Google is introducing new developer features for Android TV that will ultimately give users a better experience. That's based on a recent developer blog entry from the search giant. Of course, not every change is going to directly impact users on the UI side. But at least a few of them will. And they should make a big difference.
This is what's new for end-users
The most obvious changes, of course, are going to be to the Google Play Store on Android TV itself. For starters, Google is introducing Google Play Instant on TV. So, when developers implement the feature, users will be able to try out titles and apps before they download them. That'll work almost identically to how it does on Android mobile devices.
When users do get around to purchasing content, that'll be easier too. And that's on two fronts. First, Google is enabling PIN code-based purchasing. So users won't need to enter their password every time they buy something.
Beyond that, the company is making typing on Android TV easier, to begin with. New speech-to-text and predictive text features, alongside other improvements, are being made to the on-screen Gboard for Android TV. Among the changes, the company is adding new layouts for the keyboard for quicker, more intuitive typing.
The final change users are likely to notice will appear in games due to a change under-the-hood. Namely, it's introducing a new "Auto low latency mode."
With the mode enabled, developers can disable post-processing and reduce latency automatically. That'll happen whenever a game app is displayed fullscreen.
What else is improving for Android TV?
Coming in alongside a plethora of other user-facing features, those additions should make the entire Android TV experience even better. But there's some decently-impactful alterations coming behind the scenes too.
For example, it's adding an Android TV Emulator with Play Store support. That will enable a more seamless test process, including for subscriptions. The biggest benefit will be a reduction in the timeframes required for testing and the need to test on real-world devices. But that should also help reduce issues from device-to-device for end-users.
Finally, a new set of improvements to the Leanback Library will improve app navigation and compatibility.