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What’s the difference between Google TV and Android TV?



android tv google tv logos

Google TV is the company’s smart TV and set-top box platform. But wait, didn’t Google already have a TV platform called Android TV? And what about the Google TV app? Let’s dive into another google naming problem.

First and foremost, Google TV is still Android TV. The easiest way to think of Google TV is to think of Android TV with a fresh coat of paint.

Google TV is conceptually similar to overlays like Samsung̵

7;s One UI. A Samsung Galaxy phone with a user interface is still running Android. In the same way, devices with Google TV will continue to run Android TV. The difference is that One UI is only available for Samsung devices, while Google TV runs on Android TV devices from all companies.

Google TV via settings
Still Android TV underneath.

The latest version of “Android TV” is based on Android 9, while Google TV is based on Android 10. Upgrading from Android TV to Google TV is no different than upgrading from Android 8 to Android 9. There’s just one extra layer on top.

Android TV home screen
Android TV home screen.

Aside from the name, the biggest change in Google TV is the home screen. Google completely redesigned the home screen experience to be based on recommendations. Movies and TV shows are obtained from the streaming services you have subscribed to.

Google TV home
Google TV home screen.

The entire setup process for a new device has also been revised. Instead of being done on the TV itself, it’s now set up using the Google Home app. During the setup process, Google will ask you to select your streaming services so that it can customize the home screen recommendations.

CONNECTED: Here’s how to set up your Chromecast with Google TV

Another important component of the Google TV home screen is the “watch list”. You can add movies and TV shows to your watchlist using Google search on your phone, tablet, or computer. They are then easily accessible from the Google TV home screen. The content is also available in the Google TV app.

Add to Watchlist

That’s right, there is also a Google TV App. The Google Play Movies & TV app has been renamed Google TV. It’s still the place to rent and buy movies and TV shows in the Google ecosystem. Now it includes your streaming services and watchlist too. Search for something and Google TV will tell you where to watch it.

CONNECTED: Here’s how to get the Google TV UI now on Android TV devices

The important thing to know is that Google TV is still Android TV. It may look very different, but at the core they are the same. The home screen is where most of the changes are, and older devices may get the same experience.




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