Google will soon build Android TV remote-control features directly into your Android phone, saving you the many hours spent searching for your remote under the couch or time spent typing in long passwords to unlock apps through your TV remote.
Rolling out later this year, the news comes directly from the Google I/O 2021 keynote and was announced by Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management for Android at Google.
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Can’t find your remote? No problem. With your Android phone safely in hand, you will soon be able to manage what you want to watch from the interfaces of the best Android phones. You'll be able to easily flick between your favorite shows for those late-night binges.
According to the announced info — and it's still scarce — the built-in remote control on Android phones will work seamlessly with Android TV OS devices, including Google TV-enabled ones, like the Chromecast with Google TV.
If you're getting the eerily familiar tinges of déjà vu, then it's probably for good reason. Google has long offered an Android TV Remote Control app (opens in new tab) through the Google Play Store (opens in new tab). The app lets you hook up your Android phone to your TV to perform a similar set of functions as your actual remote.
However, the Android TV Remote Control application has become significantly outdated. It's bereft of any update since 2017, and it increasingly feels a part of a bygone era before Android TV started to shift to Google TV.
Google's plan to bake remote-control functionality directly into your Android phone should make things a whole lot smoother when sitting down in front of the TV.
We also think that the company has earmarked one of the more frustrating issues with TV remote controls and smart apps — that of the fiddly process of plugging in a password. Hopefully, this news goes some way to helping that process along.