Google has announced the latest version of Android TV through the Android Developers Blog. Android TV 11, like its mobile counterpart, is a fairly modest update. The update seems to focus mainly on gamers, including an auto low latency mode and support for more types of controllers.
Android TV 11 should offer the same under-the-hood improvements as the mobile version. This includes improved performance and memory management, plus new privacy features such as being able to grant one-time permissions for apps. It will be possible to try apps before downloading, as has been possible for a while in Android for mobile devices. In addition, from this version users can make payments with a pin code. Other minor improvements are related to the Gboard app and security update push-through.
It should become easier for developers to test their apps. There will be a special ‘test harness mode’ in the operating system to perfect the operation of apps. In addition, the Android TV Emulator will be able to use the Play Store. That gives developers the opportunity to keep a close eye on their apps during the development process.
Improvements in the interface in Android TV 11
As it was was announced, the Android TV 11 interface will adapt to personal preferences. The home screen also gets a wider focus on content, such as movies, series and apps. A distinction is made between automated recommendations and sponsored content. It will also be made easier to make payments, such as for subscriptions to services such as Netflix.
Google also wants to use it HDMI-CEC protocol simpler. This is implemented in different ways by different manufacturers, thus losing the purpose of the protocol. That goal is to make different devices work together. By supporting certain versions on all Android TVs including Android TV 11, fragmentation of the protocol should be prevented.
Improvements for gamers
A number of useful functions will also be available for gamers. First of all, the number of controllers supported will be expanded to include Nintendo’s Switch Pro controller and Valve’s Steam controller. In addition, there will be an auto low latency mode (ALLM). This mode disables image editing functions built in by manufacturers as much as possible so that games can be played more smoothly. ALLM is normally part of the HDMI 2.1specification, but is available on most higher end TVs with HDMI 2.0.
When the update is rolled out to suitable televisions differs per manufacturer. Many recent TVs are even still on version 9 of Android TV, so an update can take a long time. We will probably see the latest version for the first time on a new device from Google with the code name ‘Sabrina’. This spiritual successor to the Chromecast Ultra will most likely during it Google event will be revealed on September 30.