The Google I/O developer conference is going on this week. This is when Google shares some of the new features coming to Android. As is usually the case, phones are getting the most attention, but Google has shared a few new features coming to Android TV with the P updated later this year. The changes include better performance for low-end devices, an easier initial setup process, and improved settings.
The first thing Google highlighted about the next version of Android TV is its improved performance on low-end devices. Existing devices running Android TV should feel a little snappier if they get updated to Android P. That’s a big “if” because theirs no guarantee any existing Android TV devices will be updated to Android P. The NVIDIA Shield TV has yet to be updated to the current latest version of Android, Oreo, and the Mi Box just recently starting receiving Oreo. Realistically, Android P’s performance improvements are probably tailored towards future budget TVs running Android TV as their OS.
Most of the improvements announced for Android TV version P have to do with making the setup process easier. The OS will try to detect nearby Android phones and prompt the user to use their mobile device for setup, instead of the on-screen keyboard and remote. For non-Android devices, Google says they’ve improved the sign-in process for Android TV when using a standard browser.
During the setup process, Android TV will now suggest apps to install by seeing if there are Android TV equivalent apps to the ones you already have on your Android phone. You’ll be able to check off which apps you want to automatically be installed after setup completes, which will save you from searching the Play Store for those apps later.
Once the initial setup process is complete and you begin launching apps, Android TV will offer to automatically log you into apps on Android TV by pulling your login credentials from the mobile Android device you used during setup. The example Google gave showed the Nest app being launched for the first time on Android TV P and a one-click auto-login option appearing on the app’s login screen.
A final change shown by Google for Android TV version P are suggested settings that appear at the top of the settings panel. The example shown was a suggestion to log into your Google account on the device if the user chose to skip that during setup. This is another feature tailored more towards televisions than streaming devices because a television running Andoird TV can still be used without a Google account.