The transition from Android TV to Google TV brought a huge change to the home screen experience. The focus is on recommendations and surfing content from your streaming services. We show you how to customize the home screen on devices like Chromecast with Google TV.
There are three ways we can customize the experience on the Google TV home screen. First, you can arrange the order of your apps and games so that your favorites are placed in front and in the middle. Second, you can share which streaming services you pay for with Google. Finally, we can completely turn off recommendations.
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Rearrange and organize your favorite apps from Google TV
Your installed apps and games are displayed in a row on the “For You”; and “Apps” tabs. Only 12 apps and games can be viewed without expanding the entire list. It’s a good idea to place your favorites in front of the line.
To rearrange your favorites, navigate to the “Your Apps” line and select the app or game you want to move. Select “See All” for the full list if your app is not displayed.
Now hold down the “Select” or “Enter” button on your remote control for a few seconds.
A pop-up menu will appear with some options, select “Move”.
You can now use the D-pad on the remote control to move the app shortcut left or right. Move it to the left so that it reaches the list.
When the app shortcut is in the location you want, click “Select” or “Enter” on the remote control to confirm. You will still be in app switch mode. Select another app to move it, or press the “Back” button on the remote control to exit.
If you move apps from the entire app list, remember that the highlighted lines indicate the apps and games that will be displayed without selecting “View All”.
Get better movie and TV recommendations on Google TV
The recommendations on the Google TV home screen take into account a few things. First, the services you selected when setting up your device for the first time. Secondly, the movies and TV shows you have added to your watch list and rated. Finally, Google’s suggestions that you can not control.
To make changes to the services you subscribe to, go to the “For You” tab at the top of the Home screen.
Now scroll all the way down to the bottom of the tab and select “Get better recommendations”.
You can now turn on or off the power switches for the various available services. Streaming services at the top of the screen are linked to your Google Account and can be removed through the Google web site.
The next thing we can do is add movies and TV shows to your watchlist and rate titles. Adding content to your watchlist can be done from a Google search on any device.
RELATED: How to add movies and TV shows to your Google Watchlist
To add something to your watch list from the Google TV itself, first select a movie or TV show and hold down “Select” or “Enter” on the remote control.
This displays a menu with some options, one of which is “Add Watch List”.
In the same menu you will see options for “Watched It”, “Like” and “Dislike.” You can also use these to set the recommendations.
If you do it enough time, the recommendations will be better.
Enable Apps Only mode on Google TV
The Google TV home screen is mostly full of recommendations, but it is possible to turn them off almost completely. “Apps mode only” boils everything down to the Highlights and “Your Apps” rows.
First select your profile icon at the top right of the screen.
Select “Settings” from the pop-up menu.
Then click on “Accounts and login” from the menu.
Select your Google Account (the account responsible for the Home screen).
Scroll down and turn on the “Apps mode only” switch.
A confirmation screen will appear telling you that this mode hides Google’s recommendations and your ability to use the Watchlist features. You also do not have access to any content that you have purchased from Google Play Movies or Google Assistant. Select “Continue” to continue.
Your Google TV home screen will now look like this:
Although not as customizable as Android TV, the Google TV home screen has the potential to get better the more you use it. Hopefully these customization options can help.