Google TV home screen update makes your apps more accessible

Google has announced a small but welcomed update to its Google TV home screen. The biggest change is the switch from rectangular to circular icons for the home screen’s “Your apps” row. While aesthetically differentiating app icons from the rectangular content icons, it also has the added benefit of increasing the number of visible apps from seven on the old design to nine on the new design. Comparatively, Fire TVs only show six app icons on the home screen.

Google has also made reordering apps and adding new apps to the home screen’s “Your app” row more intuitive with the addition of new “reorder” and “add apps” buttons. Currently, you have to just know to long-press on an icon to bring up a menu for managing app icons. Without any indication the hidden menu exists, novice users likely had no way to know the row could be customized, which the addition of the new buttons will likely resolve.

Google is also adding a “Free TV Channels” shortcut to the “Your apps” row to make it easier to get to the built-in ad-supported channels on Google TV devices. Those channels are currently accessed through the “Live” tab, but the new button gives a more direct way of loading them. This button appeared on Android TV devices still using the older interface last year and now it’s being added to Google TV devices as well.

This update is said to be rolling out now but it might be a while before you see it on your device. That’s because Google says the update will be rolling out “over the next few months.”

5 comments
  1. LDBetaGuy says:

    I’m curious if the new circular icons will also appear in the “Apps Only” mode on Google TV.

  2. Gabriel Leontine says:

    I think it’s also time for a redesign and reorganization of the Fire TV’s home screen, the applications and shortcuts squeezed into the center of the screen amid banner advertisements and recommendations are already dated. They could at least relocate the input shortcuts, Live and My Stuff. If only 9 app shortcuts could be visible on the home screen, that would be great.

  3. Keith says:

    I kinda always preferred Google’s UI going back to when it was android tv.
    Only problem is they have a tendency to just kill shit. But at least with Android you have choices so there will always be android tv from Nvidia and others

  4. alisamarku says:

    thr hrthr

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