Not everyone is interested in all of the suggestion tiles and recommendations that Google TV provides, especially as it’s become increasingly more spammy and full of advertisements, even for physical products.
Under these circumstances, many will just enable ‘Apps only’ mode to cut the clutter. This has been around for a few years now, and though I’ve not had the pleasure of toggling it yet, I do see how it could revert the experience to something closer to the older Android TV interface.
According to Android Police, Apps only mode is getting a visual refresh that features more prominent iconography, and a new grid layout below the feature banner. The updated interface may be a part of version 6.0.16 of Android TV Home.
As a father, I’ve been increasingly concerned about the content my seven-year-old son is exposed to on the Google TV home screen. Some of it is far from appropriate for his age, and I’ve been looking for ways to prevent him from being desensitized too quickly. This new design option for the ‘Apps only’ mode may be just the solution I need to save my sanity as Google continues to cram its TV experience full of nonsense.
To enable this for yourself on your Chromecast with Google TV, just navigate to the ‘Settings’ menu by clicking on your profile picture in the upper right corner of the home screen. Then, scroll down to ‘Accounts & Sign In’, and select your account. From there, click on ‘Apps only mode’ and toggle the switch to ‘On’.