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Google releases Android 10 for Android TVs

11 Dec 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

Google has finally released Android 10 for TVs, but once again there are no new significant user-facing features. A new box for developers comes packed with HDMI 2.1.

Android 10 for TVs

Google's Android TV platform has historically been an afterthought. The company has seemingly not dedicated significant resources to the project and once again - just like Android 9 - another major Android version is released for TVs without any significant new features. Android 10 is now officially available for TVs but you will have to wait for your manufacturer to release it for devices such as Sony TVs, Philips TVs or Nvidia Shield. TV manufacturers have yet to announce availability details. The update focuses on security and performance fixes. - "Today, we are bringing Android API level 29 with the recent performance and security updates made with Android 10 to Android TV. We’re excited to provide faster updates through Project Treble and more secure storage with encrypted user data. TLS 1.3 by default also brings better performance benefits and is up to date with the TLS standard. In addition, Android 10 includes hardening for several security-critical areas of the platform," said Paul Lammertsma, Developer Advocate, Google.

Google Android TV

The most obvious change is probably the refreshed Google Play store for TVs but it is not directly linked to Android 10. You should see it on your device soon, if it is not already there. However, the approach may change in the coming years. Android TV has a new boss and she wants to "completely rethink the Android TV experience" by once again refreshing the user interface. Leaked slides also reveal that Google is planning Stadia integration and more ads. Furthermore, the company is making efforts to reduce fragmentation between Android TV devices that continue to be underpowered and run out-of-date software. Also read: Google Stadia launch plagued by issues, limitations & broken promises

HDMI 2.1 box for developers

Together with Android 10, Google has announced a new developer-focused media device called ADT-3. Apparently, it comes with an HDMI 2.1 output but appears to still be limited to 4K60 HDR, which is within the HDMI 2.0 specification.

Google ADT3

- "With a quad-core A53, 2GB of DDR3 memory and 4Kp60 HDR HDMI 2.1 output, we’ve designed this pre-certified TV dongle with updates and security patches to help developers design for the next generation of Android TV devices. By providing a way to test on physical and up to date hardware, developers can better validate their Android TV app’s compatibility," said Google. The ADT-3 device will not be available to consumers but will roll out to developers in the coming months, according to the company. - Source: Google

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