Google Home app adds D-Pad controls for Android TV devices
For years, Google had a smartphone app for controlling Android TV devices on your local network, which came in handy if you lost your remote. The company has been slowly moving the remote functionality to other apps, and now the remote found in the Google Home app is a bit easier to use.
Reddit user PhilStation pointed out on the Android TV subreddit that Google Home v18.104.22.168 adds a new option for D-Pad controls when connected to an Android TV (or Google TV) device. Before now, you could only use ‘Swipe control,’ which was essentially a large touch pad. Swipe control doesn’t always work the best, so it’s great to have the option for something closer to a standard TV remote.
Google moved the Android TV remote control functionality out of the legacy ‘Android TV Remote Control’ app in September of this year, placing them in the Google TV app and pulling the original app from the Play Store. The same feature was later placed in the Google Home app, which is probably the best place for that (considering it has always been used to control Chromecast devices), but the implementation in the Google Home app was missing the D-Pad view.
If you have an Android TV or Google TV device, you might already have the Google Home app installed, but if not, you can grab it from the Play Store at the link below. You might need version 2.47.1 to see the new D-Pad controls, which Google could still be rolling out.