Subscription models are present in the vast majority of video streaming services, and in fact, most of them don’t even offer a free version of their services. This has become so commonplace that downloading a new video streaming app basically guarantees you can’t use it immediately since you need to sign up first. If you’re doing that on a phone, then it’s not too difficult to do. On Android TV, though, it’s a bit more difficult to sign up for a new account since you have to deal with the clunky remote for keyboard input. A solution to this clunky setup process is being tested on Android TV’s Google Play Store at this moment.
This solution will give you the ability to tap “subscribe and install” or “free trial and install” on the Play Store for Android TV. Tapping on either of these buttons will instantly create and activate an account on the service and, depending on the service in question, will also charge you the first monthly fee right away or enable the “free trial” period. This way, the app is ready to go as soon as it gets downloaded, although in some cases, you may need to finish setting up your account through email confirmation. In order to manage or cancel a subscription, you’ll need to browse the Play Store’s subscriptions page using a separate phone or PC, though.
This feature was first teased during Google I/O 2019 and is now being tested as a limited pilot for certain apps and services Google has partnered with. However, we don’t have a list of apps that currently support this feature.
Here’s a video that Janko Roettgers from Protocol recorded that briefly shows off this feature. This video was taken during an Android TV session at Google I/O 2019:
Google has also told Android Police that users should expect to see more information about this feature, including a list of supported apps, in the near future. Google is expected to launch a redesign of Android TV—possibly called Google TV—very soon, so this could be one of the features that will be landing with this rebranding.
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