What you need to know
- The Google TV app for Android could soon receive a major update.
- Google is working on adding a remote control feature to the app.
- Once the feature rolls out, users will no longer have to use the standalone Android TV Remote Control app.
Google is rolling out a new update to the Google TV app, which was previously called Play Movies & TV. While the latest Google TV v4.25 update for Android only brings stability improvements and bug fixes, a teardown performed by the folks at 9to5Google suggests the app could soon gain a useful new feature.
The teardown reveals the feature will soon allow users to pair their phone to an Android TV and use it as a remote control. Google is working on adding a directional pad, enter and back buttons, as well as a system to pair your phone and Android TV. Since the feature currently appears to be in the early phases of development, there is no way to enable it in Google TV v4.25.
Currently, the only Google app that lets you connect the best Android TVs from your phone is the Android TV Remote Control app. However, the app has been abandoned by Google, and it hasn't received a new update since 2017. Similar to the original Android TV Remote Control app, the Google TV app will connect to your TV through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to start the pairing process.
The feature is likely to begin rolling out to users with a future update of the app through the Google Play Store, although it remains unclear exactly when that might happen. It also remains to be seen if the Android TV Remote Control app will be discontinued once Google TV gains remote control functionality.