Android TV, Google TV remote control will be built into Android phones

Users can turn on their TVs, navigate menus and type in logins and search terms on their phones, no TV remote required.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier

The Chromecast with Google TV is one of the devices you'll soon be able to control with an Android phone, no additional app required.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Lost your TV remote? If you have a device running Google TV or Android TV, you can use your phone instead.

A new feature will soon be built into Android phones: remote control functions for smart TVs and streamers that run Google TV or Android TV. You can use your phone to control TV power, move around TV menus and use the phone's keyboard to more easily enter usernames, passwords and search terms. 

Watch this: Google turns Android 12 into a TV remote

Google says the functionality will work for the more than 80 million active devices run its Android TV smart TV operating system or its new variant, Google TV. In the US that includes the Chromecast with Google TV and Nvidia Shield TV streamers as well as TVs made by Sony, TCL and Hisense.


Although this is the first time it's been built directly into Android, controlling a TV via a phone is nothing new. Google has long offered similar functionality with its Android TV remote control app, for example, while Roku, Samsung, LG and others allow remote control via phone apps. 

Meanwhile iPhones and iPads can control Apple TV streaming boxes and AirPlay 2-compatible TVs using Control Center in iOS and/or the Apple TV Control app.

The built-in TV remote features are rolling out to Android devices later this year.