Android 11 is coming to Android TV with better gaming controller support, auto-low latency mode
Android 11 has been released for smartphones after a thorough round of beta testing. The source code is now available, and the new software is now slowly rolling out to smartphones. Other Android-based platforms, such as Android TV, are set to get their taste of the latest release sooner or later. Following the smartphone release, Google has launched Android 11 for Android TV devices with a few key improvements that are essential to improve the TV user experience.
Most of the improvements you’ll see with this release, at least in regards to Android TV, are not really feature updates but rather under-the-hood platform improvements. The official announcement blog post mentions several performance improvements, such as enhanced memory management, as well as some privacy features like one-time permissions and more. Most of these improvements are also present in Android 11 for smartphones. Some improvements, however, specifically improve the experience of Android TV devices.
We have, for example, better gaming controller support. Starting on Android 11, Android TV devices natively support the Nintendo Switch Pro controller over both Bluetooth and USB, and they will also support the Steam Controller over USB. This also applies to smartphones, but in the case of TVs, this kind of controller support is more essential for playing games as you don’t have any kind of touch input to fall back on. Additionally, Android 11 for Android TV also supports the Auto Low Latency Mode introduced with the HDMI 2.1 spec, which can turn off graphics post-processing and therefore greatly reduce latency. We also have support for low latency media decoding, a new Tuner Framework, and extensions to the HAL implementation of HDMI CEC.
The Android 11 update is rolling out to ADT-3 developer kits (which were also eligible for the developer preview) starting today so developers can get their apps ready for other devices. As for availability on consumer devices, the update schedule is determined by OEMs, so you’ll have to contact your manufacturer to find out if the update is coming to your TV or set-top box.
Are you excited about Android 11 on Android TV?