Android 13 for TV is another fairly low-key update

Mike Wheatley

Google has announced that Android 13 for TV is now available for developers to play with, but it’s likely to be some time before the update reaches consumer televisions and streaming devices.


That may be just as well, for Android 13 for TV seems to be a fairly minor upgrade, with most of the improvements focused on the performance of the software and on accessibility. While boosting performance and accessibility is important, it means that there are very few new features that end users will notice.

The upgrade is being made available to developers first so they can tailor their applications and services to it. As such, they'll be ready to go when it hits prime time, Google said in a post on the Android Developers blog.

There are some new features, with one of them letting users set their own preferred resolution and refresh rate on supported HDMI source devices. Another update is focused on power management, ensuring that devices are more efficient in standby mode. There are updated user controls for accessing Google Assistant through a microphone on the remote control, and there’s a new keyboard layouts API for developers that allows them to set different language layouts on external keyboards.

In other words, it’s a fairly unexciting release and few will care that it won’t be made available to consumers for some months. Google hasn’t announced an official release date for Android 13 for TV just yet, but we recall that Android 12 for TV was released to developers in December 2021, before finally landing on TVs and streaming devices in October 2022. So, assuming Google follows a similar timeline, it will probably be another 10 months or so until Android 13 for TV is fully unleashed.

Android TV, or its cousin Google TV, is used by some of the world’s biggest TV manufacturers, including the likes of Son and TCL, so it’s an important update nonetheless. The operating system also powers Google’s newest Chromecast devices.