Sony is one of the largest manufacturers of embedded Android TV televisions on the market. The TV’s have seen a small update to Android TV since launch, updating from Android 5.0 to 5.1.1 but it’s been very quiet since then, but we should be seeing something new very soon.
The Bravia Android TV sets launched in 2015 garnering a positive reception, with a new series launching this year, a lack of software updates for both 2015 and 2016 models means we’re looking down the barrel of a failed Android update system albeit on TVs not phones this time. The first series of Sony Bravia TVs running Android TV launched with Android TV version 5.0, but since that initial 5.1 update, and now a year and a half later, we’re still there despite both Marshmallow (Android 6.0), and more recently Nougat (Android 7.0) versions of Android TV being released by Google. So where are we up to?
At CES earlier this year Sony announced they would be updating their TVs to Marshmallow, but with Nougat now released, September upon us and October approaching we asked Sony about their plans for updating their 2015, 2016 Bravia Android TV products to a new version of Android TV. Sony advised Ausdroid:
We are currently in the process of making the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update available across our Android TV range. This version of the android OS will be available for the previous Android TV models within 2016.
So we can expect a Marshmallow update for the 2015/2016 models of Sony Bravia Android TV, but what does the future look like? Will we get a Nougat update? Sony advised us
With regards to Android Nougat, we will announce when it becomes available.
Future updates beyond that aren’t clear, and Sony isn’t willing to comment on how long you can expect to receive Android TV updates on your Bravia with Sony said
We refrain from commenting on OS upgrade support periods because the OS is subject to Google’s separate terms and conditions, but we will provide basic TV functions in accordance with Sony’s limited warranty (warranty card).
While this isn’t great news for Sony Android TV owners, it’s definitely movement with a Marshmallow update expected before the end of the year, but no information beyond that.
Google is still building their Android TV platform and while they’ve maintained excellent control of their Android Wear and Android Auto systems updating them as needed on their schedule. The more hierarchical TV industry apparently isn’t however as willing to let Google fully control the software experience.
It’s slightly different with Android TV with Australian models including FreeView apps (not Android TV) apps on the TV for catchup apps from SBS, ABC and Channels Ten and Seven – it’s no way near a stock Android experience. The inclusion of these apps is a valued differentiation unlike many phones which contain unwanted ‘bloatware’, and it’s this experience that I and many other Android TV fans chose and it’s for this reason we’ll unfortunately just have to wait for an update.