Google Stadia is set to launch this November with support for select Pixel phones, the Chrome browser, and Chromecast Ultra. Unfortunately, missing from the list are any Android TV devices. For someone like myself who has Android TV devices and has no need for a Chromecast Ultra, that’s a real bummer.
However, there is good news on the horizon for Android TV owners thanks to pictures of slides taken at the International Broadcasting Convention that were recently sent to XDA Developers. The slides feature a roadmap for the future of Android TV, and spoiler alert, it includes Stadia support in 2020 with Android 11 R.
It’s uncertain if this means that Stadia support will require Android 11, but I sure hope that’s not the case. In general, Android TV doesn’t receive the latest Android update until months later. For example, at this time, Android 10 hasn’t been released for Android TV and there doesn’t appear to be a rush to do so. Hopefully, Stadia won’t require an OS update and it’s just part of the general 2020 timeline.
While Stadia support is the headlining feature, the slides also included some other juicy tidbits about the future of Android TV. The full text of the slides will be attached below, but here are some of the highlights.
In 2019, Google is looking to unveil a new Play Store redesign and hopes to reach 5,000 apps total. It’s also hoping to test more home screen and instream ads, as well as roll out Android 10.
- Assistant for Operators EAP (Early Access Program).
- Play Store refresh, subscriptions & discovery.
- Single build programs & turnkey OTT (Over-the-top) device.
- Pilot home screen and instream ads.
- Performance test suite.
- 5.0k Apps.
We’ve already covered Stadia support for 2020, but that’s not all Google has planned for next year. The slides make mention of a “hero device” which could be a new Google-made Android TV box, or perhaps the Nvidia Shield refresh we’ve seen leaked. There is also a mention of additional Android 10 features such as Live Captions and Google Lens support. We also see that Google wants to expand ads even further and hopes to reach an 8,000 app milestone.
- Assistant for Operators GA (General Access) more partners & i18n (internationalization.)
- Assistant far-field reference designs, improved x-device targeting.
- Hero device advancing next-gen smart home UX, e.g. Lens, Camera.
- Expand home screen and instream ads offering.
- Stadia integration.
- Reference video broadcast.
- 8.0k Apps
For 2021, Google doesn’t seem to have much planned out as of yet. The slides simply mention advancing the “hero” device, less hardware and software fragmentation, and a goal of 8,000 to 10,000 apps.
- Assistant for Operators: continuously improve quality, i18n (internationalization), and operator integrations.
- Hero device program advancing next-generation.
- Continue to lower TTM/TCO (time to market/total cost of ownership) & expand monetization options.
- Less fragmentation in HW (hardware) + SW (software) solutions, fewer builds.
- Hold the line on memory & power, critical user journeys.
- Continuous performance monitoring of production devices.
- 8.0-10k Apps