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Developed by Google, Android TV device is one of the most amazing devices the world has ever seen. Supported by the Android operating system, Android TV is fully compatible with your television sets, digital media players, set-top boxes, and soundbars. A successor to your Google TV, Android TV comes with a simple user interface designed around content discovery & voice search.
So if you’ve bought yourself a new Android TV that’s fully integrated with Google technologies such as Assistant & Cast, you are in for a treat. Since it’s a quite vast thing that needs to be explored thoroughly, there are a few things you will need from the outer world. Things such as the best Android TV apps which you can use on your Android TV to take it to the next level.
The Essential & Worth Installing Best Android TV Apps
Obviously, your Android TV is capable of doing so many things & that’s why you spend a fortune on the same device. So let’s check out those Android TV applications that are worth installing & exploring on your Android TV as mentioned below:
1. MX Player
Arguably, one of the most used & popular video players for an Android device, MX Player doesn’t come with the whole package (as Netflix & YouTube do). Considered as the all format supported video player that works amazingly with subtitle files, MX Player must be installed on your device.
Additionally, MX Player has the capability to play both internal as well as external drive video files on the platform. Also, apart from playing offline videos, you have the liberty to stream online contents as well (including videos, serials, movies, & web-series). That’s quite amazing, I believe.
2. Sideload Launcher
While trying to have the same experience on Android TV, you might lose a few apps that are fully compatible with Android smartphones. Now since the overall experience shouldn’t get affected, Google made sideloading apps on Android TV a popular activity. Doing so will help you run those not-compatible apps on the Android TV in the easiest ways possible.
Now there is a catch that needs to be addressed before you set your hopes high. Sideloading apps on your Android TV won’t show up those apps on your home screen. To look for those, you need to make your way to the Settings option and that’s where you will find those sideloaded apps. Hence, download the Sideload Launcher on your Android TV & you will be able to see those apps in front of you.
Everything from those multi-starrer movies to much awaited web series, everything is available on those online video streaming platforms. Like Netflix, Amazon Prime, & Hotstar, Plex is also a known name for users who look for online streaming content. From digital movies to TV shows, everything is easily available on your device.
And thanks to Plex, you can cast all those video contents on every one of those screens & devices you have at your home. Also to put cherry on the cake, Plex helps you with downloading subtitles, movie artwork, & viewers ratings as well.
Technology has reached the level where everything we thought was impossible, is happening right in front of our eyes. I wouldn’t have believed if someone told me that I could cast content from an internet browser on my Android TV directly. But that is quite possible now because of those supporting apps or features like AirScreen.
Normally, Google Cast fully supports Android TV devices and that is why you can easily stream content even from your internet browsers (Chrome browser) to the TV screen. Wherein AirPlay from Apple doesn’t support Android TV devices and that’s why you need AirScreen (an absolutely free service). And that is why using AirScreen on your Apple devices (iOS device & iPadOS device) will help you cast content on your TV screen.
5. Google Drive
I don’t think there are any users who have bought an Android TV and aren’t aware of what Google Drive is all about. However, if there are any, the simplest explanation for users is, whenever you wish to access your system files onto the Android TV, Google Drive is the best solution you can put your hands on. Users who already have access to the drive know about the ease it brings to your file management system.
Plus, Google Drive is something that cannot be downloaded on your Android TV directly. So if you look for the Google Drive on the Play Store, you might not find it available. This is where you need to use the sideload feature to get this app. And since you already have got Sideload Launcher installed, it will be available under the same launcher for you to access.
6. X-plore File Manager
Another addition to the list of apps you must have in your Android TV is the X-plore File Manager. Moreover, it’s always recommended to have a file manager on your device so that all the media files including your documents are managed properly. As well as, when you try to sideload apps, having an effective file manager can be extremely helpful. Though there are many file manager alternatives available in the market, we would recommend you to go with the X-plore File Manager.
A perfect definition of reliability, effectiveness, & powerful rich-features, X-plore File Manager is capable of giving you an extraordinary experience. You can imagine the adaptability with the concept that X-Plore File Manager allows you to transfer APK files from USB drives to your Android TV’s hard drive. I don’t think I can expect for more from a file manager, as far as managing the files goes.
7. Steam Link
Now that you have got a bigger screen, I believe you must access every feature to the optimum level & explore everything on your Android TV. Experiences like playing high quality games on an even bigger screen because one can’t deny how exciting it looks to play games on bigger screens like TV screens. This is where Steam comes into the picture that launched it’s Android TV app in 2018, called Steam Link.
Steam Link is undoubtedly one of the best platforms to directly stream your games onto the Android device. That means every one of your steam games can be streamed directly on your Android TV screen without moving your computer or plugging in any other device or cable. Isn’t this exciting!!
8. Google Chrome
Shockingly, Chrome browser doesn’t come pre-installed on your Android TV, knowing that the concept has been developed by Google itself. And more shocking news is that Google Chrome doesn’t have an Android TV version as well means the most used internet browser (Google Chrome) in the world isn’t compatible with the Android TV.
Obviously, sideloading the chrome browser can be one of the ways to go about it, however, first try to navigate yourself to the Google Play Store’s Chrome listing (web version). Here you will find that Android TV is a compatible device when it comes to accessing Chrome browser on Android TV screen. Since it’s an absolutely free service given by Google, don’t waste time & download the world’s most popular internet browser right here right now.
9. Network TV Apps
Limited to specific regions, famous TV channels have shifted their focus on providing the Android TV apps as well. Yeah!! Many of those European & the United States of America TV channels have offered some form of TV apps so anything is accessible on your Android TV as well. From streaming those old classic contents to checking out the new TV shows & web series, everything is easily available on these network TV apps. Also, you can get to experience Live TV as well which is altogether a different experience. Some of these network TV apps include ESPN, Comedy Central, MTV, The Food Network, Showtime, Nickelodeon, & HBO. Please know that everyone of those network TV apps might or might not have a subscription fee as well.
10. YouTube TV
I know this feature must have been added in the list a few entries above but I believe those features also had the same kind of weightage as well. So, YouTube TV that was launched in 2017, however, in these few years, it’s got so many subscribers & that too active ones. Also, since we all are quite aware of the overall user interface YouTube offers, it won’t be a challenge to move around the YouTube TV app as well.
Plus, YouTube is like the video content hub for the whole world so if you find any of the channels on the platform, don’t be surprised. From CNN to Discovery & NBA TV to VH1, every one of those channels is available to be watched on YouTube TV. So without wasting much of your time, download the absolutely free service YouTube TV on your Android TV & start exploring the whole world right at your fingers.
I believe the name is enough to give you a glimpse about what this new addition to the list is all about. A must have Android TV app on your TV, TVUsage has been designed to keep control over the hours your kids watch TV. Yeah!! I know that many of you can relate to this app because it’s undoubtedly one of the most needed apps right now. From Richie Rich to Scooby Doo, it has been impossible to keep children away from the TV. One or the other way, they will find reasons to watch TV and the bar isn’t going to decrease unless something can be done about it.
This is where TVUsage app comes into the picture that can also be considered as a parental control app (compatible with your Android TV). From monitoring your kids’ watching time to setting the screen time restrictions, you can actually see the patterns your kid is following while watching TV for non-stop hours.
It’s an amazing app that will keep track of your child’s watching time & content so that you can take proper action in case you need to intervene.
12. Send Files to TV
One of the best apps you can have on your Android TV is the “Send Files to TV” that can be extremely helpful for you. Since almost everyone now owns more than one contact device (laptop, cellphone, & iPad), Send Files to TV can help you move files to the Android TV via computer or cellphone.
Irrespective of the files you are trying to transfer across the device, Send Files to TV can help you immensely. A free to use service (with in-app purchases), Send Files to TV allows you to share different media files (movies, web series, TV shows) between your cellphone or computer to Android TV set. It’s an amazing service one will get assured of after using this once or twice because you might need it anytime of the day.
13. Haystack News
Among those essential & worth installing Android TV apps, Haystack News is another best thing. In this tech world every news is sensational and gets spread all over the world within seconds. However, Live news is the one that takes the cake since every one of those channels have a 24 hours news service.
You will find many of the Android TV apps that come with premium subscription, however, in case you are looking for a free service, there are some. One of those free services is Haystack News that’s customized with your preferences & interests. Yeah!! Haystack News helps you find news that is totally based on your viewing history & other preferred factors.
Considered as one of the best tech inventions, Android TV has brought everything from your smartphone to the Android TV screen. Now after unboxing your Android TV, there will be some apps that are already in built (including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime). However, there are some apps for Android TV that you must have & will be worth installing. Such applications have been explained above with the appropriate features & reasons.
After going through every one of those applications, we are sure you will also find apps that aren’t mentioned here. So we would highly appreciate it if you could help us with the best Android TV apps that are worth installing & are secure as well.