Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on. Original 7/8: Earlier this year, Google announced a new remote control experience for Android TV and Google TV devices, allowing you to use your phone instead of necessarily needing to dig for your physical remote. On Android, this was already possible through a long-outdated dedicated app, but soon, it will be available through the Google TV app as well as your Quick Settings.
Our best glimpse yet at the impending phone-based control for Android TV devices comes from the most recent update to the Google TV app, which is still frequently referred to as Play Movies & TV. Update: With the release of version 4.28, we can now see a peek of the Quick Settings tile for the future remote for the Google TV app. Regarding APK Insight: We’ve decompiled the most recent version of an app that Google put on the Play Store in our “APK Insight” post. These files, known as APKs for Android apps, can be disassembled to reveal several lines of code that allude to potential future features.
Now that the remote appears to be more fully developed, it shouldn’t be too much longer before Google launches it. That said, we’ve not yet seen any signs of the remote being incorporated into Quick Settings as was promised.
We originally uncovered the company’s efforts toward a new remote for Android devices in the Google TV app, and progress is continuing there. With version 4.27, rolling out now via the Google Play Store, we’ve once again enabled the upcoming Android TV remote, which has seen a significant amount of progress since we last saw it. Unfortunately, while we were able to get a preview of the remote’s layout, the app was unable to properly connect to my Google TV. Since Google last showed us the upcoming remote, it’s seen some tweaks, including rounded corners for the volume buttons at the bottom.
By comparison to the previous update, the remote UI has been tweaked slightly. The biggest change is a new overflow menu in the top-right corner, which is used to switch between swiping controls and a more traditional D-pad. Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.
Update 9/16: Two months after first being enabled by our team, the Google TV remote has still yet to launch on Android. With Google TV / Play Movies version 4.28 rolling out now, we took another look at the remote to see what progress has been ma. While not yet live in the app today, we were able to enable the Quick Settings tile for the Google TV remote, which appears as “TV Remote.” Tapping on the new tile brings you directly to the new remote control UI and starts searching for a TV to pair to. Unfortunately, it’s still not possible to pair an Android TV or Google TV with the remote app, even enabling it manually as we have.