First Android TV 12 Preview Update Adds Google TV Features

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It looks like the march to revamp Android TV is continuing, with the first preview release of Android TV 12 launching this week. And while Google’s release notes so far leave plenty to the imagination, there is mention of a “new Google TV experience,” which could suggest the user interface tweaks we first saw in 2020’s Chromecast with Google TV could be coming to more smart TV platforms in the future.

The appropriately named “Android 12 Developer Preview 1” was released on February 18th for those using the ADT-3 Developer kit, a streaming device meant for developers to test their software for compatibility with the latest version of Android TV.

Beyond the mention of a Google TV interface, 9to5Google suspects the update could also bring some feature enhancements as well, including support for HEVC (high efficiency video coding) transcoding and multi-channel audio. The site also points out the most significant aspect of this release could be the fact that it’s releasing around the same time as the first preview release of Android 12 on mobile devices. Android TV updates typically trail smartphone and tablet OS updates by months or more, so a same-day release of this latest preview could suggest a more in-sync release schedule for the future.

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