Google TV's latest app update could help it one-up Roku

A man holding an Android phone looking at the Google TV app.
(Image credit: Google)

About half a decade ago, Roku introduced a feature called My Feed that allowed you to track when shows and movies hit your favorite streaming services. Now, Google TV has something similar… with a bit of a Google twist to it.

The feature is called Highlights, and it’s like a Google News feed for your favorite shows and movies. You’ll not only hear about which streaming service they’re coming to via news updates - but you’ll also be able to see behind-the-scenes clips, updates and more.

Should you find a new show or movie that you want to watch while browsing Highlights, you can save it to your Watchlist from the app and have it show up on your TV at home.

Highlights is available on the Google TV companion app on Android devices exclusively in the US - but there doesn’t seem to be anything preventing it from rolling out to iOS and other territories sometime down the road.

Analysis: The future of smart TVs is connected content 

What makes the Roku comparison so interesting here is that Roku knew years ago that content - not app selection - was going to be key for the success of smart TV platforms.

By implementing My Feed, Roku allowed users to really keep tabs on shows and movies, keeping you connected to both the content and the platform at all times.

What Google is doing with Highlights feels like an advancement in that area. Highlights still lets you keep tabs on your content - but it does so by harnessing the power of Google News to show you what’s trending around that content. 

Is a 24/7 tether to your favorite shows really healthy? Probably not. But hey, when you need your content fix, this is certainly one way of getting it.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.