Google is rolling out 'App Hibernation' and 'Android App Bundle' to reduce how much storage apps take up on Google TVs as well as various performance improvements to speed up the interface.
The updates were announced by this week for all Google TV devices including Chromecast, Google TV sticks, and TVs from Sony, TCL, Hisense, Philips and others.
In November 2022, Google detailed its transition from APK (Android Application Package) to the new Android App Bundle (AAB) format, which means that an app gets sliced into smaller parts to reduce the install size, depending on the device (smartphone, TV etc.) and the type of app (streaming, game etc.), with a May 2023 deadline for developers to move to AAB.
Android app bundles are now live on the Google Play Store on Google TV where it is "reducing the size of the apps by roughly 25%", according to Google.
Also read: Google wants Android TV partners to increase storage capacity
Google TV previously gained a 'Free up storage' option in the Settings menu.
How app bundles work compared to the old APKs
In addition, Google TV is getting 'App Hibernation' which is a new feature that will automatically make apps inactive on the homescreen when not used for over 30 days to free up space. This feature requires Android 12 on a Google TV device.
Google says that these new storage features have already been applied through a server-side update on eligible Google TV devices.
Google is also rolling out various performance improvements to Google TV devices. This is good news as Google TV devices tend to run on quite slow hardware.
- "We reduced the time it takes to wake up your Google TV, the response time between your TV and button clicks on your remote, and the amount of time you see the loading animation when rebooting your device. These improvements are already rolling out to your devices and will help you get to your content faster."
It is not clear if the performance improvements will require a system update or if it is an automatic server-side update to Google's apps running on Google TV, but either way Google says that the improvements are already rolling out globally.
Google teased that it has more updates planned for later this year. Hopefully, this includes the smart home controls and fitness features mentioned in 2022.
In 2023, additional manufacturers will start to transition away from Android TV to the Google TV interface on TVs and streaming devices.
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