The design has been tweaked since last fall’s preview
Google TV is the company’s latest attempt at building a competitor to Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV, acting as a software layer on top of vanilla Android TV. Despite the company’s interest in winning the battle for living rooms everywhere, the platform has stagnated over the last few months, as one of its most-demanded features — profile support — missed its initial launch window. Thankfully, another feature announced alongside profiles last fall is finally rolling out.
We’ve been waiting for Google TV’s new “glanceable cards” screensaver to come to actual devices for more than six months now, and while it’s a pretty limited launch, it’s great to see it arriving for users in some capacity. The folks at 9to5Google spotted these cards on a Mecool MK3 unit, though they were unable to activate them on any other device. I can confirm it’s not appearing for me on my Chromecast with Google TV just yet, nor on a TCL 6-series TV.
Still, thanks to 9to5’s hands-on, we can get an idea of how this screensaver works in action. Back when Google initially announced them, the company sold “glanceable cards” as a way to view news, weather, music, and more — all associated with whatever profile was active at the moment. Of course, profiles have yet to launch (to our frustration), so for now, these cards are limited to pulling information for the sole primary user of the device.
Seeing as it’s been nearly seven months since the initial reveal, it’s not too surprising to see these cards with a radically different look compared to their original design. While the initial blog post shows large cards with a text-based greeting, the new style is a little more paired down. A row of scrollable data appears along the bottom of the screen, highlighting weather, podcasts, music, YouTube videos, and more.
Based on its limited availability, it seems like this might be yet another classic server-side update from Google. If you’re one of the lucky users, you should notice a notification alerting you that “proactive personal results are now on.” With Google I/O two days away, hopefully a broader launch is just around the corner. Who knows — maybe profiles are on deck for a launch this week, too.
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