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What’s new with Android TV

Benjamin Baxter
Developer Advocate at Google
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2018 Google I/O
May 8, 2018, Mountain View, USA
2018 Google I/O
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What’s new with Android TV
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About speakers

Benjamin Baxter
Developer Advocate at Google
Sascha Prueter
Leads the Android TV product team at Google

Benjamin is a developer advocate for Android TV who works with large media partners. He helps them integrate their apps with the TV launcher and the Google Assistant on TV. Before Google, Benjamin built web and Android apps for insurance, banking, and grocery industries. In his free time he loves tinkering with new technologies, playing board games, cooking, and eating bacon.

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Sascha Prueter leads the Android TV product team at Google, working within the Android team to lead Google's efforts for the TV platform ecosystem. He previously led the overall Android platform Program Management to release new Android operating system versions to phones and tablets across the world. Before Google Sascha worked on one of the industry leading digital TV middlewares as well as working directly with major operators & MVPDs on deploying IPTV systems in international markets.

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About the talk

Come learn about Android TV's new flagship device, new features, recent system enhancements, and platform evolution.

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Hey, everyone. Wow. Didn't do anything already going to pause pretty good Stars. I see a lot of familiar faces, but the stage is getting bigger every year. So I hate my name is Ombudsman Baxter Deborah L for Android TV. And thanks for joining the Android TV session. That's Google IO posterior, so Thanks for joining. And yeah, let's get going. So fast time most of us talked was last year and the Android TV ecosystems since then has grown significantly and obviously really happy about that.

So we have no more than a hundred Partners working with us on Android TV devices. And as you can see we are doubling that so far every Answer can see the growth comes from a number of devices and device categories, but we may be heard at CES earlier this year a bunch of new partners in very different Smart TV price categories launching Android TV devices. So we are in the very lucky position that we can't even list. All Partners on one slide anymore. So if you're here if you're working with

us on Android TV devices and your logo, it's not here. Sorry, we're running out of space but also in the set of box space and specifically one comes to pay TV operators. We see significant growth and very happy about that. So we already have four think around Thirty pop North worldwide to pay TV operators cable satellite IPTV shipping boxes with Android TV, and we have more than 50 additional ones coming. So we are really happy and we see good girls there. But it's not only about

Hardware. It's also about software and that's why I'm really happy that the TV app ecosystem is growing significantly as well. And I think this is the fifth time I said significantly so I will stop doing that but all of you are contributing to Apps haven't developed over the last few years actually pick up Android TV and build cool media experiences games or completely new stuff we can think about is really awesome. When we started the play the TV Play Store, I think in 2014, we had 25 Absol. So now we are

approaching 4,000. Anything because you're there are a lot of app developers here. We wanted to mention because it's a little bit under the radar. We have also launched DCB on Android TV. A lot of you if you're developing mobile, you know direct carrier billing. I'm already on mobile. So if someone buys a nap if someone doesn't in-app purchase or by the coup in your car in a game, you can charge it to your mobile in a lot of cases. If you don't have a credit card or are you don't want to use the credit card and the same concept has launched also since last blue light off

on Android TV, and we're working with more and more Partners pay TV operator partner that you can shut do charges. from the Play Store all the play Equus system in general to your cable or satellite or TV subscription bill But then also one of the things we have started putting more emphasis on is the Google Assistant you heard us briefly talkin last year at Google IO about this and Cincinnati ecosystem and the services that the Google Assistant brings to Android TV have only two Android TV, but two

devices in general has grown. So we see a lot of use of the assistant on TV with saying it's a great additional tool to make used in conjunction of Media Services and apps a lot easier on TV by just interacting. With boys right discovering content by simply talking to your TV having a very natural interphase not having to remember. What was that search phrase again just natural and it's easy and it works, but it's not only about finding content. It's also about looking up. Answers to questions you might be interested in it

might be that actor is or it's also control of other devices in your house. The assistant on Android TV gives you all of that and so because we think it is so important we are we are this year. Putting a lot of priority on getting the assistant into more countries. We want to make sure we do it right. We don't want to rush anything. But since we have launched in the US in late 2017, we have rain this year as you can see a lot more countries into the assistant ecosystem on Android TV. But

even if you're in a country or language that is not yet assistant enable and you have to wait a little bit. We refresh our voice search experience even in those in those countries. Cement earlier that you're really happy about all the apps and more apps in the Play Store and we lost your here. I'll give you a little bit of a sneak peek. The new Android TV home experience and the system UI and how apps can integrate with that Advantage was a it was a sneak peek? And I was a preview. It has launched with

Android Oreo and we are now have a lot of popping are starting to roll this out Android TV devices. So we thought it's a good opportunity to go into more detail how your apps Connect to take advantage of this content first experience that we are trying to achieve with Android TV and then is going to talk a little bit about what it actually means. I wanted to have a content for a sap. So we really want to read a fine ass experience. Once one to be very content first content-driven. If you're familiar with the previous screen. We have one roll of recommendations a double role for a

lobster broil 4 games we've changed as you can clearly see so after still important we've have one rule for apps. It's just your favorite apps. Your users can customize Nike Rap to this row. It's up to the user's discretion. That recommendation roll from Android n and Below we've broken up into several different responsibilities. So we have a play next row where you can add content and we'll talk more about this later. But you can add content to be fixed back and engage with user later. The next thing we did was we broke out and each app can have their own channel.

They can have their own surface on the home screen. I were trying to really push this content first design and every applicant can contribute to it. I saw she mentioned earlier with the assistant. The assistant is also on the home screen. It's not specific to Android or Android P. It actually supported from Android M and above. So this is here to enhance search and keep pushing my content first design. Okay, I keep saying content first. It's like my favorite phrase all the sudden but we'll get some really good examples before we dive into the technical details about what builds

a Content first design. So here we have Google Play Movies and this is from the home screen and you can see everything about their details. It's as if the movie details screen is right there on the home screen to help build and engage an experience house is great for users. They don't have to go into the app and pop back out. They can make decisions right there from the home screen. We take it a step further with video previous. So if you have a movie a trailer makes a great video preview, you're an audio app 10-second clip is a great audio preview. We found that having previews is very

engaging for users and drives engagement into your app. I said earlier about the play next row. This is a great place for you to add content to bring users back in if you're watching a really long movie you out a little bit extra metadata will make a beautiful progress indicator to add more context and users are able to hop back into the app. And I said channels you're not just limited to one little Row in the home screen. You can have as many channels as you want. If we look here, you know, we have channels like featured top free. These are great channels that you know, we're going to

be fresh, you know, these have indications of being updated daily even hourly. Okay. So now we have a nice context about what's on the home screen what's dive into how you guys can build this experience? So what is a channel a channel is just a logo and a name? That's all it is. It's a container for program. This is going to be where you seen your content and and customize everything deeper in the programs. To build a channel. We have a support Library. It just used the Builder pattern super easy

super convenient for you. Everything on the home screen should be clickable. So if you click on a logo, it should open back and your app. So just set the app link URI, and this will let you open up your app from the home screen. Are the next thing that's important is the internal provider. Id this is an ID for your app to tell the home screen. Hey, keep track of this. I know what this ideas and when I go to clearing my channel later, I can synchronize my Channel with what the home screen knows about my app. And that's it. It uses a content provider and we have

convenient methods. For those of you that know the know the joys of content providers, you know that there can be boilerplate code wheel abstract it all. Into the support library and we make it really easy for you to get to build a build a content provider API that you are kind of tedious and cumbersome to manage the support Library managers all of that for you. It just a simple insert statement and you get back a channel i, d like I said earlier with the internal provider. Id you can use the channel ID and internet provider. Id to make sure when you

synchronize and update your channels like you have all the keys you need. Okay channels. Like I said, they're just a shell of a row the program's what really matter. So what's lookin example of a program? In this program, we have a bunch of stuff happening. We have a thumbnail image. We have a title a description and anything else, you know about this program can be added to the home screen the more metadata you add the Richard experience the better the user engagement. So anything that's in your Details page It's Perfectly Natural to put on home screen. Again

Builder pattern this time you want to set the channel ID on your program. So the home screen knows where to put it on the home screen. And if your program has more than one channel, I can be on make sure to add unique identifier the home screen will look at this identify and say hey, we already know about this program in this Channel and it's also in this channel we can have Dee duping logic so that the user doesn't see duplicates and as a cleaner smoother experience You also want to set the type in this example. We have to type the movie, but the type will drive the metadata that's

showing on the home screen. And I showed you with Redbull earlier video preview. It's as simple as just adding a URI. So you just say, hey my video previews that HTTP dub dub dub. My video. Com and the home screen will play the video for you. I use this exoplayer under the covers. So all of this is supported video formats from exoplayer are supported for you out of the box. If you have DRM or you have a bit more complex use case, we do support a solution where you can draw your video on a Surface come see us and All Stars tomorrow and we can go in more depth about that.

This looks very similar to channels. No, you convert them to content values. And then from your constant values you'll need to URI URI is dynamic since you're trying to insert a program into a specific channel to use the the support Library. After you insert to get back a program ID now your programs in a channel and you have a program ID and you have a channel ID. You have all the tools you need for synchronizing updating and deleting later when you go to update your content. Okay, I told you how to make the channel, you know, just use the the Builder pattern added to

the content provider. But when do you make it when is very important? We put a lot of time trying to figure out how to get you started. And so we ended up with the new intent. So there's initialize programs that they'll get triggered and this can happen before your app starts which isn't a bad idea, you know your app just gets downloaded onto a TV or it gets updated and all the sudden you have content on the home screen great entry way for users to come and drop just listen for this initialize programs and just set up your channels and start your process.

Okay. The last thing we talked about was the Google Assistant. I think the Google assistant is is a pretty fantastic experience. If bushes that content first approached even further things you can do to integrate the Google assistant is to implement search support deep links. And handle playback controls. So what's the further? When you perform a search with the Google Assistant the Google Assistant keeps this content first design search my favorite movie Big Buck Bunny. Hope it's your favorite too and you'll see a bunch of information the

thumbnail the description the title. and if you're at matches and if it matches on the title duration year the minimum with the metadata returns, it will show up in the list of apps that's available on How do you match this what happens under the covers? We use more content providers this time. Your app is providing data to the Google Assistant. The Google Assistant will just pass a URI for you to perform your search on in this content provider. You can do whatever you want local database calls Network calls, whatever you need to do to perform your search you can do

this your eye contains the raw search string from the Google Assistant, but it will be sanitized. So if you say something like play Big Buck Bunny, it's going to send you Big Buck Bunny and realize that play is a command. So just be cognizant that the URI you get is going to be the key for what you should search for. Okay, controlling playback. If you guys are familiar with media session, you don't have to do anything your app already supports it. What would just take a closer look if you want to? If you want to support the the Google assistant and do different commands

while watching shows, for example, hey Google pause the movie in your app. You just Implement media session Supply a call back with this function on pause around play and the Google Assistant will trigger that through media session. Unpause on play it. Yeah, you can just hit the pause play button on the remote. Maybe not the most useful feature, but it's there and it's really it's actually really cool experience. My favorite one is on seat easy. Say Hey Google Fast Forward 5 minutes and the Google Assistant actually does the math and says, hey you media session has a state. I know the

current position in that state. You said fast forward 5 minutes. That's 300 seconds. So I'm going to send the new position to your app. If you're familiar with media session, you know that there's on rewind and on fast forward you should still Implement those methods but the Google Assistant ignores those since it already does the math to figure out where to send the user to This next one is more useful for Audio Apps more so than video apps. But if you say Hey Google play the next song or OK Google go back and play the previous song. All you have to do is just Implement on skip the

neck and on skip the previous. Set a recap what are some of the best practices on the home screen? You should listen furnish life programs. This is the Gateway for creating your programs and building on experience on the home screen. When it comes to metadata, you cannot have enough the more metadata you add the Richard experience the better engagement from users. Keep it on that team of Engagement ad previews. It's going to really Drive engagement and build a nice experience for users.

Keeping constant fresh. If you have steal content, you might lose trust with users to know if you have a channel on the home screen and you haven't updated in the year, you know, once the user watches all those programs. They don't have too much of a reason to go back in. So you want to keep that content fresh and that that depends on your app. If you're an app like YouTuber Haystak and you have user-generated content baby update every couple hours. If you're an app like Google Play movies where the contents already controlled maybe update once a day or twice twice a week or so. The goal is

to keep users fresh keep the content Fresh So users have something to engage with every day. And when it comes to the assistant, the media session is your friend anything you want to do with Google Assistant media session is the key. The good news is all of this stuff you can do today. It's live on Android o and and I'm going to turn it back over Sasha talk about things you guys can do in the future. Thank you very much. Franklin is interesting to see also the different reactions in the audience like some people taking notes and taking photos and discussing the the

code slides and other people like dude just launched some devices. So we'll talk a little bit more about what's new. You heard this morning already from date for Eric and some others. What's it? What's the new stuff in Android p and of course Android TV will also get some new additions in Android p So I will only highlight a few areas for investing in one is definitely performance. We have done a lot of work and Android P to actually make Android TV perform better faster, even on

entry-level Hardware. So even on some of the very affordable Smart TVs, you might have seen or set up boxes. We want to make sure everything is Zippy. It's fast and we have invested a lot in that an Android p and as a developer some things to to take a look at is think about you app. And you a behavior. Is that maybe something like some animation some future you might want to disable or tweak on low memory devices. We see that's one of the most common problems for some apps on entry-level Hardware. So take a look at the

Isla Ram device. And tune you're a behavior to that play around with it. Maybe it's some tweaks animations or maybe I'm talking device device to disable disable animations or take a look at certain features. Also use the memory profiler to really check your app profile and see where it might run into some bottle next because we see that still being some of the most common behaviors that an app suddenly has a drop in fps. And also then use Android vital to monitor the performance of your application.

You should see Android p on Android TV devices perform much faster much better and we will see more devices because of the reviews Harper and Willow. But we also obviously wanted to update some things for users and make make it even easier to get to a fully set up Android TV experience. I mean, let's let's be honest not everyone enjoys necessarily setting up a new device. And we wanted to make it the whole experience of from unboxing the device to have everything ready least set up be a lot easier faster and you don't have to

deal with with it. So an Android P the whole setup for a lot more streamlined. I think we would use the overall time it takes you to go through there by almost a third and we also have some additional she was in there where the phone integration is better. If you have an Android phone you will get to set up notifications so you can transfer. Account Details, for example your Google account you can easily transfer that to the TV. Also we have improved the browser sign in for Nara on Android devices. So iOS devices or maybe a laptop

we improved a lot. It's it's a lot faster. It's a lot easier until we should get you through set up a lot easier. But that's only setting up the device with your account and making sure all this all the settings work. What do you also want on a smart TV or and Ott box. Do you also want all your apps ride? You want all the content? So as part of the setup process we also have what will the next generation of play audio installs? And we already recommend you apps that you haven't sold another Android TV devices on pass Android TV devices or maybe on your phone

if a corresponding TV app exist, so we automatically suggests that to you as part of the setup flow and you can select a yes. I want all these apps or maybe say all I want only a few of them just a few clicks checkboxes. You say go and everything is being downloaded and installed automatically no more manual search in the Play Store after you have set up a new device. But downloading and installing an app is only one piece if you want to optimize what's also not a great experience is going into a nap and then discovering that you have to sign in

with the username and password and having to awkwardly enter that with your remote control. And so that's why we introducing also all to fill with Google on Android TV. So if you have ever ends with your prudential's on one of these apps on another Android device, we automatically suggesting that the dog was to you to just say yes and all the login credentials are being added you logging in automatically without entering and usernames and passwords. So that's that up. But also one of the thing one of the area where we saw a lot of

users spend a lot of time and searching for stuff and obviously not really enjoying it. It's settings right? Sometimes you need to tweak stuff or are you have skipped a certain set up step when setting up a new device or you want to change the audio settings or a different account of something like this? And we have revamped settings on Android TV to be a lot more streamlines letters and we will automatically suggest to use settings. We think you are looking for and For example, when you

gifts account login, we assumed animation, he will already highlight that or when we saw you at week around with some apps and something was right and you go to settings. We will maybe highlight the app setting for you. You want to make it as easy to quickly get in get the stuff week you need and get out again. So that was a lot about Android P if you can download the Android P preview i c k and I can play around with the with the amulet also with a TV emulator Android out the out some other nice things

in there for a cumple at external camera support so you could start writing camera apps for TV if you want to so you can can stop playing around with it. We also going to release lock my documentation on the performance aspects of TV apps in the near future, but we wanted to talk about two more things. We talked a lot about software so far, but you also thought about what a cool how to experience what a cool devices that could explain the experience in the living room. I want of the questions we ask ourselves. How would a really cool living room experience with a device being the

center of the Hub of a living room with assistant integrated very easy to use controlling all my other devices and bring me the best Android TV experience onto my TV screen. How would something like that look like? and the outcome of that I think that was something like this. Hey Google, turn on the TV. Hey Google, play the Clemson football game on ESPN. What's it called again? Opportunity? What's the new Star Trek show Star Trek discovery. Hey Google, show me

potato battery videos on YouTube kids YouTube kids. Hey, Google, how long is college football overtime according to Wikipedia that is commonly 10 minutes long. I'm at the show. Hey Google. Dim the lights turn off the TV and play some music on Pandora. So I thought you might have seen already starting yesterday and some media Outlets. We announced with all together without JBL the JBL Link Bar powered by Android TV. It's an awesome sound bar has Google Assistant integrated? And because we put

far-field microphones into the device. You don't even need to pick up the remote control to just sit on the sofa. Talking to the device and can't control the whole experience. It has really awesome sounds they will be an odd turn on subwoofer that you can order with it as well. And I think they're really cool feature is Mother 3 HDMI in and you might think while why is that so cool. You really can't control your whole home entertainment experience with us? Because a lot of you might have actually while you might have a PlayStation

or an Xbox right? All you might still have that Blu-ray player or whatever other. Oh, maybe that cable set-top box. You don't really like so we can connect all these devices to the JBL Link Bar and then use the assistant to control. What sample you want to switch to the PlayStation and it just magically happens and also if let's say you're playing a game on the PlayStation and then you have a question for the assistance. You just announced the assistance and DSs and cancer can show you the answer cards over your current HDMI input. So it's not just the

pass through HDMI these are active info. What's it really shows you the power of the assistant in Android TV as a living room platform. And the other cool thing here is that it works that we that we are working to get this the into a speaker only mode as well because sometimes you don't need the TV screen, right? You don't want to listen to audio to listen to music to maybe just ask something really turning this down into a very low-key smart speaker. It's also cool. So this device can do all of those things and maybe

sometimes you just want to send some music by bluetooth. So I cast audio to the device works as well. If you want stop shop for the living room can control everything. It's super easy. It will also come with a remote control, but if you prefer to just use it with with voice while it is really easy. You should check it out. We have it in our Android TV send box here and send box C and some of the folks on the team to give you a demo. It's really cool. It sounds good and it will launch in Fall 2018.

So I set two more things, right? So one other thing we talked a lot about entropy, orally ER and like as developer or you want to follow all the things been just told you and you might ask. Yeah, you told me I can download the Android TV SDK preview SDK and work with the emulator. I haven't really would like to have actual hardware for this. So I don't know who you was around was a Google IO 2014 at Moscone Center in Oahu lots of hands mosconi in 2014 and they might remember we launched the device back then to introduce Android TV was called the ADT one. So

we thought why you can't applaud if you want but we thought it's time for another developer device. So we are introducing a TT to So you might want to write down that sign up form link because you're the first people to actually see this and be able to sign up for this. All of smartphones exactly a pretty good test for Google Lens the actual facts about this link as well. So this is a nice little HDMI cable come with a b t l e enable voice enabled remote control so you can try out all the assistant integration tip that been just talked about it will run Android P developer

preview release. We will send updates to the device. By the way, we also sending updates to the Soundbar Google Android TV team sensible Center system updates in new Android version right through the device. And so you can use this device that riled all the cool things. It's a limited edition device. So, you know about it first sign up. We will actually start to send this out later this summer and we're actually really excited about it and sign up for it and feel cool app.

That's kind of it already. I said two more things. It was too much things. We have if you're working on apps we have some more interesting events that you might be interesting too much interested in then I don't know if you want to mention come visit us in office hours. We have back-to-back app reviews on office hours. We're going to be down the road a little bit with all stars dentist. If you have questions come bring them if you're bored and you still want to do TV stuff. We have two new code labs in the coat lab Section 1 focuses on just the

play next row and the other one focuses on an overview of the entire home screen. We look forward to seeing you and bring your questions there. Yep, and I'm not talking about questions. Well, obviously want feedback from you. But also if you have if you have questions, you see those microphones when not using them because of timing we will get chocolate out here very soon. But Ben and I will be over right after this talk as in the Android TV stand fox. Come over talk to us ask questions and I will most likely Paul talk

appoint to Benton to answer those questions. Thank you very much built all TV apps and I hope we'll see you next year. Thank you.

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