It’s arduous to discover a TV at present that isn’t smart — that means it‘s connected to the Internet and able to run apps — and many of those are running Fire TV or Android TV. Having a smart TV means you don’t must hassle with a separate streaming stick, and you may get to your streaming providers a bit simpler. Choosing one with Android TV or Fire TV additionally means you get a top-tier digital assistant, too.
Fire TV is accessible on TVs from Toshiba and Best Buy’s Insignia model, together with the Toshiba C350 Fire TV and Insignia F30 Fire TV Edition (2020 mannequin). Android TV could be discovered on Sony, Hisense and TCL TVs, such because the Sony Bravia X800H and Hisense U8G Android TV (65U8G).
Both Android TV and Fire TV can do rather a lot; the suitable one for you’ll probably come right down to which expertise you want higher — and which digital assistant you already use.
Android TV vs. Fire TV: Navigation and interface
Android TV and Fire TV every characteristic horizontal layouts with lengthy screens that you simply scroll right down to browse. Until not too long ago, the distinction between the 2 was the variety of menu choices. But a giant interface redesign for Fire TV has made the 2 very comparable in approaches.
Android TV includes a streamlined menu: Home, Discover and Apps. The Home display screen has marketed content material on the prime, then will get to favourite apps (which you choose). That’s adopted by Play Next — reveals and flicks you’re in the course of watching or the following episode of a sequence. What seems after that has rather a lot to do with the apps you obtain, and might embody suggestions from Netflix and YouTube, in addition to options from the Google Play Store. At the underside of the web page is a hyperlink to customise the Home display screen, the place you possibly can select which app suggestions seem.
The Discover tab is targeted extra on suggesting content material for you based mostly in your apps and viewing selections. You may also inform Android TV what you prefer to get extra personalised suggestions. You must decide in to personalization to see suggestions on the Discover tab. The Apps tab reveals you every little thing you’ve downloaded, and includes a hyperlink to the Google Play Store to seek out extra.
With the replace, Fire TV additionally has three menu gadgets: Home, Find and Live. Previously it had an extended record of menu choices: Home, Live, Your Videos, Free, Movies, TV Shows, Apps and Settings.
The Home display screen begins with advertisements for reveals and flicks, some associated to apps and providers you’ve gotten, some not. Below that you simply see the menu, and to the suitable of the menu are your apps. You can change which apps seem there by going to Your Apps and Channels. The Home display screen additionally reveals Recently Watched, an inventory of sponsored hyperlinks after which Recently Used Apps. As you scroll down the display screen, you’ll see Prime Video suggestions combined in with content material from different apps similar to Netflix.
Find is the place you browse for motion pictures and reveals. You can search, or delve into matters or classes. Live reveals you what’s on now based mostly on any stay streaming apps you’ve gotten and presents hyperlinks to stay streaming apps.
If Prime Video is your fundamental service, Fire TV works very properly. If you don’t subscribe to Prime or aren’t a fan of its choices, the Amazon focus of Fire TV will probably get in your method.
Winner: Android TV. Both are very comparable, however Android TV presents extra flexibility.
Android TV vs. Fire TV: App choice
Both Android TV and Fire TV have nearly each app you might need accessible. Recent omissions, similar to Apple TV on Android TV and Peacock and HBOMax on Fire TV, have been addressed.
The Google Play Store reveals featured and advisable apps and video games on its fundamental display screen, and you may as well search by voice or by typing. As you kind, options seem beneath to hurry your discovery. But the quickest approach to discover an app is to make use of Google Assistant.
The Appstore channel on Fire TV is the place you get new apps and video games. The App Library reveals you the apps you’ve downloaded, whereas Featured provided steered downloads. If you don’t see what you’re searching for there, the All Categories tab presents 27 themes to dig into. Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward search possibility that’s targeted on apps. But you possibly can at all times ask Alexa — as with Android TV, voice search is your quickest method for those who already know what you’re searching for.
Android TV vs. Fire TV: Search
With a lot content material accessible, search turns into a key a part of a smart TV. You need to have the ability to discover reveals and flicks, in addition to apps.
As talked about, utilizing voice search is typically the best approach to discover issues. Both smart OSes additionally allow you to kind your question and counsel phrases as you kind.
On Fire TV, a seek for “Paul Newman” introduced up choices from providers I subscribe to, and confirmed different motion pictures and TV reveals he’s featured in. It additionally steered apps similar to YouTube the place I might additionally seek for the title. When I looked for The Color of Money, the TV confirmed a web page with the film, comparable outcomes, but in addition apps that had nothing to do with the film.
On Android TV, a seek for “Paul Newman” produced a web page with some data from Wikipedia, YouTube movies that characteristic the actor and flicks and reveals that he’s in. The display screen additionally options associated searches. When I did the The Color of Money search, I obtained a abstract of the movie, together with IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes scores. I additionally might see which of my providers I might stream from, together with the price. The Android TV consequence was far more helpful.
Winner: Android TV
Android TV vs. Fire TV: Voice recognition
This is a battle between Goliaths — Alexa on Fire TV and Google Assistant on Android TV — and also you in all probability have already got a voice assistant choice. Both work very properly inside a TV, although the processor your TV consists of performs a job in how briskly voice recognition works, and on some fashions the digital assistant is arms free whereas on others it’s a must to push a button on the distant.
In the smart TV setting, voice recognition is turning into extra essential than ever. You can get your TV to do all kinds of issues with simply your voice. Both Android TV and Fire TV can alter the quantity, launch apps and carry out searches based mostly on what you ask. You may also use the digital assistants to inform you the climate, play music and extra — something you are able to do with an Alexa speaker or Google Assistant speaker.
Android TV vs. Fire TV: Privacy and promoting
Let’s face it: each Amazon and Google need to know as a lot about you as doable and push its providers. Fire TV and Android TV are simply one other platform for them to take action. But you possibly can take some management of the data every gathers.
Fire TV opts you in to monitoring by default, however you possibly can flip some off. Go to Settings > Preferences > Privacy. There you possibly can swap off accumulating of non-public information for advertising and marketing, assortment of over-the-air TV content material and use of interest-based advertisements. You may also reset your promoting ID.
Android TV makes it fairly arduous to seek out easy methods to alter your privateness settings. Go to Settings > Device Preferences > About > Legal Information > Ads and also you’ll discover a approach to flip off advert personalization. Android TV additionally makes you choose in to the Discover tab to obtain personalised film and present suggestions — which is good, however as soon as I opted in I couldn’t discover a approach to decide again out.
Winner: Fire TV, however neither places your privateness first.
Android TV vs. Fire TV: Smart residence
With the digital assistants baked into Android TV and Fire TV, your TV can turn into the hub of your smart residence. You can flip in your lights, shut the storage door and far more when you’re watching your favourite present.
The finest one for you is the one which works together with your current smart residence units. If you like Google Assistant, Android TV will work seamlessly with what you’ve gotten. Same factor for Alexa.
Android TV vs. Fire TV: Which one wins?
You can’t lose with both of those smart TV programs. Both have all of the apps you need and nice digital assistants. The new replace for Fire TV makes the interface nearly the identical as Android TV. Fire TV usually requires much less tinkering than Android TV to get probably the most out of it, however Android TV can ship a greater total expertise for those who’re searching for strong smart TV options.
Strictly talking, Android TV wins by a nostril, thanks largely to its superior search and navigation, although the 2 smart TV platforms are intently matched on each entrance.
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In actuality, the suitable one for you is probably the one which matches the digital assistant you like: Alexa or Google Assistant. The smart TV platform is simply one other medium for these instruments. However, for those who don’t have Amazon Prime or any Alexa units, Android TV can be a more sensible choice.