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Google wants to turn your Android phone into a remote control for your Android TV

You'll soon be able to use your Android phone to control your Android TV
(Image credit: Google)

You'll soon be able to use your Android phone as a remote control for your Android TV.

At its I/O developer conference yesterday, Google revealed plans to make it "easier to navigate your TV by building remote-control features directly into your Android phone, so you can watch your favourite show even if your actual remote is missing."

The ability to enter text via your phone's keyboard should also make it easier to search for long-winded movie titles, or punch in that jumbled up, 16-character Wi-Fi password. Plus, if the batteries in your physical remote die, you can simply switch to your phone!

Apple has provided iPhone users with a similar feature, built into iOS, for over a year now. It seems Google's engineers are on the same page – even adding a similar 'virtual touchpad' to navigate TV menus with directional swipes.

Google's built-in remote is set to replace the ageing – and pretty obscure – Android TV Remote Control app later this year. It should "work instantly for the more than 80 million Android TV OS devices, including Google TV".

It's not the only upgrade headed the way of Android TV owners, mind. Google recently made its latest Google TV home screen available to older Sony Android TVs. The tech giant has also added more HDR controls to the Google Chromecast media streamer.

So, has the physical remote had its day? Only time will tell, but there's no doubt mobile app and voice assistants are increasingly ready to take over any channel-hopping duties.

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