After the debut of Google TV, the new user interface for Chromecast devices, last fall, Google is today giving its Google TV companion app for Android a makeover. The updated version of the mobile app for Google TV includes an updated user interface, expanded set recommendations, and more series and movies to watch.
The app was formerly known as “Google Play Movies & TV” (www!), But has been renamed “Google TV” in addition to the changes introduced for Chromecast in September. Here, users can browse over 700,000 movie and TV episodes from all of the top streaming apps, find new things to watch, and rent or buy movies and shows, including new releases.
Now Google is updating the look and feel of the app with a new 16: 9 widescreen film and showing posters that are supposed to give the app a more “cinematic” look.
In addition, the Rotten Tomatoes results are added just below each poster to help users decide what to see next. You can also visit the detail page of a movie or TV show and mark it as seen to improve the app’s recommendations. That way, Google TV can make further recommendations based on your viewing history. This can be helpful if you are not a regular app user to tailor the suggestions to your interests. However, the feature doesn’t help you keep up with your progress on a show as the Reelgood or TV Time apps allow you to not mark individual episodes as viewed, only entire series.
The recommendations are another feature that has been improved with the latest version to better match the viewing experience. The app’s recommendation system not only offers more rows of personalized suggestions to browse, but is now based on what you’ve viewed in the past, your interests from your Google account, and trending and popular content in your area. Trend recommendations come from popular or trending Google products, content mentioned on the web, and a handpicked selection of human editors. For example, you may see recommendations that suggest “summer blockbusters” or other timely suggestions.
Users will now also watch new movies and see recommendations posted on new content from services to which they subscribe.
The app has also expanded its content offering by adding new providers such as Discovery +, Viki, Cartoon Network, PBS Kids and Boomerang, as well as on-demand content from live TV services, including of course YouTube TV as well as Philo and fuboTV. These providers were not available for search and findability in the mobile app after the platform update last autumn.
Google said during its May I / O developer conference that the Android TV operating system has hit an installation base of 80 million monthly active devices, but it hasn’t broken down how many consumers are streaming on Roku and Fire TV rival Google TV have for Chromecast, which runs under the hood of Android TV OS. Instead, Google combined that number with the numerous Android TV operating system devices on the market, including those offered by other streaming device brand partners and TV service providers for a different type of market.
The company said the new features are now available in the Google TV Android app in the US, but could not provide a schedule for other platforms or international expansion.