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Google today updated the Google Play store for Android TV. The technical and visual update is meant to surface over 600 apps and games, previously only accessible via the store’s search function, so that Android TV users can discover them more easily.
Until today, Android TV users only saw a few dozen apps when they launched Google Play. Discovery didn’t really exist for the remaining apps and games: Users had to search and hope an app they wanted appeared in the results.
As such, the over 600 apps that are suddenly showing up aren’t new apps. They were available before — they’re just much easier to find.
As part of the Google Play update, all Android TV apps are now also sorted into 20 new collections spanning movies, news, sports, multiplayer games, casual games, racers, fighters, puzzles, and so on. The categories are as follows:
For music lovers
Movies at home
Top app and games
TV remote games
Exercise your mind games
Stop the enemies games
Choose an adventure games
Aim and shoot games
No sweat workout games
Role playing games
Arcade fun games
Get ready, fight games
Great platformers games
Racing and flying games
Fun for everyone games
If you have an Android TV, your app experience should get a lot better today. Just head to Google Play and check out what’s new.
Apps and games on the TV have a lot of potential, but Android TV doesn’t exactly have a huge userbase so developers aren’t exactly lining up to build apps and games. It also doesn’t help that Google offers the Chromecast, which has seen a lot more adoption, as it works with any modern TV.
At its I/O 2015 developer conference last week, Google launched new Chromecast APIs. Today’s update is thus a welcome one, but we can’t help but wonder what the future of development for Android TV looks like given that the platform lives in the massive shadow that is Chromecast.