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Android TV helps you find more to watch during quarantine

Let’s face it: thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, most of us are probably spending more time streaming shows and movies, as well as playing video games. By this point, you’ve likely worked through whatever content you wanted to watch before the outbreak and are looking for new things to keep you busy. If you own an Android TV device, Google may be able to help with a couple of new entertainment-focused updates it announced today.

To start, Google is adding three new rows to Android TV’s home screen that will allow you to access specific parts of YouTube quickly. The new sections are called “COVID-19 News,” “Stay Home #WithME” and “Free movies from YouTube. The first and last sections are mostly self-explanatory; they’ll allow you to catch up on the latest COVID-19 news and watch films with ads for free. The middle section, meanwhile, will highlight videos that involve cooking, listening to live music and working out. In adding the new rows, Google says it set out to create a way for people to access “fresh news and fun entertainment” quickly.

The company is also adding new collections to Android TV to highlight select groups of apps. The categories are called “Stream shows and movies you love,” “Learn New Things,” “Play with your remote,” and “Play with your gamepad.”

If you don’t have access to Android TV, you’re not out of luck. At some point in the past, you’ve probably used Google Search to find recommendations for new shows and movies to watch. To help you keep track of things you want to watch, Google is adding a new Watchlist tab to Search on mobile devices that allows you to save any recommendations for future reference. You can access the functionality by typing “what to watch” into Google, and then tapping “Watchlist” to add a show or movie to your list. If you ever want to get back, type “my watchlist” into Search. You can also find your watchlist through the Collections section of the Google app.

In the same blog post, Google also highlighted some of its previous efforts to help entertain people while they’re forced to stay inside, including its new two-month free Stadia offer.