Google announced today that it is improving Google TV with better personalization, new ambient mode capabilities, and better integration with live TV.
“Everyone brings their likes, dislikes, and ‘no WAYs’ to the sofa,” Google’s Rob Caruso explains of the changes. “To keep everyone in the house happy, whether that’s your partner, kids, other family members, or roommates, we’re bringing features to Google TV that will make TV a little more tailored for whoever’s sitting on the couch.”
New features include:
More personal user profiles. Google TV already supports multiple user profiles so that everyone in a household can get a personalized experience. But now your profile will take into account your interests and preferences to help you discover more content that you might want to watch. It’s also adding a watchlist to each Google account so that you can save content to it when you get a recommendation from others. And Google Assistant can help find content by asking it “what should I watch?”
Ambient mode improvements. Google TV’s Ambient mode kicks in when the device hasn’t been used for a configurable amount of time, and it can show you favorite photos from Google Photos. Now, it can also display more personalized information and at-a-glance recommendations in cards, including game scores, the weather, news, and more. This is all based on information in your Google account profile, of course.
Live TV improvements. Google TV integrates with various live TV services like YouTube TV and Sling TV, and now it supports Philo as well: just add it as your live TV provider to get recommendations on the home screen.
Availability various by feature. The profile updates will be available globally, but the Ambient mode cards will ship first in the U.S. only, and each will appear first on Chromecast with Google TV and Google TVs from Sony and TCL. Philo is available in the US.