Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Google TV Highlights tab is now live, bringing entertainment news, recaps, and interviews to your phone

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It’s not just enough to watch and enjoy a TV show from the comfort of your couch. These days, the water cooler conversation exists online, both through social media and with recaps from entertainment-focused blogs. With its latest update, Google is bringing users shows, movies, and media discussion all within a single app.

First announced in March, the Google TV app now has a new Highlights tab, bringing entertainment news, interviews, trailers, and more, as spotted by 9to5Google. It’s reminiscent of the Discover section that appears in Chrome and to the left of home screens on some Android devices, but focuses exclusively on movies, TV shows, and celebrity culture. The app still defaults to the “For you” tab when opened — now the second tab along the bottom of the screen — so ignoring the feature is pretty easy if you aren’t trying to stay up to date on entertainment news.

If an entry in Highlights is a news article, it opens directly within an in-app browser. YouTube clips, though, open directly in the YouTube app — you’ll have to swipe back to Google TV when you’re finished watching. Each entry has a “Related highlights” section, which gives you a show or movie page with other assorted coverage.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there’s any way to dismiss or select specific content you’re interested in for this tab. Most of my feed was made up of recent releases — movies like Hatching, shows like Candy and The Time Traveler’s Wife, and even celebrity culture like the ongoing trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. If you aren’t interested in this content, you’ll have to wait for the algorithm to cycle it out. Likewise, I didn’t receive any insight into stuff I’m actively watching, like the third season of Barry.

To make space for Highlights, Google has moved Library and Watchlist into a single tab: Your Stuff, which has three sections for browsing your collection. Highlights definitely needs some time to grow, though it could get better through regular use. It’s rolling out now through the latest update on the Play Store.

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