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Android 12 for Android TV will finally bring native 4K UI and refresh rate switching

Android 12 Beta 3 has just launched, and with it came beta images for Android TV as well. While there are a number of changes introduced in Beta 3, the biggest is the introduction of a native 4K UI and dynamic refresh rate switching. While Android TV supports 4K, this is the first time that the UI itself supports being rendered in 4K. Previously, the UI was rendered in 1080p maximum, and the display was only in 4K if the content being displayed was in 4K. The Android 12 for Android TV Beta 3 update is available for ADT-3 developer dongles today.

In the announcement, Google also says that it can be tested in the upcoming Android 12 TV emulator (the Google TV emulator is still based on Android 11) so that app developers can prepare their apps to launch at higher resolutions. Also added was dynamic refresh rate switching, which supports seamless and non-seamless refresh rate switching. Apps can integrate these settings for playback of content at optimal frame rates and can check whether a TV supports seamless frame rate switching.

Other features were added too, such as an updated “Tunnel Mode”, which Google says will make it “even easier for app developers to support consistent and efficient playback across devices by reducing media processing overhead in the Android Framework”. There are also improvements to how Android TV detects the TV it’s plugged into, microphone and camera indicators (which are also a part of Android 12’s privacy features), and toggles to entirely prevent the usage of microphone and camera globally.

Android 12 for Android TV microphone and camera toggle

Google is also extending device attestation support on Android TV to “support attestation of basic device properties“. The update can be gotten on ADT-3 developer dongles today. Google TV is based on Android TV, and will incorporate most (if not all) of the features introduced here when Google TV based on Android 12 arrives for devices.

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