design (shown above) points to around nine visible apps when using round icons, an increase of two.
In theory, this should also increase the total number of apps that are available in the Your apps row before having to click on the See all button. Speaking of which, it currently remains unclear whether this change will also result in apps located within the main Your apps section adopting the new round icon design as well.
We suspect it will, however. As this section is where Google TV users can choose the apps that are shown in the Your apps row on the Home screen, and that area is currently limited to a maximum of 12, it seems likely Google would also need to adjust the size of app icons in this section as well.
Right now, the rows in the main Your apps section are limited to six apps, resulting in two rows dedicated for prioritized apps. If Google plans to increase the total number of apps visible in the Home screen row to, say, 16, it would need to adjust the number that can fit within each row in the main Your apps section to eight. Alternatively, open up a third row to account for the additional apps.
Based on the details provided by Google, it would seem only app icons are being adjusted in this way. In other words, movie and show cards within Home screen rows will continue to use the same rectangular icons they are using today. Likewise, apps shown in the Apps tab will also continue to use rectangular icons, according to Google.