[Update 3: How to Force] Google plans to redesign the Play Store on Android TV to add video previews for apps
Android TV came about when Google was trying to expand its Android brand to as many markets as possible (Android Wear, Android Things, Android Pay, etc.). Some of these have been rebranded but Android TV has kept its branding and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. In fact, Google is happy with how the platform has evolved over the years and application developers seem to be on board as well. Thanks to the increase in developer activity, Google is putting additional focus on its smart TV OS with a number of changes to come in the future.
Shalini Govil-Pai, Google’s senior director of product management for Android TV, recently spoke in an interview with TechHive about the recent rise in developer activity. She says that Android TV now has over 5,000 applications and games in the Play Store and that this is a big increase as the number was only at 3,000 around the same time last year. We don’t really hear about new Android TV set-top boxes launching throughout the year but there are a number of new smart TVs that get released with Android TV as its software.
To go along with this surge in developer support the team at Google is currently planning on redesigning the TV version of the Play Store. The company says it wants to add video previews for apps and believes that will make the experience “a lot more visual and a lot more cinematic, which is what you expect on TV.” They are currently working on filling the void of some key studios to get their apps in the Play Store (including Nick Jr., Discovery, and Watch TNT) but wasn’t able to reveal any information about their discussion with these companies.
Although, they did talk about how they would like to expand into fitness apps, education apps, and a lot more games.
Update 1: Images From Google I/O 2019
During the Google I/O developer conference (via 9to5Google), Google showed off images of the new interface for the Play Store on Android TV.
The new Google Play Store on Android TV. Source: Google.
This redesign helps users make purchases much more quickly by letting them use a PIN rather than their password. You can watch the entire session at the following YouTube link (starts at 2:19:46.)
Update 2: Rolling Out
After being shown off at Google I/O this past summer, the Google Play Store redesign is now rolling out to Android TV devices. Reddit user battierpeeler shared the photos above of the update on the Xiaomi Mi Box. It appears to be a server-side update as several other users are on the latest version and do not have it yet. Keep an eye out over the next few days and weeks.
Update 3: How to force an update to the new redesigned Google Play Store on Android TV
If you are still haven’t received the new redesign update for the Google Play Store, you can force it by following the steps mentioned below:
- Open the existing Google Play Store on your Android TV.
- Navigate to the Play Store’s Settings > About > Play Store version.
- Repeatedly click on the version number until a toast message appears, saying “A new version of the Play Store will be downloaded and installed”.
This should trigger an update to the Play Store. Once triggered, just back out of the app and let it update in the background. You should have access to the new Play Store after a while.