No Android TV Stadia Support Until 2020, But a "Hero" Device Might Be Coming

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Stadia support is coming to Android TV in 2020.

That's the latest information based on what appears to be a leaked Android TV roadmap. The information comes from XDA-Developers who in turn credit an IBC 2019 attendee for the leaking.

Stadia support is only one aspect of what's apparently coming to Android TV, although, arguably the most noteworthy. That's besides the mention of a new "hero" device.

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Stadia on Android TV in 2020 along with Android 11

Stadia on Android TV will likely arrive with Android 11, per the roadmap. It remains to be seen if there's a technical reason for them arriving together, but this likely means late 2020. Later than when Android 11 rolls out to Android mobile.

If Android TV changes are needed to accommodate Stadia, that might help to explain why Android TV (in its current form) does not support Stadia. In spite of Android TV coming with Chromecast built-in.

There's a mention of a "hero device" arriving in 2020. One that's responsible for "advancing next-gen smart home UX." This is an unknown entity at the moment. Taken literally, it would seem to indicate Google plans to release a Google-branded Android TV device. However, that seems unlikely considering Android TV's focus on operators and partner manufacturers.

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All that can really be derived from the hero mention is that a new device is likely to come next year. One Google will back in some way or promote as a template device for aspects like Google Lens and Live Caption.

What to expect in 2019

While most of the talk so far has been on next year, the roadmap points to plenty happening in the meantime. For example, before folks become concerned with Android 11 they will need to see Android 10 rolling out on Android TV devices.

So far, Google has yet to announce Android 10 for Android TV although it is understood to be well underway behind the scenes. Based on the roadmap, Android 10 for Android TV will be available before this year is done.

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In addition, Google appears to be working on a more customized version of Google Assistant for Android TV. The takeaway here is wider use, and in some cases, device-specific commands. Specifically, commands related to operator-tier devices.

The rollout of a new-look Google Play Store for Android TV will also take place this year. Google already confirmed a new Google Play Store for Android TV was coming and now we have a better idea of when.

For 2019, there's also a reference to a turnkey OTT device. This is likely the Android TV stick that we already heard about at IBC 2019. Basically, an Android TV dongle that will be available to operators to use as their own 'TV stick.'

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Bonus Android TV content

If all that's not enough, the roadmap also points to some of the things Android TV users can expect with Android 12. In other words, in "2021 and beyond." Although in reality, most of these points are more general (and to be expected) improvements.

For example, the hero device is mentioned once again albeit along with a "program" reference. This would seem to further point to the third-party nature of the hero device. It might also mean Google will brand or credit certain devices as being different. Maybe, more Google-approved than others?

2021 and beyond will also bring further advancements to the operator tier Assistant feature mentioned earlier. As well as improvements to lower the time and cost it takes to bring devices to market, and lower platform fragmentation.

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On a last note, Google anticipates, or at least – hopes, there will be up to 10,000 Android TV apps available by 2021 (and beyond). That will be up from the 8,000 Google is aiming for by the close of 2020. Which, in turn will be up from the 5,000 Android TV apps goal for the end of 2019.

A goal Google had previously confirmed as reached.

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Editor-in-Chief

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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