Google TV’s basic mode strips away apps and other smart features

Google TV’s basic mode strips away apps and other smart features

The first smart TVs that launch with Google TV will offer a “Basic TV” mode, which will strip the smart features away for a more barebones experience.

According to 9to5Google, the Basic TV option will appear as you set up a new TV running on Google TV.

“The idea behind this version of Google TV is to strip away essentially all of the features that make a smart TV… smart,” 9to5Google said. “It goes beyond the ‘apps-only’ mode we saw on Chromecast with Google TV too.”

You’ll be met with five core features of your TV during setup, including apps, content recommendations, Google Assistant, live TV, and external inputs (HDMI). Apps, content recommendations, and the Google Assistant are core pillars of the Google TV experience, so you’re essentially stripping away what makes the platform great.

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Image via 9to5Google

With everything stripped away, you’ll be left with access to HDMI inputs and live TV if you have an antenna attached to your TV. You’re essentially exchanging the conveniences and benefits of a platform like Google TV for one that harkens back to the olden days.

If you’re purchasing a TV equipped with Google TV, you probably intend to use that platform. But there’s a Basic TV mode if you want to use a different set-top box or turn the features off due to privacy concerns. Google told 9to5Google the feature is for those who lack internet.

9to5Google notes that when Basic TV mode is enabled, it can just as easily be switched off. “There’s a constant shortcut on the home screen as well as a prominent button in the settings menu,” 9to5Google said. “You can’t easily go in the other direction, though. That process requires a full reset.”

The feature is apparently part of Google TV, not Android TV 12. Expect Basic TV mode to be available on the previously announced Sony and TCL models coming later this year.

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Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.