What you need to know
- Android 13 has added a new "low power standby" mode for Android TV.
- The new feature will disable network access and limit app functions when a smart TV is in standby mode.
- Google looks to be preparing an expanded picture-in-picture mode for Android TV 13.
Although Android 13 (opens in new tab) is still several months away, two significant features for Android TV devices have been spotted, allowing smart TVs to reduce power and bandwidth consumption as well as improve picture-in-picture (PiP) mode.
Esper's Mishaal Rahman (opens in new tab) has discovered a new "low power standby" mode as part of his Android 13 deep dive (via XDA Developers (opens in new tab)). This upcoming feature will primarily restrict app operations and block network access while an Android TV device is in standby mode.
It will also disable wakelocks while a smart TV is not in use. This makes perfect sense, given that people rarely need to check notifications on their smart TVs.
However, these "restrictions are lifted temporarily during doze maintenance windows," according to Rahman. This mode should also help save some power and reduce bandwidth consumption.
Another nifty feature spotted in the deep dive is the expanded PiP mode. With Android 7.0, Google began supporting PiP on the best Android TVs (opens in new tab). Its current aspect ratio is 1.777778:1, which is optimal for displaying 16:9 content.
On the other hand, developers can customize the aspect ratio of PiP windows between 1:2.39 and 2.39:1. In Android 13, they will be able to "create PiP windows that are even longer or wider than before."
Android 13 has also picked up a new method for docking the PiP window alongside the main activity so that "both windows are fully visible to the user."
In addition to these multi-window features, Google appears to be preparing a "pseudo-split-screen mode with docked, expanded PiP windows."
The next version of Android is expected to be released in October, which means Android TV 13 could arrive a month later if Google follows the same timeline as last year.
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.
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