Android TV 13 could reduce your smart TV’s power and bandwidth consumption

It will also further improve the picture-in-picture mode


Google tends to drop a new version of Android TV a month or two after releasing the final version of Android that the operating system will be based on. Last year, it released Android TV 12 about a month after Android 12 made its way to Pixel phones. While the company has yet to announce Android TV 13, two of its significant changes have been detailed: expanded picture-in-picture support and low-power sleep mode.

Android TV already supports picture-in-picture mode, with a default aspect ratio of 1.777778:1, ideal for displaying 16:9 content. Developers, however, can create PiP windows with an aspect ratio lower than 1:2.39 or higher than 2.39:1 if needed. As Esper’s Mishaal Rahman noticed, Google will further improve this feature in Android TV 13 by allowing developers to create PiP windows smaller or larger than this aspect ratio. Additionally, a new Activity method – setPreferDockBigOverlays – in Android 13 allows users to dock the PiP box next to the main Activity so that “both windows are obvious to the user”.

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Android 13 also contains a new “low power sleep mode” for Android TVs. The feature will disable wakelocks and prevent apps from accessing the network when active. This will be a useful addition as apps don’t need to access the internet or create unnecessary wakelocks when the TV is off or in standby. It should also result in reduced bandwidth usage and lower power consumption of your smart TV. These restrictions will be temporarily removed during slumber windows, ensuring apps don’t completely break in this mode.

If Google sticks to the same schedule as last year, expect Android TV 13 to be announced in November. Most TV manufacturers are slow to roll out a new version of Android TV, so expect a bit of a wait before you can try out these features.


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