Android/Google TV News Rundown: 16GB storage minimums, Nest/Fitbit Integration, Tivo TVs, & Software Updates

Over the last few weeks, there have been several newsworthy bits of information about Android TV and Google TV devices. Here’s a roundup of that news, which includes insight into new internal storage minimums, Nest, Fitbit, and Wear OS hardware integration, Tivo’s more into Smart TVs, and various software updates.

Google recently had a closed-door meeting with TV manufacturers that revealed some interesting insight into the future of Android TV and Google TV smart TVs, according to Janko Roettgers from Protocol. For starters, Google wants future smart TVs running its OS to integrate with fitness trackers to enable interactive video workouts. This would allow you to see real-time data, like heart rate and burned calorie counts, from Fitbit and Wear OS devices on the TV. This capability is said to roll out on 2023 at the earliest.

Google also wants smart home devices to integrate more closely with Android TV and Google TV devices. The plan is to allow easier access to smart home controls and security cameras, perhaps like Amazon has done with the Fire TV’s Smart Home Dashboard. Google also wants its TV OS to integrate directly with Nest speakers so that they can be used as wireless speakers for your TV, much like the Fire TV’s ability to create a home theater grouping with Echo speakers. Lastly, Google wants to add its Fast Pair tech to Google TV so that its Pixel Buds can quickly connect. That may come as early as this year.

Google also talked about suggested minimum hardware requirements for future Android TV and Google TV devices that will run Android 13. Google wants manufacturers to support Bluetooth 5.0 and have a minimum of 16 GB of internal storage. While Amazon’s most recent streamer, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, was launched with only 8 GB of internal storage, there hasn’t been a Fire TV Smart TV released recently with less than 16 GB of internal storage, so we might finally be seeing the end of 8 GB devices.

While the above features aren’t expected to arrive anytime soon, 9to5Google recently discovered that Google is edging a lot closer to its promise of adding free ad-supported channels to Google TV devices. A recent update to the Android TV launcher contains code for this upcoming change and hints at the addition of 50 channels. These channels are expected to be integrated directly into Google TV without needing to install any apps.

Moving on to Tivo news, we’ve known for over a year now that Tivo is planning to shift its focus away from devices running Android TV, like its Tivo Stream 4K dongle, and toward its own OS that will run directly on smart TVs. NextTV is now reporting that Tivo has reached an agreement with a “leading tier 2 provider that makes multiple TV sets under multiple brands” for its new embedded OS. The new OS is said to be based on Vewd OS, formerly known as Opera TV, which Tivo’s parent company Xperi acquired. The new TVs and TV OS is expected to be released sometime next year.

As for existing Android TV and Google TV devices, 9to5Google reported that Google recently listed an August 2022 update for the Google Chromecast with Google TV as “coming soon.” Unfortunately, that update has since been changed to September 2022, so it’ll be a bit longer for the next Chromecast udpate. Walmart, on the other hand, has recently pushed an update to its Onn streaming devices, as spotted by Reddit user BennyBennyliu. The update just adds three months worth of security patches, which brings the device up to using Google’s May 2022 security patches. This now makes brings Walmart’s device up to par with Google’s Chromecast as far as security updates are concerned.

Lastly, Nvidia pushed its Shield Experience 9.1 update to its Shield TV devices about a month ago. With this update, the Shield TV is now capable of automatically switching your TV into low-latency/Game mode when playing a game. Nvidia also added a night listening mode to the Shield TV which levels out the device’s audio so that loud explosions are quieter and quiet dialog is louder.

8 comments
  1. Cody says:

    How well does this work “Fire TV’s ability to create a home theater grouping with Echo speakers”? I have a Fire TV 4k Max and one Echo in my living room. I guess I’d need a 2nd on the opposite side to get stereo.

    • It works well enough. It’ll sound better than most TV speakers, but I’d say even a cheap soundbar would be better than using Echos. That is, unless you have a pair of Echo Studio speakers, which can rival most cheap soundbars. Be sure to see if your Echo speaker is compatible here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=GYYMWGZJUK28FEN6&tag=aftvn-20

    • Leroy says:

      Now is a good time for a fun rant. Amazon’s Home Theatre setup is not too great imo. I hate to say it, but it’s true. I’ve stuck by Echo/FTV for a while, waiting for their team to get their shit together. Volume issues/connectivity issues all the time. There’s always one or more devices that isn’t working. I never know what devices need a reboot.A lot of times I end up having to delete everything and pair again. Frustrating.

      Been using Home Theatre for about two years now. I’ve used 2 studios and a 4K stick. Then I ended up using 2 (gen 3) echo cans with the echo sub along with a fire stick max….which actually sounds better than the 2 Studios.

      I have a solid network, so I’m assuming that’s not the issue. I’m about to sell all my devices and jump ship back to Airplay 2 technology (which isn’t much better) or a similar technology.

      I will say that the ARC technology built into the fire stick max is pretty nice….when it works.

      Also, one last thing. A 2.1 Echo Stereo pair (or 2 Studios) by itself works and sounds pretty good. But once you incorporate the fire tv, it seems that volume is reduced by 15 percent and I have the connection issues.

      • ‍☠️ Pirate Pete ‍☠️ says:

        Firestick are the AOL of streaming devices . Straining wheels if you will. It’s time to upgrade and you can then use your firestick as a door stopper like everyone else

    • Jeff says:

      To use Amazon’s home theater feature, all three devices need to be on the same network. If you run a VPN app on your firestick, like IPVanish, NordVPN or others, your firestick is no longer on your local network. You’ll lose audio every time your VPN is active. I have a pair of echos and firestick 4K and was frustrated and aggravated till I figured out what was going on.

      As Elias mentioned, an inexpensive sound bar is probably a better way to go.

  2. Winston Smith says:

    So, they want your exercise apps etc to integrate with fitness trackers to enable interactive video workouts with your Telescreen which is connected to the internet, next they will want the Telescreen to include a camera so the apps can check your posture etc…
    Hmmmmm, reminds me of a book entitled 1984, Big Brother is not only watching, he is checking your heart and pulse and posture.
    Maybe I’m just paranoid, it strikes deep, into your mind it will creep.

  3. Rik Emmett says:

    16GB of internal storage is essential on a Fire TV because developers are disabling the ability to install apps on external storage.

  4. Anthony Rossetti says:

    Android TV/Google TV are 2 of the biggest out of control trash fires
    and Google ASSistant is the biggest trash fire of them all.
    They don’t even support cameras over 480p on Android /Google TV
    there is no driver, so if you want to use duo you are stuck with 480p for video calls no matter how good your web cam is
    and there are no basic apps like Google photos for example
    Google is the dumbest and most autistic and obtuse tech company on the face of the GD planet they have no idea what people want and they just DGAF anyways.
    They just work on stupid S like duplex that nobody gives 2 S’s about.
    their assistant is pants on head retarded and Google home SUCKS, their smart home control SUCKS , their voice recognition accuracy SUCKS and has taken a huge nose dive recently, and they just keep on making it worse and worse, all Google ever does is make things worse and worse and break things and remove useful features.
    They have now even removed the upload dates from YT videos FFS!
    WTF is wrong with these people? they really are just too stupid to deserve life at this point. They RUINED YouTube and EVERYONE HATES THEM, so much so that they have to disable all comments and remove dislikes on all their videos like YouTube rewind and Susan’s channel because they receive nothing but well deserved hate.
    not even cancer is hated more than Google, even AIDS is even more popular at this point.

    How about a Google photos app for Android/Google TV.
    How about a voice assistant that can actually do something useful
    like being able to make a duo video call by voice and be in a resolution higher than 480p.
    How about an option for having duo calls ring through on Android/Google TV and an option for switching the TV on through CEC when a call is incoming.
    How about being able to ask the assistant to show you your photos AND VIDEOS from Google photos on the TV
    how about not removing every useful feature from Assistant/Google home
    like the ability to make phone calls ( now it says you can’t call local businesses because it says you need to add everything to your contacts first like I want to add businesses to my contacts, and even calling from contacts is broken now too).
    How about bringing back trusted voice unlock for android phones so the assistant can be used hands free and is not a 100% useless worthless POS that requires you to take out your phone and unlock it for every single request.
    How about not disabling both location services and life 360 integration from Google home so I can no longer ask my Google home hub where family member is and have it tell me and show me a map on the screen.
    How about not breaking the IFTTT integration with no migration path and making all of my applets not work any more.
    How about not making a new IFTTT API that doesn’t even have replacements for most the applets the old API had.
    How about not removing custom responses from the new IFTT API.
    How about not being complete and utter morons with your heads stuck completely up your rear side .

    HEY GOOGLE,
    ANNDORID SUCKS
    CHROME SUCKS
    YOUTUBE SUCKS
    ASSISANT SUCKS
    HOME SUCKS
    FIT SUCKS
    G BOARD SUCKS
    ANDROID AUTO SUCKS
    ANDROID TV SUCKS
    GOOGLE TV SUCKS
    STADIA SUCKS
    CHREOMBOOK SUCKS
    PIXEL SUCKS
    AND YOU SUCK

    INB4 “Sir. this is an Arbys”

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