Ambient Mode

Ambient Mode is a screensaver built into Google TV and Android TV. Its purpose is to avoid displaying static images for extended periods. This is important for display technologies, such as OLED, which may be susceptible to screen burn.

The OS will put the device into Ambient Mode after 10 minutes of user inactivity. After a further period of user inactivity (defined by the device Energy Saver setting) the OS will enter Energy Saver mode, powering the display off. Media playback apps may prevent the device from entering Ambient Mode, despite the user not interacting with it, for example, while watching a movie.

If the user interacts with the device within 30 minutes of entering Ambient Mode, the app that was active when Ambient Mode was entered will be restored. If the user interacts with the device more than 30 minutes after entering Ambient Mode, they will be returned to the Home screen. When the user starts the device using the power button while it's in Energy Saver mode, they will be taken to the Home screen. Alternatively, if the user starts the device while it's in Energy Saver mode using specific app buttons (for example, YouTube) they will be taken directly to that app.

If you are using MediaSession for media playback, it will hold an implicit partial wake lock when beginning playback. Pausing playback will not release this wake lock. This means that the device may automatically enter Ambient Mode, but will not subsequently enter Energy Saver mode. If the user interacts with the device within 30 minutes of entering Ambient Mode, your app will be restored.

Video playback

For video playback, it's important to prevent the device entering Ambient Mode during user-initiated playback to provide an uninterrupted viewing experience. However, apps should not prevent devices from entering Ambient Mode when playback is stopped or paused.

Audio playback

For audio playback, apps should not prevent Ambient Mode during playback unless they implement their own screensaver with non-static imagery. Audio playback will continue while Ambient Mode is active.

Audio playback on Android will implicitly hold a partial wake lock. This will not prevent the device from entering Ambient Mode, but will prevent the subsequent transition to Energy Saver mode. Playback will therefore continue even after the device enters Ambient Mode, but the device will be prevented from going to sleep to allow uninterrupted playback.

Preventing Ambient Mode

It is possible to prevent the OS from putting the device into Ambient Mode, but this must be used in accordance with Ambient Mode requirements. App developers cannot prevent the device from entering Energy Saver mode.

Apps can prevent the screen from turning off by setting a flag on the Window:





Ambient Mode will be disabled while this flag is set. To re-enable it you must clear the flag: