Google has been working on the next model of smart TVs, the Android TV 14. This device builds off of Android 14 which is currently in beta testing and expected to launch sometime this fall, either in September or October. No official release date has been announced yet.
There’s a slight snag for developers, though. Since Android TV doesn’t currently support Android 14, there’s no way for developers to run advanced tests for their apps. Google TV runs on Android TV 12. The closest match is Android TV 13, which is being phased out in preparation for the launch of Android TV 14.
App developers can’t possibly test their apps on every Android device. Instead, Android Studio offers an emulator as a reference device that lets them test the functionality of their apps on several popular types of devices. However, the emulator doesn’t serve as a catch-all for apps, and developers who need to run more advanced tests need the physical device to do so.
Developers can use test boxes during the beta phase to ensure their product works with upgrades. Unfortunately for developers, this time around Google will not be selling the ADT-4 reference device.
“They develop Android TV on the ADT-4 set-top box, an unreleased device…. That will not be released to anyone outside of Google,” reports Android Authority. “It’s odd that Google won’t be offering its reference hardware to developers this time, especially since the company is reportedly making a bigger monetization push.”
Seeing as there are no devices supporting the latest version of Android TV, developers would need access to the reference device Google uses, but the company isn’t offering it to anyone. ADT-1 through ADT-3 were sold to developers, but for some reason, developers as well as Google’s Android TV partners won’t be granted access to the ADT-4.