Sunday, May 7, 2023

Google TV app management

It appears Google is taking a lesson from Roku. Not exactly, but they are making an improvement that puts them second to Roku in one regard.

One of the biggest problems with all the streaming devices, except Roku, is storage space. Most of them have small storage on the device, except for Apple TV. Even Roku has small on-board storage. But Roku handles it well.

How? Well, it seems that Roku will manage storage space by removing apps from your device if you run out of space, and get them back when you need it.

Here's an example: Say you have 20 apps on your streaming device. Let's suppose those 20 apps take up all the storage on your streaming device. Now suppose you want to add another app. What happens?

Well, if it's Google TV, Apple TV, or Fire TV, you get a message that you're out of space and need to remove something. And it won't let you add the new app until you do.

Roku does it differently. If your Roku is full, and you try to download a new app, Roku will look at which app has gone the longest without being used and remove it. They'll leave a shortcut or placeholder for it, but remove the bulk of the app. It's still listed as an installed app, but it technically isn't on the Roku device any more. Then the Roku tries to download the new app. If there still isn't enough room, Roku will find the next app that's been the longest since you used it, and repeat the process until it has enough space for the new app.

Just because it removes the app from the device doesn't mean you don't see the app. It still shows on your menu. And when you try to launch it, it downloads it again. And if there isn't enough room, it repeats the process of removing the oldest-used apps until it gets enough space. You never run out of space, and you still keep all your apps, or at least the menu item.

The recent to change to Google TV doesn't do it that way, but it does change the way it does things and makes it less likely to run out of space. What Google TV now will do is remove any app you haven't used in 30 days. Like Roku, it still keeps the app listed on your device, and downloads it again when you launch it.

App Hibernation is a new feature that will automatically force apps to hibernate when not used for over 30 days (on Android S and above devices). We also leveraged Android App Bundles for Google TV reducing the size of the apps by roughly 25%. This frees up space on your device to download even more apps and to watch your preferred programs without worry.

I still like the way Roku does better, but it is an improvement over the old way. My Streaming Life is made better by Roku's method of swapping out apps. And the Google TV portion will be improved by their new process as well,

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