Android TV’s makeover puts Google Assistant front and center

Image: raymond wong/ mashable

Android TV is getting a much-needed makeover subsequently this year complete with Google Assistant, courtesy of Android O.

The new user interface is not just prettier, but must be able to applied content , not apps, front and middle a trend we’ve received from other streaming TV programmes like Amazon’s Fire TV.

“We’ve been on the market now for two years with Android TV and so we tried to take a step back and construe what works and what doesn’t wreak, ” remarks Sascha Prueter, chairman of Android TV. “Where is the user experience not as good as we wanted it to be? “

“One of things we realized was we needed to make it easier for customers to get to their content. There’s more and more content can be found at more and more informants, and so it gets more and more complex for customers to actually find all the right content. What we witnessed was consumers don’t miss time a big directory of apps and then jump into every app to be determined if it has the content they want.”

Refreshed UI puts content first

The new Android TV boundary is divided into several sequences. At the top is a row for apps, but you won’t find every single app you’ve lay there time your favourites that you pin there.

Below that is a “Watch Next” row designed for binge-watchers, Prueter says.

“An app can say OK, I know this user has watched the first two episodes and it’s very likely the next happen they want to watch is the third escapade, so they can mostly applied a ‘Watch Next’ here and the user will be able to continue watching where they left off.”

The rest of the sequences below “Watch Next” are video apps that can be pinned and expose different kinds of content. For speciman, the Netflix channel exposes recommended pictures based on what it once knows about your viewing practices, and the YouTube app exposes tending videos based on your profile.

Prueter was especially evoked to tell me that the thumbnails for show content aren’t static, but consist of short-lived teaser trailers. The previews aren’t is restricted to on-demand video content, but work with live content as well. “We witnessed in our testing and research … we witnessed plenties and plenties more engagement with this type of video previews.”

Other nifty visual toucheslike how the boundary background changes based on the selected contentshow Google’s paid attention to the details.

I also got to take a look at how 360 -degree videos work on Android TV. Spoiler alert: Kinda meh. To pan around, you use the directional pad on your remote. It’s no better than squandering a mouse to sound around 360 -degree videos on your computer. When I queried Prueter if people actually missed those videos on their TV, he said there is more demand for live 360 -degree content, like concerts.

Talking to your TV

The interface revamp searches good. The new Android TV is simpler and easier to navigate, but the real star of the makeover is Google Assistant.

Assistant support was announced at CES and some TV makers like Sony said their TVs would be controllable by Assistant subsequently this year, but it’s been pretty quiet since.

It’s still scheduled for start on Android TV subsequently this year, and it cultivates pretty much as you’d expect it would. In information, it’s very much like the Alexa-powered Westinghouse/ Element TV I made a look at recently.

With an “OK Google” command, you can play pictures, check the climate, exploration Google, verify your smart dwelling and more. And because Assistant is contextually informed, it can respond to follow-up inquiries without repeated “OK Google” prompts.

The limitation right now is you have to speak into a tone remote to trigger Assistant, but in the future you’ll simply talk immediately to your TV. Though he wouldn’t share specific details or spouses, Prueter remarks Google’s once working with companies to build far-field tone acceptance engineering right into TVs.

The future of TV watching is coming and it’s clearly articulated it’ll be voice-controlled.

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