Smart TVs from most manufacturers, except LG and Samsung, use Android. The shells can be different, but at the core of Android TV, for example, Google TV is Android but with a visualization shell adapted for Google. The operating system from Amazon Fire TV OS 8 is based on Android 10 (up to build 29) and Android 11 (from build 30 onwards). Knowing the year of OS development can help you when choosing a TV. For example, you see a TV on sale, and if you look at the OS version, you can figure out if it’s a good TV or an outdated model offered as new. Many companies use outdated components from two or three years ago to make the TV cheaper.
The new version of Android TV OS is better than the old one.
The new version of the OS is better, and here are the reasons why: new versions implement support for new devices and standards, such as new tuners or improved HDMI connections. And the main issue is getting updates and support for streaming applications. The older the OS, the faster it will stop being supported. And app developers will stop releasing updates or supporting their apps on that device altogether.
Android TV versions by release date
As of the end of 2023, the latest version is Android TV 13. However, most TVs use earlier versions of Android TV. This is due to hardware compatibility and OS version. When a new version of the Android OS is released, TV manufacturers must test TVs for compatibility with the new OS. In most cases, TVs will not receive the new OS but will continue to run on the installed OS version, receiving only security updates to the existing OS.
|Version OS Android TV||Release date|
|Android TV 13||December 2022|
|Android TV 12||November 2021|
|Android TV 11||September 2020|
|Android TV 10||December 2019|
|Android TV 9||August 2018|
|Android TV 8||August 2017|
|Android TV 7||August 2016|
|Android TV 6||September 2015|
|Android TV 5||November 2014|
What are the differences between Android and Android TV?
The history of Android TV started in 2014 when it was decided to abandon Google TV. Google TV was not widely popular; this OS has been promoted for TVs since 2010. But at that time, Samsung and LG released their OS for TVs. Android proved to be a more successful project that was easier to integrate into TVs. The first TVs with Android for TVs were the 2015 TVs from Sony. Until 2019, it was not familiar to call the OS for TVs Android TV; it was preferable to say Android 8 for TV. But over time, the differences between Android for TVs and phones became so significant that the concept of Android TV began to be used officially from version 10 (Android TV 10).
Now about the differences: Android for TVs is adapted to larger screens and to the peculiarities of TVs. Overall, they are very similar operating systems with the same core but slightly different functionality. For example, Android TV supports remote controls, the operating system for TVs has special programs for post-processing images, and support for digital tuners and HDMI ports. All this is not available on the phone, but it is on the TV.
List of TV brands with Android TV OS
Android TV has become widely recognized because it is much easier to use a popular and regularly supported operating system from Google than to invent your platform. Therefore, the Android TV OS can be found in TVs from brands such as Philips, Hisense, Sharp, Skeworth, Sony, TCL, Mi, and about a hundred more different companies that not only produce TVs but also provide streaming services; you can learn more about it on the Android website.
Android 14 for TV, when to expect the release
Despite many websites claiming that Android 14 for TVs is in testing and available for download as a Beta version, this is not true (as of November 2023). I have not found Android TV 14 in beta; most likely, development work is underway, but when this version will be available is still unknown. Only the Android 14 version for smartphones and tablets is available.
When will you be able to buy a TV with Android 13?
The reality is that from the moment Android TV OS is released to its actual use in TVs, it usually takes at least a year. And if we talk about Android TV 13, TVs with this version of the OS will appear at best in 2024. The late release of version 13 is because TV manufacturers contract the production of displays and motherboards a year in advance. For example, it’s not easy to find even a TV running Android 12, let alone Android 13. The motherboard manufacturer needs to test the performance of the TV’s processor with this OS, find bugs, etc. Given that the leading manufacturers using Android for TVs are Sony, Hisense, and TCL, their TVs will be the first to get the new OS.