Google I/O 2021: Android TV Reaches 80 Million Active Devices, Remote Control Feature Coming to Android Phones


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A screenshot showing an Android phone being used as a TV remote control

After taking last year off due to COVID-19, Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, kicked off a virtual version this week with a slate of updates and announcements. Among them was a key milestone for the company’s smart TV platform, with Google announcing that they’ve surpassed 80 million active monthly devices running Android TV. That figure includes the Google TV variant that launched last year alongside the aptly named Chromecast with Google TV. Beyond that, the company also announced Android phones will soon receive an update that adds remote control features so you can control your TV.

Google said that Android TV growth was spurred on, in part, by strong growth in the US — the company cited more than 80 percent growth in the US. Part of that growth can be attributed to the launch of Google TV, which has expanded beyond that initial Chromecast launch and Android app to include support on smart TVs from Sony and, eventually, TCL.

Beyond the user growth milestone, Google also announced new remote control features coming to Android. The update will include the ability to use a section of your phone’s screen as a directional trackpad, scrolling around the Android TV interface. You’ll also be able to use your phone’s keyboard to type in searches, login info, and more. The idea there is to make entering long text and number strings easier than if you were using a traditional TV remote.

Image: Google

The remote control update is expected to come to Android devices later this year.

Meanwhile, we’re continuing to keep an eye on Google I/O and we’ll update if and when more announcements pop up.

Featured Image: Google

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