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Android TV has ads in its launcher now

This Android TV has started to show ads on the 'homescreen'. (Source: Amazon)
This Android TV has started to show ads on the 'homescreen'. (Source: Amazon)
XDA contributors have noticed that the latest update to the Android TV OS has resulted in the appearance of "sponsored content" on the launcher visible from several kinds of device. They include the Sony Bravia X900F, the Mi Box 3 and NVIDIA's Shield TV. At present, this can be circumvented by uninstalling the updates from a specific app.

According to an XDA report, Google has started to implant ads - sorry, "sponsored content" - into the TV arm of the Android ecosystem. So far, this reportedly affects the Sony Bravia X900F, Xiaomi's Mi Box 3, NVIDIA Shield TV and some other devices.

The new content manifests itself as new objects on the Android TV launcher called "Promotional Channels". However, users have reported that it is impossible to customize this interface so as to hide or delete them as normal. Luckily, a Reddit post contains instructions that may address this. They involve navigating to the App settings for Android TV Core Services, uninstalling its updates, then rebooting the device.

Users capable of taking this action may then be advised to disable automatic updates for this app (and possibly others) in the TV's settings. These individuals may be able to either delete the ads, or turn a Channel Settings toggle to that effect off.

Nevertheless, this is a worrying indication that Google may aim to introduce more monetization features into platforms such as Android TV. Then again, Xiaomi used to do much the same with its MIUI OS, but has now pledged to reduce this practice in the future in response to user pressure.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 04 > Android TV has ads in its launcher now
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-04- 6 (Update: 2019-04- 6)