14 November 2019
Google has some big plans for the Android TV platform which will be implemented over the course of the next two years. The details related to these plans were made public at recently held Internation Broadcast Convention (IBC), an event that Google attends for sharing Android TV-related details. One of the attendees at Google's presentation managed to grab a photo of the slide showing the roadmap and shared it with XDA folks.
As you would know already, the next major Android TV upgrade will be based on Android 10 which is the latest Android version. It is already available for smartphones and tablets but since Google follows a different release schedule for the TV platform, there is still some before the upgrade is released for everyone. The roadmap reveals that Google has a new early access program called Assistant for Operators that will become available in 2019. It is expected to make it possible for operators to offer custom Google Assistant phrases for customization purposes.
Google plans to release a new Android TV Play Store design with a focus on subscriptions and discovery. It is the same design which was first showcased at Google I/O 2019 and is now ready for the prime time. The operators will also be able to pilot home screen and instream ads for monetization purposes.
Android TV is currently planned to get Google Stadia support in 2020. It will allow Stadia users to play their favorite games directly on their Android TV-powered smart TVs. The cloud-based game streaming service is set to launch on November 2019 but will be limited to select devices in the beginning. Until the native support arrives, Chromecast Ultra will be the only way to play Stadia games on your TV.
Google has a new "Hero device" under development that will also arrive in 2020. It is said to offer an "advanced next-gen smart home UX" with Google Lens and Android 10's Live Captions integrations. It is unknown what exactly be the end product or user experience but appears to be something innovative. The team has also set a goal of reaching 8,000 Android TV apps by the end of the next year. All these features are planned for the upgrade based on Android 11 R.
Lastly, Google revealed what it is planning for Android 12 S in 2021 and beyond. These plans are not as big as what we talked about so far. The team will focus on expanding monetization options, reducing hardware fragmentation, improving app performance through optimizations, and a goal of 10,000 apps on the Android TV platform.