Android 11 Comes to Android TV

Posted on September 22, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 15 Comments


Google announced today that it has released Android 11 for Android TV, about two weeks after it shipped on mobile.

“Android 11 on Android TV introduces performance and privacy improvements, new features tailored for the TV, and updated developer tools,” Google’s Wolfram Klein announced. “With Android 11, performance improvements, like enhanced memory management, and privacy features, like one-time permissions, are introduced to make sure TV devices work quickly and securely.”

Android 11 on Android TV also brings support for Auto Low Latency Mode and low latency media decoding, along with a new Tuner Framework, Google notes. “With extended gamepad support, silent boot mode for system updates, inactivity prompts, and OEM configurable wake keys, Android 11 allows greater control over TV functions. New framework functionality for managing System LEDs and physical microphone mute buttons also facilitate integrations for far-field microphone enabled devices.”

So why is this important? After all, Android TV hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.

Any day now, Google is expected to announce the latest model in its low-cost Chromecast lineup, called Chromecast with Google TV, that will finally provide Android TV’s interface and capabilities, along with a hardware remote, to mainstream audiences. This might be just the push Android TV needs to finally put it over the top.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Android 11 Comes to Android TV”

  1. SvenJ

    As long as they aren't as proud of it as Apple is of Apple TV, I'm in.

  2. kshsystems

    i have been a long time fan of Nvidia Shield running Android TV.

    Wonder how long it will take for the various hardware vendors to pass the update through...

  3. Chris_Kez

    Google certainly has the advantage of not needing to make any money on the hardware (or really on any part of this business given their cushion from advertising revenue), but I wonder whether this will make an impact given how far behind they are behind Roku on the hardware side and Samsung, Sony, and LG on the embedded/smart tv side. The cost to switch streaming sticks isn't terribly high, but it gets higher as people add second and third sticks to additional tv's around the house, and as people start to add subscription services through the platform (a focus for Roku). But I'd never count Google out.

  4. waethorn

    So when the new Chromecast launches, how about a comparison article between it and Apple TV as they are now?

  5. JH_Radio

    We have a 2018 Sony TV. but not sure if it'll get 11 or not.

    • wright_is

      In reply to JH_Radio:

      You'll probably find it is on 8 at the moment and that it never got 9 or 10, so 11 is probably not going to happen either.

      I have a similar age Sony and they stopped security updates after just 18 months.

  6. hal9000

    When my Sony TV broke last year, after just over two years of life, I was more than happy to move away from Android TV. To be honest it wasn't that great. Laggy, unstable... now Sony might be to blame for this too. I have not tried Android TV on other manufacturers' sets.

    Anyhow, I picked an LG and find its WebOS way superior in design, performance and usability. It feels like they actually put some effort and even love in it. With Android TV, it felt just like Google went "Yeah we have this Android thing, let's make it run TVs somehow and make money".

    Actually I remember how Paul refused to review the first Google TV from Sony (ok it wasn't Android I guess, but whatever).

    Anyway, a Stick with full Android TV on it would be a great thing for market share and attracting app developers to the platform.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Hal9000:

      My Bravia is still working (2017 model), but they dropped Android on it after 18 months of support - 2 security updates and a version updated, from the 4 versions behind that it was and the intervening 16 monthly security updates it missed...

      I disabled it and stuck a FireTV up its rear. I didn't want to buy a smartTV, but there is little choice these days, if you want a good quality screen, most of them come with "smarts".

      My daughter bought a Sony last year and after just 6 months, the apps stopped working and Sony announced end of support! They also stuck a FireTV in the rear.

      I just don't see the point of buying a TV, something which should last 10+ years with a computer that has the power to survive, maybe, 5 years and possibly 2 - 3 years of security updates, if you are lucky, before you have to disconnect it from the network.

  7. miamimauler

    Meanwhile, I'm sitting here with my $3200AU Sony Bravia A8F running version 8.0! Damn Sony, I realize this model is a couple of years old now but that's just ridiculous.

    Pull your finger out Sony and support your devices!

  8. ghostrider

    Early implementations of AndroidTV on Sony and Philips TV's were indeed quite painful - the software was a bit buggy, but mainly because of the under-powered processors in the TV's. Over the last few years, as manufacturers have got to grips with the software, and TV's have got more powerful, AndroidTV is now a good platform. LG's WebOS and Samsung's Tizen are probably still better, but they've had many years to fine tune those.

    Good to see the new Chromecast coming with a remote now - that will make a lot of difference to usability.

  9. miamimauler

    In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

    Cheers Nicholas for that, that is indeed an option. I would query why I should need to do that though?

  10. davidstipek

    I have an Android TV Box (TX6) running version android 10.... How to update to 11 and where to go or is this TX6's option to make available?

  11. frostywinnipeg

    Kodi capable right?