Google TV phone app prepares to add Android TV remote possibly to replace all-but-abandoned app

The Google TV app for Android has received an update that includes the beginnings of a universal remote to connect to Android TV devices, which could replace the long-outdated Android TV Remote Control app.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Android TV remote

For years, Google has offered an Android TV Remote Control app through the Play Store that allows you to connect your phone to your TV and act as a remote. However, Android TV Remote Control has not seen an update since April 2017, which is to say Android TV — and now Google TV — has moved on without it.

Tonight, the Google TV app for Android phones — previously known as Play Movies & TV — received an update to version 4.25, and inside, we’ve found work on a directional pad, enter and back buttons, and a system for pairing your phone to an Android TV.

<string name=”left_dpad_button_content_description”>move left</string>

<string name=”content_desc_enter_button”>enter</string>

<string name=”back_dpad_button_content_description”>back</string>

<string name=”searching_for_devices_hint”>Make sure the Android TV is in the same Wi-Fi or Ethernet network.</string>

<string name=”searching_for_devices_on_network_and_bluetooth”>Searching for Android TV on [YourNetworkName] and Bluetooth</string>

We were able to enable the pairing process on one of our devices, but things seem to still be early in development, as no devices are ever found, on either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

From what we can piece together, the Google TV app will connect through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, just like the original Android TV Remote Control app. This setup is far more convenient, though, as it won’t require a standalone app.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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