Android's Smart Lock is a great way to save a little hassle when users are around familiar locations or connected devices. The default system version of the feature skips the lockscreen when the phone or tablet detects that it's in a safe location, and last year Google did much the same thing for apps, essentially turning Smart Lock into a password manager for supported applications. While Netflix has supported this feature for months on its standard Android app, the latest update to the Android TV version brings it in line.
To see Smart Lock in action, make sure that you already have your Netflix username and password saved in Smart Lock on a phone or tablet - if it's been a while, you may need to log out on your phone, then log back in and enable the Smart Lock feature when it appears. Read More
Yesterday, I was starting work on some sketches for Android TV. When it was time to move into Sketch (my current mockup tool of choice, mostly because of its Zeplin integration), I realized I hadn't really seen any good ready-made sheets, frames, or stickers for Android TV UI. So I decided to just go ahead and build a few screens, and then maybe - if they came out decent - upload them for other designers who might want to do a quick TV mockup or two.
The Sketch file you'll find below has 7 artboards, covering the Android TV home page, a basic leanback UI, a video player, a list, settings, and keyboard/text input. Read More
The ADT-1 was never released to the public, but handed out to developers after Google I/O 2014 as a test device for the new Android TV platform. It didn't get much attention from Google past Android 5.0.2, which was its last official update. However, developers are an unrelenting bunch and if they have an Android device lying around, you'd bet that they'll try to cook up ROMs for it as long as that's remotely feasible. (Exhibit A.)
So a few XDA members were tired of seeing the ADT-1 get shunned from OTA updates and decided to take care of the situation. Read More
The saga of OUYA is a cautionary tale of how hard it is to build a new gaming platform. After an initial crowdfunding success, OUYA had trouble attracting developers and keeping gamers interested. The company was gobbled up by gaming giant Razer earlier this year, and now the OUYA store is back as Cortex for the Android TV-powered Forge TV. Read More
Out with the old and in with the new. That's just about the best way to describe the latest update to the Google app for Android TV. Version 2.0 doesn't seem to bring much in the way of features, but what it lacks in functional changes is more than made up for with visuals. Basically everything having to do with a search interface looks at least a little different, if not completely. If you're eager to try it out for yourself, there's an APK Mirror link at the bottom. Otherwise, take a gander at a few screenshots below.
New microphone – Left: old version, Right: new version. Read More
Google seems to be doing a lot of tinkering on the basic interfaces of Android TV, if only because the company's experience with television UIs is less extensive than it is on smartphones and tablets. Yesterday an update to the "leanback" launcher (Android TV's default home screen) added the ability for users to manually rearrange app icons. Today the Android TV version of the Play Store gets a slight adjustment as well: the "update all" button is back, baby.
If you'll recall, the last major update (from just over a month ago) gave the entire store interface a new look. Read More
We already consider ES File Explorer to be the simplest way to sideload APKs to Android TV, but we didn't realize our old approach was actually the complicated one. Read More
Nexus Player owners are starting their week with plenty of goodies to enjoy. Yesterday saw the rollout of the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow factory images for their set-top box, and now its Leanback launcher is getting updated to a new version with a small but useful change: they can now re-order their apps!
Android TV launcher version 1.1.4 might not be live in the Play Store for everyone yet, but you can grab it from APK Mirror and install it on your Android TV device (regardless of whether or not it's running the new 6.0.1 Marshmallow update). Once you do, you can long-press on any app in the launcher, which then goes into a sokoban-like mode allowing you to move it and slide it into other positions on your app grid, and even delete it. Read More
Several brick-and-mortar retailers had the NVIDIA Shield Android TV box on sale for Black Friday weekend, but as promised, the deal has now come to online retailers. Both versions of the SHIELD are $50 off, plus you can get a free SHIELD remote worth $50. Read More
NVIDIA has had some solid Black Friday deals in past years, and this one is no different. Later this week, you'll be able to get $50 off the price of the SHIELD Android TV, plus a free remote worth $50. The catch? The first round of deals is only available if you brave the crowds. Read More