Google has announced the Android 11 Developer Preview for Android TV, extending the company’s developer preview programmes beyond Android for smartphones. For now, this is an update only to the framework of the operating system, and nothing has been shown about how the user interface will look on the next iteration of Android TV. The current version of Android TV for regular users, version 9 Pie, has been around for a while, and can be found on most new Android TV-powered smart TVs and streaming devices.
Android TV has been long overdue for an update, which was announced back in December 2019 in the form of Android TV 10. At the time, the only device announced with the new version was Google’s developer-focused ADT-3 dongle. However, well into 2020, there’s no sign of Android TV 10 coming to consumer devices just yet; even recent launches such as the TCL C715 smart TV range and Mi Box 4K are still running Android TV 9 Pie with no indication that updates are on the way.
In a developer blog post, Google says Android 11 Developer Preview for Android TV will see improved privacy, performance, accessibility, and connectivity features. This particular update is only available for developers who have the ADT-3 dongle. This suggests that Android TV 10 could finally be nearing launch, as Google steps up development and developer testing for the next version.
Interestingly, a video clip showing the design of Google’s upcoming Android TV streaming dongle has also surfaced. The graphic in the video clip is in line with existing reports of what the new device will look like. The device, codenamed Sabrina, is expected to be the first consumer device to run on the new version of Android TV, following which existing devices could also start rolling out updates. The new version of Android TV is said to come with a completely changed user interface that is content-focused, rather than app-based as it is with the current version of Android TV.
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