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New Android TV version to support custom remote buttons

Google could be readying a new remote with a "star" button that allows for custom shortcuts.

Google could be readying a new remote with a "star" button that allows for custom shortcuts.

A new "star" button on Google TV remote controls will allow users to customize a specific shortcut or TV-related task. (Courtesy image)
A new “star” button on Google TV remote controls will allow users to customize a specific shortcut or TV-related task. (Courtesy image)

A new version of the Android TV operating system will support a myriad of new features, including the ability to set custom shortcut buttons.

The feature, first spotted by the website 9to5 Google, was buried in a menu on the upcoming version of Android TV OS 14, which will roll out to supported Google TV-powered devices in the near future.

The menu option suggests new Android TV-powered devices will come bundled with a remote control sporting a “star” button or something similar to it. That button will allow users to create a custom shortcut or preset, which could launch a specific app or performing a TV-related task like switching inputs.

A new "star" button on Google TV remote controls will allow users to customize a specific shortcut or TV-related task. (Courtesy image)
(Courtesy image)

Currently, there are no remote controls on the market for Google TV or Android TV that sport a “star” button. But some Android TV devices, like the Onn Android TV 4K streaming puck sold at Walmart, do have a remote control with a TV button and various others, any number of which could make use of the new shortcut feature.

It is also possible that Google will launch a pro version of its voice-powered remote control for the Chromecast with Google TV and related devices that will allow streamers to swap their default remote with one that supports shortcut buttons. A similar pro remote control exists for Roku devices, which includes two shortcut buttons.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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