Google TV's fresh, free upgrade rolls out on Chromecast first

Your device should look different today

Google TV on wallmounted TV
(Image credit: screengrab by 9to5Google / Future)
Quick Summary

The latest Google TV update has now started to appear on devices, but mainly those from Google itself.

Chromecast with Google TV dongles can now be upgraded, although you may have to wait longer for your Google-powered television to receive the same, new look.

We recently reported that Google has redesigned the homescreen for its Google TV platform, adding a nicer look and a few new features.

Well, now you can see it for yourself, as it's already starting to roll out onto Chromecast with Google TV devices.

Those with televisions that run Google TV for access to streaming services, such as those from Sony and Philips, may have to wait a bit longer (weeks or months, even), but reports that Google's own devices are now running the updated version are starting to appear.

A device owned by 9to5Google in the US has got it already, which has also published a screengrab or two of the new look in action. So, if you do own a supported Chromecast (either the HD or 4K) models, double check that you've downloaded the latest software.

What does the latest Chromecast with Google TV update add?

As we explained in our earlier report, the new homescreen completely refreshes the "Your apps" rail. Apps get fresh, new round icons rather the elongated rectangular versions of before.

Not only does it look more modern, it allows for more apps to be shown on screen simultaneously.

Additionally, you can now customise the row more easily, with new "reorder" and "add apps" options at the end of the rail. And you can also find free-to-watch content more effectively, as Google has added a new icon for free channels.

This could all be in preparation for a new Chromecast with Google TV device or two, as a couple of unannounced products have been spotted in the Google Home app.

The existing models still work well but considering the 4K version was made available in 2020, they are due for a refresh – with new processing power for faster performance.

Still, they are excellent devices and, with each update, Google is bringing its platform more on par with the likes of Apple's tvOS, Amazon's Fire TV OS, and the Roku system software.

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.