The Android TV platform is one of the most diverse when it comes to app availability. Just like your Android phone, you get access to the Google Play Store on your Android TV to download apps and games of your choice. However, not all apps on the Play Store are available for Android TV. Take, for example, Google Chrome. If you want to access the web browser on your Android TV, you won’t be able to install it from the Google Play Store like other apps. That’s where sideloading comes in handy.
What is side loading?
App download is a method that allows you to install and use apps that you cannot find through the Google Play Store on your Android TV device. It is very similar to downloading apps on your Android mobile.
What’s great about the Android TV platform is that unlike other Smart TV operating systems, LG’s WebOS, for example, has the option to install an Android app bundle or APK on it.
In this guide, we will talk about two of the easiest ways to download apps on Android TV : using Android phones and the cloud. Both methods are easy to follow and get the job done, so let’s take a look at how they work.
How to download apps on Android TV using a mobile?
If you have an Android mobile, downloading apps on your Android TV can be a piece of cake. But before you start, you need to download the required APK file on your Android phone.
One of the best resources for finding APKs of the apps you want to install on your Android TV is APKMirror . Open the website on your Android mobile and install the APK of your choice. For this article, we chose to install Google Chrome on our Android TV.
Once you have installed the APK file on your phone, follow the steps below to transfer it to your Android TV.
- Download the Send Files To TV app on your mobile and Android TV via the Google Play Store.
- Once the app is installed, open it on your TV and select the “Receive” option . Simultaneously open the app on your phone and select the send option.
- You will now see a file menu on your phone. The APK that you have downloaded should be in a folder called “Download” .
- Select the APK and you should see the name of your TV on your mobile screen. Select it and start the transfer.
- Once the transfer is complete, you should be able to select and open the file on your TV. When you do, you should ideally see a prompt to install the app. However, the open button doesn’t always work as expected in the Send files to TV app. Don’t worry, you can still install the APK you just transferred to your TV using an app called File Commander .
- Download File Commander on your Android TV from the Google Play Store.
- Open the app and select the “Internal storage” option.
- Here, you will find your transferred APK in the “Download” folder .
- Select the file and you should see a message on your screen that says “Test Application”.
- You may get a message that installations from unknown sources are not allowed. If this happens, simply tap on the “Settings” button that appears with the message and slide the button next to the name of the app you are using to install the APK (File Commander or Send Files To TV).
- Your APK should start to install.
- When you see the app installed message on your screen, simply hit “Open” and your app should launch.
How to download apps on Android TV using cloud storage?
Another easy method to download apps on your Android TV is through cloud storage. You can use Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive to install APK on your Android TV. The process is very similar to the method mentioned above and uses the same File Commander application to complete the job.
Download the APKMirror APK file on your phone or PC and add it to your Google Drive . If you have too many items on your drive, you may want to put the APK in a separate folder so it’s easy to find when you access the drive on your TV. Now follow the steps below to download the app on your Android TV.
- Download and open the File Commander app on your Android TV.
- Sign in to the cloud storage account of your choice. We log in to Google Drive .
- You should now be able to see your Google Drive files on your Android TV.
- Select the APK file you want to install and you will see a message that says “Test Application” .
- If you haven’t yet given File Commander the necessary permissions to install applications, you may get a message that installations from unknown sources are not allowed. In this case, all you need to do is hit the “Settings” option that comes with the prompt and toggle the switch on for File Commander to allow you to install the APK.
- Your app will continue to install and you can start using it once the download is complete.
- You can also use the File Commander app to download apps via a USB stick or hard drive. Simply add the APK file to your USB drive and plug it into your Android TV if you have a USB port. You can now open File Commander on your TV to access the contents of the USB drive and follow the same steps as above to install the APK.
How to open downloaded apps on Android TV?
Once you’ve finished downloading an app on Android TV, you may not know where to find it when you want to open it. Unlike Android phones, you won’t see downloaded apps in the launcher or apps section. However, you can still access them through your Android TV device’s settings menu .
To find your downloaded app, go to settings (gear icon) on your Android TV home screen. Here you will find an “Applications” section where you can select and open the application you downloaded.
If you don’t want to go through this hassle of finding the downloaded app every time, you can simply download an app called Sideload Launcher . It allows you to access all your apps in one place, including the ones you downloaded.