Google TV Gaining User Profiles & Improved Ambient Mode

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Google TV is set to gain user profiles soon offering the option to personalize the viewing experience. In addition, Google has confirmed that ambient mode will also see some improvements through the addition of more information that might be of use to the viewer. Similar to the user profiles, the ambient mode upgrade is also designed to offer a more personalized experience overall.

Google TV is the company’s latest version of Android TV with a much greater emphasis on search and discovery. At present, Google TV is only available on select devices, most notably Chromecast with Google TV as well as some Sony and TCL TVs, but it is expected to become more widely available as time goes on. Google TV has been receiving a few updates lately, with one of the most recent examples being the addition of Philo as an option that can be shown in the ‘live’ tab. This saw Philo join the Google TV ranks along with Sling TV and YouTube TV.

Soon, Google TV users will be able to make use of profiles to improve the experience. Currently, everyone using the same Google TV-enabled device are subjected to the same recommendations, but once a user profile is created for each household member, they will only see recommendations based on their personal interests. As Google explains, this will also mean that each user profile comes with its very own watchlist, further helping to personalize the experience. The same is true when seeking information from Google Assistant, with the answers expected to be more acutely tied to the profile.

Besides user profiles, Google also confirmed that ambient mode will see some improvements as well. When the system enters an idle mode now, the user is typically presented with artwork or images from their Google Photos account. Following the update, this same idle screen will be able to provide additional information, such as the weather or sports scores. Once again, this will be tied and personalized based on the user profile. These information cards will also be actionable, allowing the user to click on them. For reference, the same image-only mode will still be in use, it will just take a few additional minutes before it is automatically enabled with the various user-related cards shown in between.

Google did not specify exactly when user profiles or the ambient mode improvements will go live, but did say this will happen soon. For reference, while user profiles will be available on compatible Google TV devices everywhere, ambient mode’s glanceable cards will initially only be available to users in the US.

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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