Google TV gets a great new update that looks the bees knees

A refresh for Chromecast and sets with Google TV rolling out now

Google TV in a living room situation
(Image credit: Google / Future)
Quick Summary

A new update for Google TV is rolling out now that adds several neat changes to the homepage.

You might have to wait a little while for it though, as the full roll out to all devices could take a few months.

Google is rolling out an update for its Google TV platform that adds a feature or two and makes the whole experience a bit easier to use.

There's a design tweak too that makes the homepage look more modern.

For starters, the "Your apps" rail has been refreshed, with new circular app icons replacing the older, boring rectangular logos. It instantly makes a big difference to the visuals of the user interface, we feel.

There is also a new icon for free channels from Google TV that appears in "Your apps". This gives you instant access to all of the live streaming stations that don't require a subscription – including news, movie streams and sports coverage.

And, thanks to the new design, more apps can now appear in the rail so you don't have to hunt for your most-used services.

Google TV refresh

(Image credit: Google)

Finally, the "Your apps" row can also be customised with new "reorder" and "add apps" buttons at the end of the rail. This makes it much easier to ensure your favourite streaming services are at the front and therefore quicker to click on.

Google is rolling out its update now, which will reach "all devices" in the next few months. The timeline is largely dependant on your device manufacturer.

Chromecast with Google TV streamers will likely get it soon (if not already), while some TVs with Google TV built in will probably need the update to come from each individual manufacturer directly. Anyone with a non-Google Android phone will understand that process.

Other recent updates for the Chromecast include the addition of audio switching and simplified Fast Pair functionality, which makes using compatible headphones a more pain-free experience.

The audio switching option added the ability to choose your sound output more quickly using a quick settings tile.

We don't know if there will be a new Chromecast with Google TV device soon, but by feeding the existing models with regular upgrades, the existing models continue to be among the best devices around – especially for the price.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.