Android TV: Android Oreo Is Here, This Is What You Get – Android Headlines
So it finally happened this week. The final and consumer-ready version of Android O has now arrived and with a name. Android O is now officially Android Oreo. While this is exciting for the Android world, it is probably a little less exciting for those who are part of the Android TV community. First and foremost, Android TV device makers do not seem to be that great at pushing out updates. So when a particular user of a particular device, will actually get to use Android Oreo, is anyone’s guess. Although, if you do own the original Nexus Player, and in spite of this device being three years old now, you can be running Android Oreo right now. The update should roll out to all Nexus Players as an OTA in the coming days and weeks, while those who would prefer not to wait can push the update manually to their device by using this method. Those who are part of the developer preview program, should have already gotten the update.
So what’s is on offer with Oreo? To be honest, not much more than what was already known. Due to the developer previews rolling out over the last few months, the features on offer with the official version of Oreo is much the same as what was on offer when it was just Android O. Although there are some minor improvements and most notably in terms of support for the new interface.
This is the big thing with Android Oreo on Android TV. Apps are a thing of the past now and while you still might install an app, once it is installed it becomes a ‘channel.’ During the preview stage, support for Channels was pretty limited and in reality, it still is. Besides the stock Google apps (YouTube, Play Movies, Music, etc), there are very few apps that can take advantage of Channels at the moment. Although HBO GO (and NOW) does.
Interestingly, in spite of being the hero app in the Android O hero teaser images, Netflix support for Channels still seems to be largely absent. This will likely change soon enough, but right now Netflix does not support the Channels feature.
Another announced feature which has yet to materialize is any meaningful way is the video preview feature. This is where the user can highlight one of the thumbnails listed under a Channel and have the thumbnail play a preview video. In the latest version of Oreo, this is still not a usable feature. Although one nice touch is that as you pass through different thumbnails under a Channel listing, the background does change color. Not quite the same, but something.