For the sake of argument, let us pretend that we have waited for Google TV profiles for more than eight months. Because of this, we’ve been clamouring for an option to switch between profiles since the release of the new Chromecast in the autumn of 2020. After a month of confirmations, Google is finally making profiles available to Chromecast and Google TV customers.
Profiles are being rolled out through a server-side upgrade in typical Google way. A couple of hours after adding a second Google TV account and doing many reboots and update checks, my device finally had multi-user capabilities early this afternoon. You’ll have to wait for your gadget to be activated before you can use it. Even after months of delays and retries, it’s irritating as ever — but that’s not unexpected, given that Google’s customary MO is server-side surprise changes.
Chromecast users seem to be the only ones with access at the moment. For now, my TCL 6-series TV does not support profiles, and it seems that many other non-Chromecast devices are in the same situation. Owners of such gadgets will have to put up with it, no matter how annoying it may be. How many more years, months or weeks can you go without waiting for something you’ve worked so hard for?
When it comes to how profiles operate in practise, they’re often worth the time invested. It’s simple to switch between accounts by holding down the home button (unless you’ve set it as the screenshot shortcut for your blogging job, oops). The notification tray on the far right of the Google TV UI may also be used to access the profile splash screen. Only a few minutes are needed to create a new account, and switching between existing accounts is a breeze. There will be a large “Continue watching” row for your account after you’ve gone to another profile, with all the typical features like the watchlist and the like.
A much-needed upgrade to Google TV, but there’s little hint here of more functionality or anything else to justify the lengthy wait. While it’s nice to finally see Google TV profiles appear on the company’s newest hardware, we’ll just have to wait and see what the long-term future holds for the company’s first-party offers.