Android TV 13 unveiled — here’s the new features

Android TV Discover
(Image credit: Future)

Google has announced that Android TV 13 is now available. Android 13 just rolled out a few months ago for Android phones and considering Android TV 12 came out only early this year, and just recently on Google’s own Chromecast devices — this seems to be a quick turnaround from Google. 

The only catch is that Android TV 13 will not be seen on consumer devices anytime soon. This is more an update for developers that hints at what we could expect to see on our screens when it is out on devices. 

Android TV brings smart TV features, allows users to watch content across platforms and play games as well. Android 13 focussed on stability and security and didn't bring sweeping visual changes, Google carries that forward with Android TV 13. 

The new OS mostly brings under-the-hood changes and the user interface itself is largely the same. In a blog post (opens in new tab), Google mentions, “Android 13 adds further customizations to improve the user experience and increase compatibility with TV devices.” 

Here are all the new features set to come with Android TV 13.

New keyboard layout 

Android TV 13 brings a new keyboard layout which allows for different language layouts for external keyboards. Game developers will also be able to access some changes to the keyboard and controller button mapping. 

Resolution and refresh rate 

Users will be able to control the resolution and refresh rate via HDMI source devices. In addition, Android TV 13 will allow the device to pause playback if the HDMI signal changes to something new.  

Other Android 13 features and improvements 

There are many behind-the-scenes improvements with Android TV 13. To make a user's audio experience better, apps will be able to detect the connected device and compatible formats before producing an AudioTrack, even when it is used with external speakers and the best soundbars.

Power saving at a software level has been improved — especially with HDMI devices to reduce power usage by better management of HDMI state changes.

There are also some new privacy and accessibility features in Android TV 13 as well, including controls for microphone access through Google Assistant. 

Android TV 13 is not set to come to consumer devices until some time next year. But if you are a developer you can get your hands on this through the ADT-3 developer kit and test out the new OS in two ways — the Google TV interface or the standard Android TV interface. 

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Sanjana Prakash
News Editor

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.