Google TV gets a free update to make it faster and slicker to use

Google TV onscreen interface showing streaming apps
(Image credit: Vantage_DS /

Google TV apps are being cut down for size – with a new OS update that reduces the amount of storage apps take up by “roughly 25%” having come to all Google TV devices, while an update promises to make it faster to fire up and respond too.

Google says that the time it takes to wake up, reboot, or generally navigate the platform has been reduced:

"We 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. These improvements are already rolling out to your devices and will help you get to your content faster" (via FlatpanelsHD).

Storage is a common problem as the quantity and scope of applications grow over time, especially on compact devices featuring limited storage space, such as the Chromecast with Google TV or Nvidia Shield – let along the best TVs, many of which use Google TV.

The new change should make it easier to implement updates, install new apps, and generally manage storage on your Google TV device without issue.

A separate App Hibernation feature also renders apps inactive when they haven’t been used for 30 days, ensuring apps you don’t currently use aren’t needlessly taking up space for other things.

Room for everyone

It’s a bountiful time for Google TV updates, with the platform recently seeing 800 free TV channels added to the platform in the US – more than any other streamer out there. 

Google has made a lot of noise about streamlining its Google TV interface, partially due to the number of streaming services the average household jumps between these days, and the gradual accumulation of clutter that any software is generally subject to over time.

A speedier, more streamlined OS is nothing to sniff at, and with Google TV gradually replacing the older Android TV interface, it’s great to see its replacement enhanced and maintained in this way. 

We’re still yet to see Google TV come to Nvidia Shield devices in its entirety, but it’s clear Google is going all in on its upgraded software, and it should save us all the trouble of having to delete and manage app storage every time an update comes through. Let’s hope the improvements keep on coming when that new 4K Chromecast finally launches too, and you can see the rest of our picks of the best TV streaming devices in the meantime.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.