I recently discovered that the multi-user account profile switcher on Google TV for families was able to be toggled, even though it has yet to be officially released. Completely by accident, I switched into a secondary account that I had signed in on the television and with that, the profile image, recommendations, and watchlist items all swapped out for the new account. That was a few weeks ago, but despite this, we’ve still yet to receive the one major feature everyone using a Chromecast with Google TV in their living rooms who have families have yearned for since the dongle’s launch.
Today, I got super excited when I saw the below tweet from the YouTube TV team stating that account switching for families was launching. I had to do a double-take because I thought it was finally for Google TV, but alas, it was only for the YouTube TV app itself.
As you can see in the GIF, heading back to the main menu of YouTube TV on televisions will soon present you with an image and a name for each and every family member who’s signed into it. Google states that this will be “hitting your accounts gradually”, so it may not appear right away.
If I’m honest, this is nice and all, but it feels like the company is stalling for time. system-wide profiles for Chromecast with Google TV were already delayed for some reason or another, and adding switching to YouTube TV instead seems like a stopgap solution to family use. Sure, we have kids’ profiles, but not multiple profile swapping for adults in the home, so the whole thing just seems very half-baked.
Several users in the comments of the tweet also point out the fact that they would have preferred overall account switching instead of just and only for YouTube TV, but the company’s reply was generic, asking them to submit feedback to further inform the direction of future updates.
While most apps now have individual user-level account switching, and that’s one way to solve the problem of multiple users in a home taking turns on a device, it adds more manual work for individuals, and at the end of the day, they still don’t have a fully personalized selection of content on the primary Google TV UI that allows them to explore and discover new and exciting content suited for them specifically.