Google is rolling out a new update for Android TV that gives its smart TV OS a fresh new look — one that’s almost identical to the UI on the company’s Google TV software on its latest Chromecast.
The new interface refreshes the look of Android TV to bring it more in line with Google TV, adding scrolling carousels of featured content on the top of the menus and ditching the oversized icons for more minimalist tabs.
Google Chromecast (2020) review: reinvented — and now with a remote
The old (left) and new (right) Android TV home screens. Image: Google
That said, there are a few differences between the UI on the Chromecast’s Google TV versus the refreshed Android TV. The new Android TV menu features three main tabs: home, for quickly accessing apps and channels; apps, as a dedicated place to find your applications; and a wholly new Discover tab, which will offer personalized recommendations for TV shows and movies, along with trending content from Google — similar to the “For You” tab on Google TV.
The newly added Discover tab for Android TV Image: Google
Conversely, the Google TV UI uses that aforementioned “For You” tab as its home screen and then breaks out specific pieces of content into dedicated shows, movies, and live tabs, rather than collecting them all in one place. It also makes it easier to get to your purchase content through a library tab that Android TV lacks.
It’s still a nice-looking update, though, that helps bring Google’s disparate smart TV platforms a little more in line — even if it remains slightly baffling that Google TV and Android TV still exist as separate products with different interfaces at this point in time. (Google is still planning to offer Google TV on newer smart TVs in the future.)
The updated Android TV UI will start rolling out today on Android TV OS devices in the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, and France, with more countries promised to follow in the coming weeks.