Some new features are coming to Android TV. The new version – Android TV 12 – is on the way, but the third beta version (opens in new tab) has just been released to developers. And it shows off what us viewers can expect.
First up, refresh rate switching. Different content displays at different frame rates, but thanks to refresh rate switching, Android TV 12 can display the content at the optimal refresh rate. You can control the feature yourself using the Match Content Frame Rate setting, while apps can now tell if your device supports seamless rate switching (Android TV 12 supports non-seamless rate switching too).
Then there's the new UI. Android 12 supports UI rendering at 4K on compatible devices, giving the menu screens a much higher resolution. The UI's background can also blur, making what's in the foreground much more distinct and striking (think portrait mode on a smartphone camera).
So what else is new? Android TV 12 has some privacy improvements, including visual indicators every time an app accesses your device's camera or microphone, and easy toggles to disable access to either. It also has better display mode reporting for developers and tunnel mode updates.
The Android TV 12 Beta 3 is available for developers now, with an Android 12 emulator for testing apps arriving in the coming weeks. There's no word on when Android TV 12 will arrive for us viewers. We'll bring you more as we get it.
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