- Android TV developers face challenges with testing on Android TV 14.
- ADT-4 hardware tool discontinued; reliance on emulators.
- Uncertain if Google has alternative hardware options for Android TV development.
Developing apps for Android can be a challenging aspect, but Google has repeatedly tried to help creators by implementing tutorial support features like the Android Studio development environment. That said, developers working on Android TV also had access to committed hardware named ADT series. But things seem to be changing with the upcoming Android TV 14 model.
Until now, Android TV developers had the advantage of testing their apps with any software and hardware gear. In January, Google introduced an updated version of Android Studio called Electric Eel, which was a huge improvement. This allowed developers to test their apps on Linked devices, turning into something the development team eagerly awaited. However, challenges arise with testing apps on Android TV 14, which is currently in beta.
Google's using its ADT-4 reference device to create Android TV 14, but won't sell testing hardware to anyone https://t.co/EkqGs62OQ4— Android Police (@AndroidPolice) July 5, 2023
In the past, developers preferred to rely on tools like the ADT-three region to test their apps. Developed by Aske for Google and released in 2019, the Android Studio emulator will be the most-watched tool on Android TV
However, at this point, developers seem to have no choice but to rely on emulators to test their apps for Android TV 14. Google confirmed this with the recent Android TV Partner Bootcamp and after it was announced that the new ADT-4 tool would not be offered afterward.
The ADT-4 tool appears to be based on the Amlogic S905X4 Developer Box, which must now be purchased. This may offer some hope for any decent developer and respected Android TV partner, as the device can be purchased from Amlogic or all their resellers at once.
Also, Read “Google Retires Android TV 13, Welcomes TV 14 Beta“
However, it’s worth noting that the ADT-four costs $200, that’s significantly more expensive compared to its predecessor, the ADT-3, which costs $88.
Google’s motivations behind this decision are far from pure at the moment, and it’s still uncertain whether they have other hardware configurations in the store for the Android TV development network.