One of the smaller announcements dropped at I/O 2021 was that Google is finally developing a virtual remote to control Android TV devices from a phone.
The tech giant has an older TV remote app, but it never really took off. This new feature is likely exciting to tons of smart TV owners. Courtesy of 9to5Google, we’ve learned that on Android, users will be able to access the new remote in two ways.
The easiest method is in a new quick settings toggle that will sit above your notifications with Android 11 and Android 12. The Google TV app (that replaces Google Play Movies in the U.S.) will also have access to the remote app.
The Google TV app hasn’t released in Canada yet, but considering how tightly it’s been tied into Android on tablets and the fact that it’s replacing Android TV, I think it will likely come here at some point later this year.
If you have an iPhone, you can access the remote app via the Google Home app.
Adding the remote to Android and iOS phones is a great quality of life improvement since it means you can still control your TV if you lose your remote. It also helps bring Android and Google TV up to feature parity with Roku and Apple TV.