Google has introduced the Android 14 Beta 3 for Pixel devices and simultaneously released a preview of Android 14 for TV. As part of this update, Google has decided to retire Android 13 for television devices, which will no longer be recommended in Android Studio’s emulator menu.
Despite the recent update for Chromecast with Google TV, the device still runs on Android 12, indicating that Google has abandoned plans for an Android 13-based update for all Android TV and Google TV devices.
According to 9to5Google, the new code change is as follows:
We are retiring T as a version in Android TV. Moving the T image to the non-recommended menu should dissuade developers from creating a T images if not required.
Android 14 TV to bring new features. Here are the latest findings from the Android 14 TV Beta update, as discovered by Esper.io’s Mishaal Rahman:
In the Google TV launcher’s dashboard on Android TV 14 (shown below), there may be a new “Headphones” option that will “show available headphones.” Sounds like we’ll be getting a quicker way to connect to Bluetooth headphones instead of going to settings.
This might already be… pic.twitter.com/YemYWKlOHa
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) June 8, 2023
- Updated Design for Install Dialogs: Android TV 14 includes a TV-specific build of the PackageInstaller app, bringing an updated design for install dialogs.
- Accessibility as Top-Level Menu: “Accessibility” is now a top-level menu item in Settings, making it more easily accessible on Android TV 14.
- Power & Energy Settings Update: “Power & Energy” settings have been relocated under Settings > System, just below “About.” Additionally, “Energy Saver” has been renamed to “Shut-Off Timer.”
- Expanded Accessibility Settings: Android TV 14 introduces expanded accessibility settings. “Services” is now called “Screen Readers” and has been moved to the top. A shortcut to “text scaling” has been added, along with a “bold text” setting. Other settings have been appropriately categorized.
- Format Selection Settings: Under Settings > Display > Advanced display settings, the “format selection” option allows you to “always force conversion” to Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, or SDR.
- Energy Modes: Android TV 14 offers four energy modes: Low, moderate, high, and unrestricted. Switching energy modes can enhance energy efficiency when the TV is not in use, with varying levels of network connectivity.
- Display Frame Rate Settings: The “non-seamless” option under Settings > Display > Match content frame rate has been renamed to “Always.” This setting ensures content frame rate matching.
- Seamless Option Renaming: “Seamless” has been renamed to “seamless-only.” If not supported, Android TV 14 will inform you that your connected display doesn’t support it.
- Color Correction Settings: Android TV 14 introduces color correction settings under Settings > Accessibility.
- Build-Specific Appearance: The new “energy mode” settings will only appear if the build supports low power standby and other DeviceConfig flags are enabled.
- Preferred Dynamic Range: System-preferred, Passthrough, or Force conversion. Choose how the system manages format conversion based on preferences.
- Call Notifications: Android TV 14 prepares to enable call notifications from supported apps while using the TV, with adjustable preferences for individual apps.
- Quick Headphones Connection: The Google TV launcher may include a “Headphones” option, making it easier to connect to Bluetooth headphones without going through the settings.
- App Shortcut Customization: Android TV 14 allows users to create shortcuts for their favorite apps, selecting an app to open with the custom button on the remote. Additionally, users can view and switch inputs for TV or other devices with the custom button.
Note: Some features mentioned may require specific device compatibility and settings availability.
To test the Android TV 14 Beta, there are usually two options available. First, users can download and run an emulator of the preview using Android Studio. Second, Google typically provides a build that can be installed on ADT-3 boxes, which have now been retired.
However, the latter build is currently unavailable on the Android Developers website. Regrettably, it is not possible to install the Android TV 14 preview on a Chromecast.