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Android 13 for TV Announced: Check Out The New Features!

Highlights

  • Google has announced Android 13 for TV today
  • No major updates to the UI
  • A developer-focused update, with most of the changes affecting developers

Google has launched the latest iteration of its Android TV OS, the Android TV 13. This new upgrade for Android-powered televisions brings many new features, such as improved performance, more customisations, and many underlying changes.

Google announced Android 13 for TV in a post on the Android Developers blog and had this to say about the announcement: “Android 13 adds further customizations to improve the user experience and increase compatibility with TV devices. Some of the highlights for this release include performance and quality improvements and continued advancements to how users interact with Android TV.”

Android TV 13 practically looks the same as Android TV 12, as it is focused more on the behind the scene changes. The changes are targeted primarily at developers, so even if you update your TV to the latest version, you might not notice any difference from the previous version.

Media & Power

Android 13 brings new APIs for controlling media and performance. Here are the changes:

  • Apps can now identify the routed device and supported formats before making an AudioTrack.
  • Users can set the preferred resolution and refresh rate for supported HDMI source devices.
  • Improved power management brings down the power consumption on standby.

Input Control & Accessibility

The following changes are to the inputs, privacy and accessibility. Privacy-focused changes such as hardware mute switches are welcome changes.

  • The system privacy controls reflect the hardware mute switch now.
  • User controls for Google Assistant microphone access on the remote have been updated.
  • Global preferences for audio descriptions have been added across apps.
  • New Keyboard layouts API allows different layouts for different languages for external keyboards.

HDMI & Tuner

These changes focus on developers and don’t mean much on the front end.

  • Handling of HDMI device state changes on source devices has improved.
  • Improved language selection for HDMI source devices.
  • HAL 2.0 tuner has been implemented with performance enhancements, a twin tuner and ISDB-T multi-layer support.
  • A framework for interactive TV is added to the Android TV input framework.

When will you get Android TV 13 update?

The latest version of Android TV is available for developers as of now for both ADT-3 and the Android TV emulator. Developers can test it on either the Google TV interface or the regular Android one.

This is the final version of Android TV 13; it has been available in Beta previously. It is one step closer to a consumer launch. Google has yet to reveal when the Android TV 13 will be delivered to regular users. Which we assume will take some time because Google announced this new version on the Android Developers’ documentation and not the usual consumer-focused web pages.

Android TV updates need to be pushed by the manufacturers, and most TV manufacturers are already behind on the Android TV update schedule. We can only hope that the situation changes now that Google is more focused on Android TV and Google TV.

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