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Android TV owners protest over autoplaying ads on the new homescreen

29 Jun 2021 | Rasmus Larsen |

Many owners of Nvidia Shield and other Android TV devices are mad about autoplaying ads on the revamped Android TV homescreen. In protest, they are review bombing the app listing.

Ads on Android TV

In February, Google announced a revamp of the Android TV homescreen to make it look more like Google TV. It has started rolling out to Sony TVs, Nvidia Shield, and other devices in multiple regions. The new homescreen features 'cinematic highlights' for movies and TV shows from partners such as Disney+, regardless of whether the user has an active subscription plan or not. Users argue that these are essentially ads for new content, some of which have autoplaying video and audio. Users are not happy about it and in protest many Nvidia Shield owners have started review bombing the Android TV Home app, which is down to 1 star on Google Play based on over 1000 reviews.
Old Android TV (left) and new Android TV (right)

Coming to more devices

Users are also irked by the fact that the new homescreen is being snuck onto Nvidia Shield – a premium streaming device – through an automatic app update rather a voluntary system update. On Reddit, users have started sharing tips on how to tone down the cinematic ads (Preferences -> Home Screen -> Disable video/audio previews) or replace the Android TV homescreen launcher entirely. Amazon's FireTV user interface has a similar ad spot, but as some users point out Nvidia Shield was sold a premium device without ads. Samsung TV owners also complain about increasingly obtrusive ads on premium Smart TVs. The new Google TV-like homescreen will come to more Android TV devices in the near future. Google has stated that its plan is to fully replace Android TV with Google TV by 2022. - Source: Reddit

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