Over the past few weeks, there have been a few noteworthy new announcements and devices for Android TV and Google TV. Nvidia’s Android TV 11 update for the shield TV seems imminent. There are several new budget 4K streaming sticks and dongles, all using basically identical specs, about to be released. Google will be making Bluetooth headphone pairing a lot easier for a subset of streamers and headphones. Read on for a quick roundup of notable news regarding Google’s streaming platform.
- Xiaomi has announced the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K running Android TV 11, the older Android TV interface, not the newer Google TV interface. This is the new 4K version of the company’s Mi TV Stick, which never gained much traction due to it being overpriced and underpowered. The new 4K version uses an Amlogic S905Y4 2.0 GHz quad-core CPU and Mali-G31 MP2 GPU with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. As a nice surprise, it does support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, which many similar streaming sticks lack. The Xiaomi TV Stick 4K is not yet available to order, so the pricing and release dates are unknown.
- Very similar to the Xiaomi stick, MECOOL has announced the MECOOL KD3 4K streaming stick. It too uses the same Amlogic S905Y4 2.0 GHz quad-core CPU, Mali-G31 MP2 GPU, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage as the Xiaomi stick, but it appears to only support HDR10+ and HDR10, so there is no support for Dolby Vision. What it does have over the Xiaomi stick is Andoird TV 11 running the newer Google TV interface. While MECOOL’s site says the new stick is sold out, it actually hasn’t yet been available to order, so the price and release date are unknown.
- T-Mobile has released a new TVision Hub streaming dongle for $50. The device runs Android TV 11 with the newer Google TV interface. Once again, the same Amlogic S905Y4 CPU and specs as the other two devices above are being used, however, this dongle, interestingly, has a built-in Ethernet port. As it is sold and branded by T-Mobile, it is likely meant to be paired with a possible upcoming TV service from T-Mobile.
- Google has announced that Android TV and Google TV, combined, now account for 110 million active devices. That’s an increase of 30 million devices since the last figures the company report in May 2021. This figure includes everything from OEM Android set-top boxes distributed by cable/satellite companies, of which there are many, to Android Smart TVs, to standalone consumer devices like the 2020 Chromecast and Nvidia Shield TV.
- Google has announced that support for Google Fast Pair Service (GFPS), which currently works on select phones and tablers, will be coming to Android TV and Google TV devices in the coming months. This allows for compatible headphones, like Google’s Pixel Buds, to automatically pair to the streaming devices when the same Google account is used. Google has not said which devices will get the feature, but TCL has announced that it will be coming to its newest smart TVs running Google TV.
- The Android TV 11 update for Nvidia Shield TV devices appears to be very close. Release notes detailing the update were found online, but have since been removed by Nvidia. Along with the update to Android 11, version 9.0 of the Shield TV OS update will add an IMDb TV app, an iQiyi app, support for the highest quality cloud gaming through GeForce Now, and Dolby Vision support in Apple TV and Google Play Movies.