Android TV Is Getting a Google TV Like Refresh On More Devices

If you haven’t already, you’re more likely to start seeing the Google TV-style home screen makeover on your Android TV.

The interface tweak was initially limited to select countries like the US. Today, 9to5Google spotted a Reddit post that said the update has expanded to more regions like Malaysia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Guatemala.

Google has historically had two operating systems for streaming players: Android TV and Google TV. Both are still around, but now Android TV’s OS is well on its way to mirroring Google TV’s interface. The Google TV interface was originally meant to fully replace the Android TV interface last year. The update began rolling out in 2021, showing that Google was working to better assimilate Android TVs into its brand.

The refresh would include a Discover tab with content recommendations, ads, watchlist support, a new apps section and featured content recommendations in the top half of the screen. Users got a look at the new interface with the preview of Android TV 12 in February 2021. The following summer, Nvidia Shield Android TVs were given the Google refresh as well, followed by some Hisense and Sony TVs as well.

The modified Android TV user interface was first introduced in 2020 on the Chromecast with Google TV streaming device and offered a smoother navigation experience. Google TV is compatible with thousands of Android TV apps, further easing the transition.

Google wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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Google TV’s Apps only mode is getting a visual refresh

Google TV has picked up a few updates in the recent past, including some not-so-exciting ones. However, it continues to power some of the best streaming devices on the market, especially if you’re invested in Google’s smart home ecosystem. Back in 2020, the company started offering an apps-only interface, which puts Google TV applications front and center, hiding away Assistant and personalized recommendations. Over this past week, one of our readers witnessed a new visual upgrade to this interface, with larger icons and a new grid format for apps while scrolling down from the banner.


It’s not exactly clear if Google meant for this change to go live right away, but it looks like people can manually enable it by updating the launcher app. From what we can tell, the feature seems to come with version 6.0.16 of Android TV Home, which is currently up on APKMirror. The changelog appears to corroborate the inclusion of these visual changes, though nothing specific is mentioned.

Google launched Apps only mode as a kind of alternative to guest mode, wherein your content recommendations won’t appear, but people can continue to access videos via individual apps. Other features like Assistant and search are also missing in this view. This is a godsend for households where the television is shared and you’re not comfortable with your personal content recommendations appearing for everybody. Ads and other promotional content will continue to appear, however, so there’s no escaping that.

Turning on Apps only mode requires you to navigate to the Settings page from the home screen of your Chromecast or other Google TV device, then select Accounts & Sign In. From there, tap your profile and enable Apps only mode.

Google TV isn’t perfect

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