Besides new features like Gboard TV, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and instant apps, Android 11 for TV will have support for third party game controllers.
Android 11 for TVs
In a blog post, Google confirms that Android 11 for TV adds support for third party game controllers including Nintendo's Switch Pro controller (Bluetooth and USB) and Valve's Steam controller (USB).
- "Android 11 adds support for third party gaming controllers including Nintendo Switch Pro controller (and) Steam controller," said Google.
Google's own Stadia controller also works, despite the Stadia service still not being officially available on Android TV. Earlier this year, XDA-Developers found references in Android 11 to a total of 84 new controller mappings for Xbox, Razer, Mad Catz, and others, so it is likely that Google's gamepad support for Android TV will be far more expansive once Android 11 arrives. Google and Sony removed Android TV support for PlayStation DualShock controllers after PlayStation Now was discontinued on the platform.
Google has previously detailed other new features coming in Android 11 for TV, including HDMI ALLM, cinematic ads (see above), instant apps (see below), a Gboard TV keyboard with speech-to-text and predictive typing (see below), performance improvements, and a new 'Subscribe and install' option in the Google Play store.
The Android TV operating system is used in select TVs from Sony, Philips, TCL, Hisense, Panasonic, Xiaomi, and Sharp. It is also used in media players such as Nvidia Shield and Xiaomi Mi Box.
When will Android 11 be available on your TV device? Well, it may take a while considering that Android 10 has yet to reach the popular Android TV devices out there. The first TV device with Android 11 could be an upgraded 'Sabrina' dongle that Google may announce on September 30, 2020.