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Android TV: Google’s Santa Tracker Is Worth Checking Out

December 18, 2015 - Written By John Anon

This is the last Friday before Christmas. A week today and the big day will have arrived and everyone will be be busy opening their presents and preparing the dinner. That said, you don’t have to wait until the day arrives to get into the festive spirit. You may remember back at the start of December Google released their Santa Tracker application. This is something the company does every year, bringing with it a ton of Santa and Christmas related goodies.

Well, if you have yet to check it out, then you should and especially if you own an Android TV device. As well as the Santa Tracker being accessible from the site and from your mobile, this year you can also access it from any Android TV device, with a dedicated Android TV optimized app. And in truth, Android TV is probably the best way to use the Santa Tracker – as not only is the app optimized, but it is one which works extremely well.

The app itself is full of Material Design throughout and instantly does bring that Google and Android feel. While the content won’t be for everyone, the app offers a number of kid-friendly games and videos. In particular, the game aspects is what works great on Android TV devices. Most of the games are an endless style of game so you are good to play as long as you can keep up and when testing, all games worked flawlessly with the SHIELD Controller and Nexus Player GamePad. So on offer here, really is a great little festive gaming experience.

Likewise, although the videos are just YouTube videos, it is nice having the shortcuts through the app and watching the content on the big screen. They are short videos but do bring a touch of Android festive magic to your living room and certainly would be fun videos for all the family.

Not to mention of course, that come the big day – or more accurately, the night before the big day, the additional features like the Santa Tracker will be made active (currently locked) and if you are in need of some ‘all the family’ fun on Christmas eve, then this will be a great feature to have playing on the TV and the background while all the last-minute present wrapping and thawing of the turkey is taking place.

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On a more wider Android TV note, when checking out the app on Android TV, this was one of the first real apps which immediately makes the point of how successful Android TV could be as a platform – if developers made more of an effort to bring optimized versions of their apps across. While the Santa Tracker is available on Mobile and through the website, both of these platforms offer much more of a personal approach – you and Santa. While the Santa Tracker on Android TV literally feels like it was built for the family and has that real communal feel to it. Although the games are basic, the family will have fun playing together and taking turns, not to mention the videos are there for a quick laugh and as mentioned, everyone will be able to keep a close eye on Santa during the big night before. If you are looking for a festive app this year, Santa Tracker is definitely the one and Android TV is definitely the platform to enjoy the app on.

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