If you are planning to see in the new year at home this year then it might be worth including Android TV in the proceedings. Over the past year the platform has grown substantially at the software level with a number of new apps and features now available. Ones which can cater to just about every event, including the countdown to 2018. Here is a quick overview of some of the apps and features you might want to make use of during this year's celebrations.
Set the musical tone with Google Play Music
In the buildup to the ball dropping, and especially for those who might be having a few friends over, Google Play Music can be an excellent mood setter. While you can create your own custom playlist to have on in the background, Play Music does also come with a number of its own playlists and catering to all music tastes. Best of all you don't necessarily have to have a Play Music subscription to make use of some of the radio-like features on offer with Play Music, although a subscription does open up the doors for much greater access, control and content.
New Year Countdown Wallpapers
The Google Play Store is full of wallpaper-themed apps so users can customize their device experience to match the occasion, whether it be Halloween, Christmas, or of course, New Year’s Eve. That said, when it comes to Android TV most of the app choices are not compatible. That is, except for ‘New Year Countdown premium’ as this one is showing support for a variety of Android TV devices. As to be expected with an app like this, users will be able to station a countdown timer on the screen for everyone to see, as well as choose between a selection of fireworks-themed backgrounds. This is not a free app (there is a free version available although it does not support Android TV) but the price is only $0.99. So this might be one worth paying for if you really want to theme your Android TV device this year.
Gaming with friends and Jackbox
The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is an app which can be downloaded on most Android TV devices and will instantly offer up a number of games which can be played on the TV with up to 8 different players. These games are largely designed as ‘party games’ and so will be a nice addition to those homes which will be a little busier over New Year’s Eve with friends and family. This is a paid-for app however as it does cost $24.99 to download. Although the games will have a high reuse factor and should be good for any additional parties you host throughout the year. For those less interested in the game selection on offer here, Jackbox does offer three other ‘party packs’ to choose from.
Watch the ball drop with a TV streaming service
Of course, when the time comes for the ball to drop, it is always nice to actually watch the ball drop in NY and even if you are not celebrating the new year on Eastern Time. To do so, you will want access to at least one of the major networks as ABC, CNN, FOX, and more will be hosting New Year’s Eve specials and showing the ball drop when the time comes. For those without a cable TV subscription the likes of YouTube TV and DIRECTV NOW are the way to go. Both come with a free trial so you can sign up and enjoy all the NYE celebrations without having to pay anything.
YouTube can help in different ways
YouTube is one of those catch-all apps that can help in just about any instance and occasion. Whether you are looking for some funny videos to entertain a crowd, music videos to play in the background, or even how-to help videos to assist with preparations for the evening's festivities, YouTube will be able to help. So like any occasion, YouTube is always one of those apps to keep in mind during this year's New Year’s Eve.
Don't forget to invite the Google Assistant
This last one is not quite an app per se but if you own an Android TV device that has been updated to support Google Assistant then this can be a major help during this year’s New Year’s celebrations. If you are planning on continuously pouring the drinks and engaging with friends and family, then Google Assistant will be able to help massively with controlling the TV, as well as other smart products that are connected to the Assistant. All of course, by voice. Not to mention, if you hit a slow point in the evening, Google Assistant is pretty good at telling jokes too. So consider Google Assistant an extra person to invite to this year’s party.
Above all else, and whether making use of Android TV, have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve.