Android TV now has more than 110 million monthly active users (MAUs), Google revealed on Thursday at its annual developer conference. The company has announced a slew of new features and tools coming to the next versions of Google TV and Android TV, all aimed at improving performance and quality, while improving accessibility and enabling multitasking. While Google hasn’t revealed the release date of Android TV 13 yet, the company recently provided access to the second Android 13 beta for Android TV ahead of Google I/O 2022.
According to a post on the Android Developers Blog, Android TV and Google TV are currently available on devices from over 300 partners globally – 7 out of 10 smart TV OEMs and over 170 ‘pay TV’ (or subscription television) operators. accounting for. According to the company, Android TV OS now has over 110 million MAUs and offers over 10,000 apps. Google is also encouraging developers to integrate platform features such as the WatchNext API (Application Programming Interface) into their apps.
As part of the Android 13 update for Android TV, developers can use Audio Manager to ‘guess’ audio routes to better understand which playback modes are available. The company is also bringing improvements to multitasking in the form of an updated picture-in-picture (PIP) API, which uses the same API as Android smartphones. Google first introduced official support for PiP mode with Android 8. With the new, updated PiP mode, users will be able to use an extended mode that shows more video from a group call.
Android TVs will also get support for docked mode, to prevent PIP windows from sitting separately to the edge of the display for content in other apps. Meanwhile, the ‘keep-clear’ API will let developers specify critical parts of full-screen apps that should not be covered by PiP windows. On the accessibility front, the OS will add support for various keyboard layouts, including QWERTZ and AZERTY, and users will be able to enable audio description in all apps.
With the upcoming Android 13 update, users can expect to see profiles of users and children, allowing personalized recommendations for each viewer. The update is also expected to bring support for using the smartphone as a Google TV remote and controlling the volume, using the phone’s keyboard or activating Google Assistant. Users will also be able to seamlessly cast content to Google TV, a feature that has been supported on Android TV via Chromecast.