Sony sheds light on why Android Pie TV update isn't coming to some TVs, confirms Pie menu for older models

Japanese tech giant Sony isn’t anywhere near the top of smartphone vendors in the world, but it is arguably the biggest player in the current Android TV market.

Last week, a new Sony Android Pie TV update started rolling out as the company looks to further cement its position at the top. As usual, though, not every Sony Android TV out there will be receiving this Pie update.

Matter of fact, the incoming Sony Android Pie TV update is limited to a handful of 2018 and 2019 Bravia TVs. In an official statement, Sony confirmed that the 2019 XBR Z9G, A9G, X950G, and X850G series will be joined by the 2018 XBR Z9F and A9F series in receiving the Pie TV update.

Sony-a9g-series-2

This updates the models in question from Oreo to Pie, which isn’t the latest version we expect. Besides the new OS, the new Sony Android Pie TV update includes some UI changes like improved Settings menu, input menus, Quick Settings, and Restart menu.

You also get a new December security patch, but perhaps the biggest addition is the support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 and Homekit. With this feature, iPhone, iPad, and Mac owners can stream content from iOS or macOS to their Bravia smart TV.

As you would expect, owners of the Sony Bravia TV models that won’t be updated to Android Pie TV are furious at the treatment their smart TVs have been subjected to. What’s worse is that Sony has even left out some 2019 models from its Android Pie TV plans, which is frustrating for owners to say the least.

Sony recently announced that they have no plans on updating BRAVIAs based on ATV2/ATV3 (MediaTek MT5891) to Android TV 9.0 Pie. This includes most models from 2017 and 2018 (like the famous X900E and X900F) and also some from 2019 (like the AG8 OLED).
Source

A lot has been going on under this Reddit thread as well, but a Sony salesrep for Europe has come out to shed some light on the current Sony Android Pie TV update regarding several Bravia smart TVs.

Sony-XBR-X950G
Sony XBR X950G

Apparently, the Bravia models that won’t be upgraded to Android Pie is because of their older chipset. Sony says it is unable to deploy the stable Pie update to these aged chipsets without compromising the overall user experience of the TVs in question.

The reason behind the android 9 contreverse is that there is no stable way to run android 9 on de old sOC without having to compromise the already slow android experience.
Source

Apparently, Sony tried running Android Pie on the XE9305 and while the UI was improved, the overall experience was laggy and unbearably slow. Of course, not everyone is in agreement with Sony.

For those uninterested in Android Pie but want Sony to bring the new Pie menu layout to their older Bravia TVs, worry not because the company has just confirmed this update will be made available in 2020.

Sony-Android-Pie-TV-update
Sony Android Pie TV menu coming to older Bravia models in 2020 (Source)

Interestingly, Sony may also throw support for AirPlay 2 in there alongside the new Pie-inspired menu on older Bravia models, but there is no way we can guarantee this will materialize.

Amidst all this, maybe it’s about time to grab a standalone set-top box like the NVIDIA Shield Pro 2019 and connect it to your aging Sony TV for guaranteed Android OS updates.

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Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.