Philips has finally started rolling out Android 8 Oreo. The staggered roll out of the update will introduce a revamped home screen and Google Assistant in some regions.
Update 11.3.2019: Philips says that the roll-out has been resumed for 2017 and 2018 models (ending on 02 and 03), except OLED803/903. Starting sometime this week, it will also be available for OLED803/903.
Oreo for Philips Android TV
As reported by FlatpanelsHD in September, Philips was planning a small-scale roll out of Android Oreo in November. The company has now started updating TVs on a wider scale. It is a staggered roll out that is expected to be finished sometime in the first quarter of 2019.
- “The rollout will start in November and continue until the end of the year – first quarter for some devices,” Piotr Herod, Smart TV Manager at TP Vision, told FlatpanelsHD in September.
Android 8 Oreo introduces a revamped home screen based on “channels” in which app providers can highlight their content. The home screen is also more customizable and unused apps can be hidden in an app drawer. Furthermore, the new home screen introduces a ‘Play Next’ row that recommends content based on your viewing habits.
Philips TV owners on the Flatpanels forums started receiving the Android Oreo via the built-in update function last week and this week. In September, Philips said that it would prioritize 2016 models (model number ending on 01), then 2017 (ending on 2) and 2018 models (ending on 3), and lastly dual tuner 2018 models. We have asked the company for an updated timetable but have not received it at the time of publication. No changelog has been published either.
Philips TV owners who have updated to Oreo seem to welcome the revamped home screen as an improvement. At this time, FlatpanelsHD cannot confirm if existing software issues that we have highlighted in our recent reviews have been fixed.
Not all Philips Android TVs will get Oreo
TP Vision, who is responsible for Philips TV in Europe, released its first Android TVs in 2015, and TVs based on mobile Android the year prior. These sets will not be updated to Android Oreo for TV. Full HD models will not be updated either.
Google released Android 8 Oreo in the second half of 2017 so it has taken TP Vision and partners over a year to prepare the software for Philips TVs – even longer when you account for the beta releases.
The update will also enable Google Assistant on some Philips Android TVs. However, the voice assistant still lacks support for many languages.
To check if the Android Oreo update is available, navigate to the update menu on your Philips TV. If it is not available, you can wait for it to be pushed out as an online update or go to your regional Philips support page to check if it is available for manual download to a USB stick.