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Google Releases Android 11 Update for Android TV

(Image credit: Google)

Two weeks after rolling out the latest update to its mega-popular mobile operating system, Android 11, Google is migrating the upgrade to its connected TV OS, Android TV.

The most obvious changes to the OS include “Instant Apps,” which lets users try out OTT apps in the Google Play store without actually having to install them on their device.  A new PIN code feature lets users confirm Google Play purchases by punching in a few numbers instead of lengthier password. There’s also the introduction of one-time permissions requests and an enhanced Gboard TV keyboard. 

While much of Android 11’s work involves memory management improvements and revamped privacy features, there's also the notable introduction of an auto low latency mode (ALLM). Newer displays that support HDMI 2.1 have an ALLM, which minimizes latency by switching off post-processing functions.

The update arrives today … sort of.

Developers of devices ranging from OTT players like Nvidia Shield and Tivo Stream 4K can now access it, as can makers of smart TVs that license Android TV, such as TCL. Consumers will see the upgrades on their TVs and devices as these developers integrate the upgrades into their respective products. 

For now, the only device that can access the Android 11 updates for Android TV is the ADT-3, a 4K/HDR box with a quad core A53 processor, which is sold exclusivly to developers of Android TV products. 

The upgrade comes as Google is making a major push in the connected TV device business. The company is expected to make a host of product announcements on Sept. 30, including the latest iteration of its Chromecast HDMI dongle (codename: "Sabrina"), which will reportedly supports Android TV.