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Google TV slims down and speeds up with recent software updates

If you’ve been tooling around on your favorite Google TV device and have noticed that it just … seems faster — that’s because it is. Google in a post today in its support community noted some recent updates to its streaming platform that address onboard storage, as well as overall performance.

And you already should have the update.

The Google TV remote in front of Apple TV Fitness.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

First up is App Hibernation, which is a familiar feature to folks with an Android phone (at least those who are on Android 12 and newer). That’s where an app that goes unused for 30 days will be put into hibernation mode, which reoptimizes the app to take up less storage space in lieu of running faster (basically what you get if you were to force-quit the app). Then there’s Android App Bundles, which uses Google Play itself to essentially serve smaller device-specific apps instead of a larger one-size-fits-all file to additionally reduce app sizes by about 25%.

Google also says that it’s updated Google TV devices (presumably Chromecast with Google TV, and also televisions running Google TV software) “to eliminate wait time.” Input lag is never good, and Chromecast isn’t exactly dripping with the same power as the aging Nvidia Shield. So, Google “reduced the time it takes to wake up your Google TV, the response time between your TV and button clicks on your remote, and the amount of time you see the loading animation when rebooting your device.”

Also noted was a change to the Google TV home screen, with improved navigation and content pages that provide for “a smoother experience across the board.”

And that’s it. Any small performance improvements are good when you’re talking about a device that you’re likely using several times a day, every day. And being able to squeeze out every megabyte on the Chromecast With Google TV is important, given that the $50 device has less than 5GB available for apps and other downloads.

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Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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