What you need to know
- Google has unveiled a bunch of new updates coming to Google TV and Android TV.
- Later in 2022, the Google TV app will support casting content from Android phones to TVs.
- On smart TVs, picture-in-picture will display videos from a group call and prevent overlaying content from other apps with a new docked mode.
On the second day of Google I/O 2022, the search giant announced a host of improvements for Google TV and Android TV with the goal of improving the operating system's accessibility and multitasking support.
First off, Google will enable the Google TV app to cast movies and shows directly from Android phones to smart TVs. The Mountain View-based tech giant didn't share more details about the new app feature, noting only that those will be revealed closer to launch. Google says the new capability will roll out in late 2022.
That said, it's possible that the upcoming change will simplify the process of casting your favorite shows or movies, even without a dongle like the Chromecast with Google TV.
Currently, the Google TV app allows you to cast content from a mobile device to your TV through many of the best streaming devices powered by Chromecast.
Android 13 is also set to usher in a bunch of new features and tools for developers to improve their apps' accessibility and multitasking capabilities. On the multitasking front, Google is updating the picture-in-picture API to support an expanded mode that displays more videos from a group call.
There's also a docked mode, which prevents overlays from concealing content when apps are in full-screen mode.
Google is also making Android 13 more accessible by including support for different keyboard layouts. As a result, different physical keyboard layouts, such as QWERTZ and AZERTY, will be supported. According to the company, this will make it easier for users to interact with their TV.
On top of the new feature announcements, Google also shared a few key metrics for Android TV's growing presence in living rooms. The search giant revealed that Android TV is now available on more than 110 million monthly active devices, including millions of Google TVs.
The number of apps available on Android TV-powered devices is also growing, with Google stating that there are currently over 10,000 apps available, with more being added on a daily basis.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.