Google Photos disables sharing on Android TV

Imagine you’re setting up your TV to display pictures of your cat, or your kids, or your main squeeze, in Backdrop/Ambient Mode.

But instead of photos of your trip to Belize, you see a parade of strangers: as in, Google accounts belonging to people you don’t know, including their profile pictures, all showing up as linked accounts.

That’s what happened to Twitter user Prashanth, who on Saturday posted a 44-second long clip of the accounts that streamed by when he was trying to access his Vu Android TV through the @Google Home app on his phone:

Fortunately, the strangers’ photos stayed tucked away, given that access to the photos themselves was blocked. In fact, Google Photos functionality didn’t seem to be working.

Prashanth told Android Police that he first spotted the on his home TV, a 55-inch Vu LED TV (model number: 55SU134) with built-in Android TV functionality, while setting up Backdrop/Ambient Mode through his Pixel 2XL phone.

He said that he double-checked the glitch by signing onto the TV with his wife’s Google account. It again showed the list, except this time Prashanth also spotted his own name and profile picture.

He couldn’t replicate the bug on his other Android TV, a Xiaomi Mi Box 3 running Android 8.0, Oreo. His Vu TV was running an older operating system: it was on Android 7.0 and hadn’t received any security updates since December 2017, though Prashanth had manually checked for them. According to Android Police, the website where he bought the TV says that its current operating system is Oreo, which suggests that the over-the-air update never arrived.

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