Thanksgiving is just about here and while having to plan who you will be seeing over the holiday, you might also be planning on what you will be doing with those people to pass the time. This is where it is worth taking a moment to consider how Android TV might be able to help out. This is a platform that has grown over time and one that is now even more capable than ever.
This time last year we noted a tip for Thanksgiving was to cast an Android phone while connected to a Daydream View headset. Providing those around you with an opportunity to get involved in some VR action with you. At the time however, this was not really a supported feature of Daydream View and more something you could make happen. A lot can change in a year though and when Google announced its latest version of the Daydream View, it also announced Cast support. So if you have picked up a new Daydream View headset recently then this is certainly something you might want to consider to help pass the time this year. For those that don’t have a Cast-supported headset, the tip from last year might be a workaround.
Whatever the holiday, YouTube is likely to be of use. Whether you are looking for some funny Thanksgiving videos to watch when the family is gathered, some music to have on in the background, or just something to pass the time for the kids, YouTube pretty much has it all, and is always going to be something which is best consumed on an Android TV device.
Then again, if you and your friends and family are more into live TV and newer content then it might be time to give YouTube TV a try. This is one of the latest services to emerge from Google and provides viewers with the option of consuming live TV as well as a fairly good selection of on-demand content. In particular, YouTube TV is proving to be very good for sports so if you are a sports-focused family, then this is likely to be the right streaming service for you. YouTube TV is a paid service and does cost $35 per month however Google does offer a one-week free trial with no commitment - so signing up now will get you through Thanksgiving without having to pay.
Keeping the kids busy
Android TV is a great option for keeping younger family members entertained during the day. Not only are there devices like the NVIDIA SHIELD which offer an enhanced gaming experience in general, but pretty much every Android TV device is capable of being used as a gaming machine to some degree and with the wealth of games now available from the Google Play Store there is likely to be plenty of games ready to play for every age group. You might have to swap out the gaming pad for the remote control but it will be sufficient enough to keep those younger viewers happy for an hour or two.
While YouTube TV is good for the daytime and as background during the main festivities, once the day is mostly done and it is time to sit down and relax with friends and family, what better way than with a movie? There are of course plenty of options available when it comes to movies although Netflix is by and large going to be one of the more common ones. Boasting a large user base and a large selection of content to match, Netflix offers a wide-ranging selection to chose from so there is likely to be more than enough choices to suit all family members watching. If all else fails, turn to Stranger Things.
This one is a little less traditional and certainly won’t be for everyone but Google Assistant has now started arriving on Android TV. Yes, it is of course available on your phone, and maybe even a number of other devices you own, but the TV having it is a nice touch. Whether you want to the TV to guide you through cooking a turkey, setting up a watchlist for the background, or just telling you a thanksgiving joke, the Google Assistant is here to help and something to keep in mind. This could even make for an interesting game of Trivial Pursuit, have someone ask another family member a question and let Google Assistant provide the answers when needed.
Regardless of what you are planning to do during Thanksgiving 2017 Android TV will probably be able to assist in some way or another. It is a great platform and one which is constantly getting better, with 2017 seeing a number of major improvements having come through enriching the service overall. Above all else - have a happy Thanksgiving.