Here’s how Android TV 13’s new expanded Picture-in-Picture features work

Earlier this year, Google indicated that Android TV 13, the upcoming version of its TV operating system, would include expanded Picture-in-Picture (PiP) capabilities as one of its main user-facing changes this year. Google expects the new feature to be used by video conferencing apps and security camera feeds. At Google’s annual Google I/O developer conference this week, the new features were demoed for the first time. Read more ›

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Amazon strangely begins taking pre-orders for th 2020 Chromecast in the U.S.

Amazon is now, oddly, listing the 2020 Chromecast as a pre-order item that will be released on May 13, as spotted by 9to5Google. The model number on Amazon’s page matches the Chromecast with Google TV that was released near the end of 2020, so it raises the question why is Amazon just now listing the old device and, more strangely, taking pre-orders for it, no less. Read more ›

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Android TV 13 adds new Low Power Standby Mode to reduce power consumption

As more is being learned about Android 13, specifics about what the update will be adding to Android TV are being uncovered. We already know that Android TV 13 will expand on the operating system’s Picture-in-Picture capabilities and now it looks like it will also add a new low power standby mode, as spotted by Esper (via Phone Arena). The new mode goes beyond the standard standby mode in existing Android TV devices to further lower power usage when the devicew is not in use. Read more ›

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Android TV 13 looks to gain Split-Screen Video with expanded Picture-in-Picture features

Android TV 12 is still not out and slated to be released “later this year,” but information about possible Android TV 13 features are starting to emerge, thanks to a deep dive of Android 13 changes by Esper (via AndroidPolice.) It appears as though Android TV 13 is expanding on how the platform handles multiple video streams with the removal of Picture-in-Picture (PiP) video aspect ratio limitations and new positiioning controls. There are also new options for docking PiP video for side-by-side viewing in a Split-Screen orientation. Read more ›

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Apple TV app on Android TV & Google TV can no longer make purchases

Apple has updated its Apple TV app for Android TV and Google TV devices this week and has removed the ability to make purchases within the app. While all content within the app is still available, trying to purchase, rent, or subscribe to anything now informs you to make the transaction on a mobile device first. According to John Gruber on Daring Fireball, this change is due to the expiration of a special exemption given by Google to Apple to bypass in-app purchase fees. Read more ›

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Google said Android TV 12 will begin rolling out ‘early’ this year but then changed it to ‘later’ this year

Google has posted to its Android developer blog an outline of some of the new features found in Android TV 12 that it wants developers to be aware of. The features explained are ones we’ve already known about and include Frame Rate Matching, Text Scaling, and 4K Interfaces. At the end of the article, Google mentions that Android TV 12 is available as a developer preview for its ADT-3 developer kit and, more importantly, says that Android TV 12 will “begin appearing on TVs later this year.” When the blog post was first published, it said that Android TV 12 would “begin appearing on TVs early this year,” so, the fact that Google felt the need to change the wording of the post is an indication that it’ll still be a while before the next version of Android TV is available on consumer devices.

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Nvidia releases Shield TV update to fix the numerous issues caused by Android 11

A 9.0.1 software update will begin rolling out to Nvidia Shield TV and Shield TV Pro devices to address several issues caused by the 9.0.0 update. That update moved Shield TVs from an OS based on Android 9 to one based on Android 11. Google made many changes to how Android handles file permissions in Android 10 and Android 11, and those changes wreaked havoc when they arrived on the Shield TV earlier this year. Nvidia has released several optional hotfixes that needed to be installed manually since then, but this new 9.0.1 update is the first one to automatically roll out to all devices. Nvidia says that it “resolves Plex Media Server issues, fixes storage permissions on media player, file browser, and emulator apps, and fixes stutter when playing interlaced content,” as well as numerous other fixes.

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Nvidia Shield TV issues caused by Android 11 update can be fixed with manually installed updates

Earlier this month, Nvidia rolled out an Android 11 update for the Shield TV. Unfortunately, the update has been a hot mess for a lot of people. Bugs in the update have broken app file access and Plex Server capabilities, to name a few. Nvidia has released 3 separate hotfixes for these issues, so far. These updates have not been pushed out to devices yet, so you’ll need to install them manually if you don’t want to wait for the public release. However, be aware that these fixes come with several caveats, like not being able to roll them back, not allowing you to watch HD HomeRun DRM channels, not allowing Disney+ to be installed, and others. Proceed with caution or sit tight for Nvidia to finish fixing all the issues and push out a public non-manual update to everyone.

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Next Google Chromecast will reportedly be a cheaper 1080p device

Rumors of a new Chromecast streaming device from Google have begun to surface. 9to5Google reported last weak that the next Chromecast is currently in development and is codenamed Boreal, but didn’t provide any further information. Now Janko Roettgers from Protocol, who has a good track record for insider information, has been told by a source that the new Boreal Chromecast device will be cheaper than the $50 Chromecast released in 2020 because it will only support 1080p video and not 4K. Read more ›

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Nvidia Shield TV update to Android 11 begins rolling out

After several hints leaking regarding its inevitable arrival, the Android 11 update for Nvidia Shield TV devices is now rolling out. Shield Experience 9.0, as it’s officially called, is coming to all Shield TV models, including the original 1st-gen devices released in 2015. While the update makes very few customer-facing changes, its real value is in stretching the longevity of Shield TVs even further by ensuring app developers don’t stop supporting the device due to it running an old version of Android. Read more ›

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