The world has been going gaga over getting Android Oreo for their smartphones and it’s time when Android’s TV version also gets the sweet treatment. The Oreo update makes Android TV more ‘TV-like’, with its improved interface and slightly-bumped performance. The focus with the Oreo update is on easy of use, with multi-windows, Picture-in-Picture and more. If you own a Nexus Player or one of the latest Android TV, then this might interest you.
With the Oreo update, Android TV believes in channels. Gone are the days when you had to browse through apps on your TV — Channels is the solution. You still have to download apps from the PlayStore, which become Channels after installation. All the major shows on that Channel are shown in a similar fashion to conventional TV channels, albeit with video previews. Besides the stock Google apps (YouTube, Play Movies, Music, etc), there are very few apps that can take advantage of Channels at the moment such as HBO GO.
Google has made it a little easier to access the apps quickly from anywhere within the interface. Now all a user has to do is long-press the menu key on their Android TV and the apps page loads overlaying the main leanback launcher home screen. However, this feature loses out on the Recents menu from the previous versions of Android TV.
Another new feature that makes navigating the interface easier. The favourites bar appears at the top of the home screen with all of your favourite apps and an option to add more. This means that you don’t have to hunt for your favourite Channels from the menu.
Some features like the Picture-in-Picture, video preview and others need to implemented by respective app developers for them to make any difference to the user experience.
(with inputs from Android Headlines)