Android 12 for TV devices is ready and will make its way to the first TVs later this year, says Google. New features include refresh rate switching and a 4K user interface.
Android 12 for TVs
Google released the finished version of Android TV 12 to developers in late 2021 and in a new blog post the company has provided an update on the roll-out.
- "Android 12 will begin appearing on TVs later this year, so now is the time to begin evaluating your app for compatibility," said Paul Lammertsma, Senior Developer Relations Engineer at Google.
It is unclear which devices Google is referred to. 2022 Android TVs and Google TVs from Sony, Philips and TCL will launch on either Android 10 or 11, as confirmed by the companies to FlatpanelsHD. Google is rumored to be working on a new Chromecast dongle but the statement refers specifically to "TVs".
FlatpanelsHD has already detailed what is new in Android TV 12 including support for refresh rate switching (apps must be updated), a 4K user interface (up from 1080p), privacy and security updates, and other tweaks.
The new match content frame rate menu in Android TV 12
In the blog post Paul Lammertsma provided more details on how refresh rate switching will work, implying that Android 12 also supports for HDMI VRR/QMS for seamless media switching without black screens. The TV must also support it.
- "Refresh rate switching allows apps to instruct TV panels to switch between different frequencies, such as multiples of 24, 25 and 30Hz. If your video content was for instance created at 24 fps, then your app can ensure smoother playback while simultaneously allowing for fluid UI animations by switching to 48Hz or 120Hz on supported panels," he explained. "Some panels support HDMI 2.1 VRR for seamless refresh rate transitions without any visual interruptions (like showing a black screen for a few seconds), and Android can inform you of these through getAlternativeRefreshRates()."
Google added that Android TV 12 will also include a new accessibility options menu to allow the user to adjust the size of the text on the screen.