Google Releases Android TV 14 after a Two-Year Hiatus, Featuring Gemini AI and Other Innovations

After a two-year hiatus, Google has released a major update to its Android TV operating system. Sidestepping Android TV 13, which was set to release last year, Google directly launched Android TV 14, unveiling the first beta version of the platform.

New Energy Management Modes

Android TV 14 introduces three power consumption modes. The most useful for the majority of users is the “Optimized” mode, which allows the TV to be awakened from standby mode through a voice assistant or network broadcasting. The “Low Energy Mode” turns off all network features, excluding critical ones, when the TV is on standby. While the “Increased Energy Mode” sustains connections to Google Home, Google Assistant, and Cast, even in standby mode.

Additional Features and Improvements

The update brings an array of features tailored for special abilities, including color correction, advanced text choices, and alternative navigation settings. Although exact functioning details were not disclosed by Google, these settings can be quickly toggled on and off via shortcuts.

Furthermore, the “picture-in-picture” feature has been optimized to allow application developers to support it. Despite all televisions from Android 7 (2016) technically supporting this feature, it was overlooked by developers due to the average smart TV’s insufficient performance. The updated implementation only operates on “qualified” models, potentially increasing its popularity among developers.

Picture-In-Picture Functionality and Gemini Integration

The revamped “picture-in-picture” function can prove useful for streaming services, video conferencing apps, and smart home clients. It facilitates overlaying surveillance camera feeds onto TV screens. An exclusive “maintain clarity” API ensures that one picture does not obscure essential content from the other.

The update also incorporates a Gemini Artificial Intelligence integration that offers “personalized” movie and TV show descriptions on the Android TV home screen. This presumably refers to suggestions based on the user’s preferences. Additionally, it will provide missing or untranslated descriptions, a feature that significantly improves user experience.

Design Updates and Future Prospects

Despite no drastic changes in Android TV 14’s design, Google has released a beta version of the Compose for TV development tool, previously available only in alpha. It consists of pre-set modules to facilitate application development and ensure a uniform interface across Android TV applications. The first TVs featuring Android TV 14 are scheduled to launch this year. Regrettably, TV software updates aren’t as regular as mobile phone updates, and existing Android TV 12 models may not receive the Android TV 14 update.

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