Google today announced that it was bringing a pretty slick new feature to Android TV called Highlights.
If you’re familiar with the way things now look on Netflix and Hulu on the main home page after logging in, you should immediately be able to imagine what this feature is like. With Netflix, after logging in the main home page will play a cinematic highlight of featured content.
It gives the page some pizazz and really adds to the experience when streaming. It’s like having a little trailer for the TV show or film you’re about to watch. But without having to go and search for it or click a play button. Highlights on Android TV is going to be pretty similar
The Android TV Highlights feature adds cinematic playback trailers for content
With Android TV now getting this feature, it’ll be a little easier (and faster) to find content that you may want to watch.
There is a difference though between the cinematic Highlights feature and the cinematic playback on services like Netflix or Hulu. Auto-play. On Netflix for example, the featured cinematic playback content is automatic.
It plays as soon as you hover over it. It also has a mute button for the audio if you wish to disable that. With Android TV, this isn’t the case. Highlights are collections of content that are rolled up into a cinematic teaser. Google curates this content, and then serves it up to you on the homescren.
If you want to actually watch a trailer of stuff, you have to first scroll through the carousel of content and choose something. Then select that content to watch a quick teaser trailer for it. Like shown in the GIF above.
This makes it so that stuff isn’t auto-playing the moment you hit the home screen. Which is helpful if you want to avoid potential spoilers.
You can now more easily subscribe to apps through the Android TV interface
Say you wanted to check out HBO Max, Hulu, or Netflix for the first time using Android TV.
As part of the new changes Google is making, it’s now easier to subscribe to those apps and services using the Android TV interface. Subscribing was possible before. But prior to now you’d have to use your phone or use the remote and navigate around the text entry for emails and other personal information.
No longer. With Android TV there is now a subscribe and install button. This will install the app and Google will subscribe you to your chosen service using your email. It says it will handle the rest. So the process is much more seamless.
As of now this is only being piloted though. And only in the US at the moment. On top of that there are just a few apps involved with the pilot test, which includes Starz, DC Universe, and EPIX NOW. Google does mention though that more services will be added soon.