Android 13 for TV has been officially released. But don’t expect to see it on consumer devices soon.
Google says it’s more of a developer milestone than anything else. Android TV updates have slower and less broad schedules than its Android for mobile counterpart. Google’s own Chromecast devices only received Android 12 for TV earlier this year.
Android 13 adds further customizations to improve the user experience and increase compatibility with TV devices.
Among the highlights for this release include performance and quality improvements, and continued advancements to how users interact with Android TV.
Refer to the Android 13 documentation for a full list of all the changes included in Android 13. Note that not all those features apply to TV.
Here are some of the highlights of what’s new in Android 13 for TV:
Media & Power
- Anticipatory audio route lets apps identify the routed device and supported formats before creating an AudioTrack
- User controls for preferred resolution and refresh rate on supported HDMI source devices
- Power management improvements for low powered standby
Input Control & Accessibility
- Hardware mute switch states are reflected in the system privacy controls
- Updated user controls for Assistant microphone access on the remote
- Global preferences for enabling audio descriptions across apps
- New Keyboard Layouts API allows selection of different language layouts for external keyboards
HDMI & Tuner
- Better handling of HDMI state changes on HDMI source devices
- Improved language selection for HDMI source devices
- Tuner HAL 2.0 with performance optimizations, twin tuner and ISDB-T Multi-Layer support
- Framework for interactive TV use cases as an extension to TIF
How to get started
If you have the ADT-3 Developer Kit, install a system image by following the instructions in this section. Alternatively, you can use the Android Emulator for TV, which allows you to try out some new user interface capabilities like audio routing, keyboard layouts and HDMI state changes.
If you receive an OTA today, it’s unlikely you will find major changes. Most additions to version 13 are in the backend and target developers.
Read more from here.