The revamped Google TV app could soon work as a remote control

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The android Google TV app could soon be getting a built-in remote control for Android TVs, XDA Developers reports. The unreleased feature was discovered in the code for version 4.25 of the Android app. Enabling the feature reveals an apparently unfinished interface built around a large D-pad, and the option to pair the app with an Android TV device using a 4-digit PIN. The discovery of the new code coincides with a renewed push from Google to update and modernise its smart TV software. Last year it launched a Chromecast with a new Google TV interface for the operating system, and this software is also coming as a built-in operating system to smart TVs this year. As part of the launch, Google also rebranded its Play Movies & TV app to Google TV on Android. Google technically already has an Android TV app on iOS and android that offers this functionality, but neither version has been updated in years. We wouldn’t be surprised if both ended up being discontinued if the feature gets rolled in the Google TV app.

Netflix creates a TikTok clone that lets people scroll through short funny clips

Netflix is launching a new mobile feature that gives subscribers the opportunity to get their fill of laughs without having to watch a whole TV show or movie. Fast Laughs, currently only available for iOS device owners in selected countries, looks and feels like TikTok or Instagram Reels. Short clips taken from shows play directly within the Netflix app. If one of the shows, films, or specials sparks interest, people can add said title to their saved list to watch later. Adding Fast Laughs makes sense for Netflix, considering the growth and prominence of TikTok in the market right now. Netflix’s last few earnings reports have specifically referenced TikTok as a major competitor. It’s not that Netflix and TikTok make the same type of content, but people are spending more time on TikTok – and therefore less time on Netflix. It also helps Netflix highlight just how much content is on the platform. Since there’s so much content, a lot of it can get lost on the platform. This is one way to give subscribers a tiny glimpse of things they may have missed.

Instagram’s new Live Rooms feature lets up to four people go live at once

Instagram wants more people to go live at once, so it’s launching Live Rooms. The feature, which will be available globally, allows four people to video chat in a live broadcast, compared to the previous limit of two. Instagram’s blog post says it hopes the feature encourages people to start a “talk show or a podcast,” host a “jam session,” or collaborate with other creators. Going live with more people means the rooms could attract larger audiences. The followers of everyone participating will see the live room and, depending

on their notifications, be pinged about it. The easy comparison to make here is to Clubhouse, the buzzy social audio app that lets people go live in rooms. More than 10 people can speak at once, and rooms can reach up to 8,000 people before they’re full. Facebook is reportedly building a direct competitor, but Instagram Live could capture some people who might be interested in Clubhouse but can’t access it currently – it’s invite-only and only available through iOS devices.