Google has released version 13 of Android for TVs. The new version of the smart TV operating system can thus be adapted and published by manufacturers for their devices. The changes in the new version primarily affect developer functions.
This is how Google counts in Android TV 13 changelog Among other things, improvements to the AudioManager and improved HDMI support – for example, it should now be possible to manually set the resolution and refresh rate for HDMI input devices.
External keyboards can also be used with additional layouts in version 13 of Android TV, writes Google. Finally, audio descriptions can be automatically activated in apps in the future if the user has selected this setting at the system level. Google hasn’t announced any major improvements.
Version 13 of Android TV does not yet run on freely available devices, but can be tested on Google’s ADT-3 developer platform. It could be a few months before independent manufacturers bring the new OS version to their televisions. The update rate for Google’s television operating system is considered low: Google’s own Chromecast only received the update to Android 12 in October, although it has been available since last December.
App Bundles on Android TV
Google had already announced another change for Android TV at the end of November: From May 2023, all applications for the Android TV operating system must be available as app bundles. Apps installed via App Bundles take up less storage space than full APKs.
The format bundles resources and applications for different device types into one big package. This includes the code for different architectures and resources for various languages. When delivering the app, Google Play ensures that it only delivers the content required and desired for the respective end device.