Android TV updates rarely bring major changes to the user experience, but Android 14 already brings some significant tweaks to Google TV. With the first beta now available, here’s everything we found new.
9to5Google has a file Restart the newsletter that highlights the biggest Google stories with added comments and other tidbits. Register here!
Related: Google releases Android TV 14 Beta, ditching Android 13
Accessibility is now a top level setting
The main focus of Android TV 14, at least from what we see in the first beta, is accessibility.
We’ll get into the changes below, but the first noticeable tweak is that the Google TV Settings menu now shows Accessibility as a top-level setting. This means that these settings, which were previously pushed down under the System section, are now easily accessible.
System-wide bold text, metering, and color correction
Dive into the new accessibility options, right there a lot, starting with new options for changing text size and bold text. Resizing the text can reduce the text size to 85% or the text size to 130%. This option itself isn’t new, but it was never found in the Accessibility settings, as it was previously located under Display and Sound.
A completely new setting is Bold Text, a toggle that does exactly what it says it does. Turning the setting on will make all text across the system extra wide, which might help those with a sight problem, just as changing the size of text might.
There’s also a new color correction menu that includes some alternate color modes and a grayscale option.
Google is also enabling audio descriptions as a system-wide alternative. This won’t work on all content, but Sponsored Content will contain descriptions read aloud of “what happens on screen in Sponsored Movies and Shows”.
New energy and energy symbol
A very small tweak we noticed in the Google TV settings in Android 14 is a new icon for the Power and Power menu, which adopts the Leaf icon. In previous versions, it was a light bulb.
Stop expecting the biggest Google TV updates with Android releases
With all of this out of the way, it seems like a good time to remind everyone that major Android OS upgrades aren’t too important for Google TV and Android TV devices. As seen here, they can make for some notable upgrades, but not all that common. The same was the case on Android TV 12 and Android TV 13 which is not yet launched.
Regular security updates are far more important, which is why it’s nice to have options like the more regular Chromecast patches from Google and a very cheap Onn box from Walmart, which miraculously gets fairly frequent updates despite costing less than a month’s worth of Netflix. As for the actual new features, the wide The majority of new features in Google TV come via app and server-side updates.
Kyle Bradshaw contributed to this article.
More on Google TV:
FTC: We use affiliate links to earn income. more.
“Freelance web ninja. Wannabe communicator. Amateur tv aficionado. Twitter practitioner. Extreme music evangelist. Internet fanatic.”