Google TV app update offers latest look at upcoming remote

Roben Walker

The latest update to the Google TV app, in many areas still known as Play Movies & TV, gives us our best look yet at the upcoming phone-based remote for Android TV devices.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Google TV / Android TV remote app

Earlier this year, Google announced a new remote control experience for Android TV and Google TV devices, allowing you to use your phone instead of necessarily needing to dig for your physical remote. On Android, this was already possible through a long-outdated dedicated app, but soon, it will be available through the Google TV app as well as your Quick Settings.

In the original announcement, we were given an animated teaser showing off the upcoming on-phone remote.

We originally uncovered the company’s efforts toward a new remote for Android devices in the Google TV app, and progress is continuing there. With version 4.27, rolling out now via the Google Play Store, we’ve once again enabled the upcoming Android TV remote, which has seen a significant amount of progress since we last saw it.

Unfortunately, while we were able to get a preview of the remote’s layout, the app was unable to properly connect to my Google TV. Since Google last showed us the upcoming remote, it’s seen some tweaks, including rounded corners for the volume buttons at the bottom.

Now that the remote appears to be more fully developed, it shouldn’t be too much longer before Google launches it. That said, we’ve not yet seen any signs of the remote being incorporated into Quick Settings as was promised.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

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