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Vizio updates its Google Cast-only TVs with an actual interface and apps

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The remote is back

We’ve known Vizio would be updating its Google Cast-enabled TVs with its new SmartCast UI for a while now, and today that update began to roll out to the company’s 2017 P-Series and M-Series models. (The company says that additional sets, including the E-Series, will be updated later this summer.)

SmartCast’s launch officially marks the end of Vizio’s short-lived experiment in creating a smart TV without apps. The company’s 2016 line famously killed all the menus and interfaces, relying on a bundled tablet and Google’s Chromecast for apps. But now the remote is back, and users will be able to navigate to the bundled apps just like they would on any other platform. Oh, and the Chromecast functionality is still there, if you prefer the old method.

Vizio still isn’t taking a traditional approach when it comes to smart TV apps, though. SmartCast isn’t running a custom-made app for a closed system that will never see a software update. Instead, Vizio’s “apps” are cloud-based HTML5 interfaces — basically, web apps — that can be updated without having to install new firmware on your TV.