This free Google TV update brings its best new feature in ages

A display showing off the Google TV homepage, with icons for 1917, Scoob!, YouTube and Twitch (among others)
(Image credit: Google)

If, like this writer, your Google TV recommendations have been sullied by your kid’s viewing habits, the great news is that your next suggested show to watch will likely be something more fitting than Puppy Dog Pals or Blippi.

Much to the relief of parents and apartment sharers alike, Google TV is at last rolling out multiple user profiles to people in a free update.

The software upgrade now enables every member of a household to have their own profile, meaning each person will be shown relevant recommendations based on their previous individual viewing on that profile.

It’s been one of the most requested features from users, and had been initially announced as being added to the platform all the way back in October last year, before being shelved a couple of months later. 

During the wait, Google did add kids' profiles, but today’s update at last brings the platform into line with the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus which have offered multiple user profiles pretty much since launch if you're using their apps.

Users with compatible devices should keep an eye out for available firmware updates in the coming weeks which are set to include the feature, with owners of the Chromecast with Google TV dongle already said to be receiving the update over the past 24 hours.

Google TV user profiles

You can switch between Google TV profiles and make sure you get suggestions that you actually want. (Image credit: Google)

Analysis: Long overdue update will help end the never-ending Netflix scroll

When Google TV was announced as the de facto replacement for the venerable Android TV, smart recommendations was highlighted at the forefront as one of the new platform’s key features.

When working properly, Google TV’s smart recommendations have a knack of pulling out a show or film that you may not have previously heard about or considered.

But far from offering up more intelligent suggestions, the lack of multiple user accounts meant many users of Google TV compatible devices had to put up with annoyingly off viewing advice, with some suggested TV shows and films being flat out inappropriate. 

It’s likely been a big source of frustration and surprise for many users that it’s taken this long to roll out an update that properly addresses the problem, but the new update is nevertheless a welcome one, especially for those that suffer from decision paralysis and the never-ending Netflix scroll when on the hunt for an evening’s entertainment.

Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.