When a new version of Android launches, it’s usually a big deal, at least when it comes to phones. That’s not the case with Android TV as version 12 has now officially launched but it doesn’t matter to anyone but developers since the only device that it’s available on is the ADT-3 Developer Kit. Google’s own flagship Andoird TV device, the 2020 Chromecast, is still running Android TV 10 with no indication that it will be updated. Similarly, the newest Amazon Fire TVs are based on Android 9 and have also shown no indication of being updated. Read more ›
Last week, Google announced that user profiles were finally coming to Google TV devices next month. TW Electronics, the manufacturer of the Google-designed G10 remote that many Android TV devices have been shipping with, has revealed in a tweet that manufacturers can actually select whether they want to include a user profile button in place of the bookmark button that has been on all G10 remotes so far. Read more ›
Anker has released its new Nebula 4K Streaming Dongle box running Android TV 10, as spotted by 9to5Google. The device uses Google’s reference design, which means it shares identical specs with Walmart’s Onn 4K box and many other streaming devices. What is mind boggling is its ridiculously high price of $89.99, which is triple the price of Walmart’s streamer, despite being practically identical in every aspect. Read more ›
A new Nintendo Switch game console was announced this morning that swaps the 6.2-inch LCD screen on the existing model for a 7-inch OLED screen, among other upgrades. If you’re unaware, Nintendo Switch models are closely tied to Nividia Shield TV models because they are the two primary consumer devices that use Nvidia Tegra X1 processors. When Nintendo announced new Switch models in 2019, it was only a short time later that new Shield TV models appeared. Here’s what today’s announcement of a new top-end Nintendo Switch model might mean for future Nvidia Shield TV models. Read more ›
Nvidia Shield TV owners are upset at the recent addition of ads on their home screen but, while owners of the Chromecast with Google TV have always had ads, they too have reason to be upset. Google TV on the home screen of the 2020 Chromecast has switched from a slideshow of static image ads to autoplaying video ads, according to 9To5Google. Thankfully, you still have to pause for a bit on the banner ad before videos begin to play, but highlighting the ad banner happens often since it sits between the navigation menu and the app row. This behavior of autoplaying video ads, when highlighted, has been the norm on Fire TV devices, but unlike on Fire TV devices where you can completely turn off all video ads, there is no way to stop the new video ads from autoplaying on Google TV.
The Nvidia Shield TV has received an update that changes its classic Android TV interface to the new Google TV interface with ads. The Shield TV’s new interface isn’t the full-fledged Google TV interface found on the 2020 Chromecast, but, rather, it’s the partial Google TV interface with only some aspects of Google’s revamped interface for Android TV devices. One of the few aspects the new interface carries over from the Chromecast to the Shield TV are large ads at the top of the home screen which have upset Shield TV owners enough to flood the Google Play Store with negative reviews that have plummeted the Android TV Home app down to a 1-star rating. Read more ›
Here is a round-up of the top deals on streaming devices across all major brands that are currently available. Included are deals on Fire TV devices, Android TV devices, Roku devices, and Apple TV deals. While I’m certainly partial to the Fire TV deals, there are certainly some others that a worth considering. Read more ›
The Tivo Stream 4K, the companies first Android TV streaming device, has a foggy future. The company first hinted at abandoning the product to focus on TVs running Tivo software, but then backtracked to say they are still supporting their streaming dongle and plan to release a successor. While the future of the Tivo Stream 4K is unknown, one thing that’s certain is that the price is dropping like a rock in what appears to be a fire sale to clear out inventory. Read more ›
Walmart’s first Android TV streamer, the Onn UHD Streaming Device, hit shelves last week and I did a quick overview of what it has to offer. While the hardware is impressive for the price, the software has numerous issues resulting in incorrect color output and a remote that can’t control some TVs, like it’s supposed to be able to. This week I ran the little streaming box through a few benchmarks to see how it stacks up to every Fire TV, Firestick, and Fire Cube, as well as several Android TV devices, including the 2020 Chromecast, Tivo Stream 4K, and Nvidia Shield TV. Read more ›
Nvidia has announced that the Apple TV app is now available on Shield TV devices. Taking a look through my assortment of Android TV devices shows that it’s available on all of them, including the Tivo Stream 4K, Walmart Onn UHD Streaming Device, and Mi Box, so, it seems like the app is now widely available on most Android TV devices. Google announced last year that the Apple TV app would be coming to Android TV devices, starting with the 2020 Chromecast. The Chromecast received the app in February and now others have received it. Read more ›
Walmart’s 1080p Android TV streaming stick, which leaked a couple of months ago, has now popped up on their website, as spotted by @AndroidTV_Rumor. The Onn FHD Streaming Stick, as it’s officially called, is priced at $24.88 and comes with the same Google-designed G10 remote as Walmart’s Onn UHD Streaming Device. While it’s not yet available to purchase, we do now know a bit more about it. Read more ›
It turns out that Walmart’s Android TV Onn UHD Streaming Device is just a rebranded Dynalink Android TV Box, which is itself actually just Google’s ADT-3 developer reference design that is manufactured by Askey. I didn’t know it when I was reviewing Walmart’s box, but several helpful commenters lead to that realization. Running AIDA64, which lists hardware details, on the Onn streamer does show that it is manufactured by Askey. It also lists the model number as “sti6140d360” which differs from the Dynalink box’s model number by just one digit. Read more ›
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Walmart has released the Onn UHD Streaming Device, which is their first 4K Android TV streamer using their Onn house brand of electronics. The most impressive thing about it is its price, which is $29.88, making it the least expensive 4K streaming box from a well-known company. Even more impressive, considering the price, is that it comes with the Google-designed “G10” remote that has voice capabilities and TV controls. Check out my unboxing video above, where I compare the remote to numerous other popular remotes from Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, and more. Then read on for a full overview of Walmart’s first attempt at streaming hardware.Read more ›
Just like all major streaming platforms, Android TV has had a remote app for some time. At today’s Google I/O conference, Google announced that those remote control capabilities will now be built directly into Android phones. The new built-in version gains some improvements over the existing stand-alone app, such as a Google Assistant button and TV control buttons. The new remote will roll out to Android devices “later this year.” Even though the Fire TV is based on Android, it is highly unlikely that this new built-in Android remote will be able to control Fire TV devices, so you’ll need to stick with the Fire TV’s Remote App if you want to control Amazon’s streaming devices with your phone.
Earlier this week, the future for streaming devices from Tivo running Android TV seemed bleak. CEO Jon Kirchner revealed in an earnings call that the release of the Chromecast with Google TV has caused the company to shift its focus towards embedding their software into TVs. While some priorities may have changed, Tivo has told Jared Newman over at TechHive that it’s not done with streaming hardware and that we should expect new Android TV dongles from TiVo. Additionally, Tivo says they will continue to improve their current Tivo Stream 4K dongle.
It’s looking like the Tivo Stream 4K streaming media player dongle will likely be Tivo’s last Android TV device, as originally reported by Zatz Not Funny, and Google’s own Chromecast with Google TV dongle is to blame. In Tivo’s quarterly earnings call, CEO Jon Kirchner explained that they had planned to use Android TV as the core OS for their own interface and eventually work up to its own OS. Now that Google has shifted Android TV into being a more content-focused UX with the Google TV interface, Tivo is shifting its focus directly into its own OS. Read more ›
A new FCC filing has appeared, first spotted by @AndroidTV_Rumor on Twitter, for a new streaming stick using Walmart’s Onn house brand. Walmart sells Android powered tablets and Roku powered TVs/soundbars under the Onn brand, but this appears to be their first stand-alone streaming device. The Onn streaming stick looks to be a 1080p device that will run Android 10. Read more ›
Google’s streaming platform has gained a few notable apps during the last week. An Amazon Music app is now available on multiple Android TV / Google TV devices, including the NVIDIA Shield TV and the 2020 Google Chromecast. IMDb TV and Apple TV apps have also recently arrived but, unfortunately, those apps are only available on a very limited set of devices. The new Chromecast with Google TV is compatible with both apps, but popular Android TV devices, like the Shield TV, are not compatible yet. Google did say that the Apple TV app would be coming to “more devices powered by Android TV OS in the future” so the app is not going to be exclusive to the Chromecast. There’s no word on whether IMDb TV will be available on more devices in the future.
Google is releasing an update to Android TV that makes it look a lot more like the new Google TV interface found on the 2020 Chromecast. This update essentially reskins the existing Home screen of Android TV now have a tabbed navigation menu and a large banner at the top for featured content. While this update isn’t going to bring all the new features of the Google TV interface to Android TV devices, it does add some new capabilities, like a new Discover menu for finding popular and trending content. Read more ›
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, Google TV
While Amazon and Roku are neck and neck for stand-alone streaming media player dominance, the same is nowhere near true for smart TVs, where Fire TV Edition TVs lag way behind Roku, which says it was the best-selling platform for smart TVs in 2020. Meanwhile, Sony continues to be all-in with Android TV for its smart TV platform of choice and has revealed that its 2021 TVs will run the new Google TV interface which is currently only available on the Chromecast with Google TV. Read more ›