Google TV has a new Call notifications feature, but it feels half-baked right now

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Jan 17, 2024

Google is starting to roll out a new Call notifications feature to some Google TV-enabled TVs and dongles  – like the Chromecast with Google TV 4K. Once it’s live you’ll get alerts that you’re being called on your TV screen the next time someone tries to chat while you’re watching a film or show.

The feature was first spotted by Mishaal Rahman back in June 2023 when it was included in the Android TV 14 beta, and it’s now appearing on some users’ Google TV devices. To find it you first have to open up Google Meet on your Google TV which will open up a new section in the Google TV settings app allowing you to toggle the feature on and off.

You can find it by going to your Settings, selecting the Accounts & sign-in option, then selecting Account, and finally, on this page you should see Call notifications settings.

As Google itself explains “when enabled, you can receive calls from supported apps on this device.” Thankfully Call notifications only show up when you’re using your personal profile – to see notifications in other profiles you’ll have to adjust their settings too – so you don’t have to worry about your calls distracting other people.

Unfortunately, right now there are a few limitations to Call notifications. For a start, it’s currently only available for Google Meet, and even though you can switch Call notifications on it doesn’t seem to be fully live yet as notifications won’t come through to your TV at the time of writing.

You’ll still need your phone to answer the calls (Image credit: Google)

What’s more, per Google’s current description, to turn off notifications for individual apps you’ll have to go into their respective settings rather than from with the Call settings menu. So either you have Call notifications switched on for everything or nothing, unless developers introduce settings to turn notifications off for individual devices.

You also aren’t yet able to answer calls on your Google TV. This functionality may arrive in the future if you can connect a mic and camera, but for now, you’ll have to grab your phone or tablet to respond.

We expect Google will be swift to remove or update this feature soon though. 

The half-baked implementation – such as only being live for one app and not working as intended once activated – and that it only be switched on by finding a workaround through Google Meet suggests to us that Call notifications on Google TV are not meant to have launched to the public yet.

Once it is ready we’ll hopefully see a wider range of apps offer full support for Call notifications.

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