Android TV 13 launches with accessibility and performance improvements

Android TV home screen
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Android 13 is now being rolled out to the Android TV operating system.
  • It is said to help developers bring engaging apps to enhance the TV-watching experience.
  • The new update has improved APIs and accessibility settings to achieve that.

Google has announced the release of Android 13 for Android TV. The latest version gets new APIs to help developers bring high-quality experiences to users across devices with their engaging apps.

The Android 13 update should make the TV-watching experience more adaptive, allowing users to interact, discover and customize accessibility features. In addition, it has improved performance and accessibility, the company suggested in a press release.

AudioManager API, which usually delivers access to volume and ringer mode control on an Android TV, is said to improve with the new update. It will enable developers to choose the best format without starting playback by anticipating audio attribute support for the active audio device.

Users can now change the default resolution and refresh rate for the HDMI sources they usually connect, like Chromecast with Google TV (HD). Moreover, the update will help future TV dongles and other HDMI devices save power by pausing content whenever the connected HDMI state changes.

Android 13 for Android TV also brings new Accessibility and Input controls that promise to make interaction with TV more adaptable, as mentioned earlier. It includes the updated Input Device API, which will now support different keyboard layouts. To accommodate them, game developers can refer to keys by their locations.

Further, your app can query the new system-wide audio description preference setting thanks to a newly built API in Accessibility Manager in the latest update. It enables developers to automatically deliver audio descriptions per user preferences.

Looks like Google is bringing significant changes to Android TV and the Google TV experience with the newly announced Android 13 update. That said, it may be some time before the update arrives on consumer devices like the Chromecast with Google TV dongle.

For now, the new release is now available for both ADT-3 and the Android TV emulator, allowing developers to test on either the Google TV interface or the standard Android TV interface.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.