Since the addition of Android TV platform in 2014 we have come a long way. In the starting days, Android TVs were made by manufacturers and options were limited to getting an Android TV if you were looking for it. Nowadays, we have Android TV boxes and streaming sticks that can be used to convert any TV with an HDMI port into a Smart or Android TV. These new additions to the TV market has made Android TV a much accessible option for the public. In case you have an Android TV or a TV box, these are the 10 best android TV apps that you should install and be using in 2023.
Best Android TV Apps
Send files to TV(SFTV)
This is one of my favorite apps in the Android TV app segment.
If you are using an android TV or smart TV, and if you want to switch from one movie to another or change the music stored on the TV, You may either need a Pendrive or connect a hard disk to the TV.
Send files to TV apps makes such things easy, and you can easily transfer data from your Smartphone to TV and use it.
You Simply need to install this app on both the TV and your smartphone and connect them to the same Wi-Fi network. The app on the TV will automatically recognize your phone and boom you have it. Y
ou can now transfer files to TV without wires.
In case you are looking for such an app to transfer files to TV, then this is my recommendation.
Screensaver and Photo Gallery
Your Android TV comes with a local screensaver option, however it’s very restricted, and you’ll need to set your individual pictures.
Google Photos integration on Android TV was a good option, it’s gone now due to some security issues. So mainly, you may not be able to show your private set of pictures both out of your Google account or in storage.
In that case, this Photo Gallery and Screensaver app can come handy. The app is particularly designed for Android TV and brings all the screensaver options that you really want on a big TV display screen.
In this you can select your pictures, change the aspect ratio, apply an effect and do way more things.
The best part is that via this app, you’ll be able to even join your Google account, and it may well pull your pictures and show them as a screensaver.
To handle these functions, Photo Gallery and Screensaver are among the many cool screensaver apps for Android TV, if not the very best.
Also check best laptop for video editing section
VLC Media player
In case you are looking for a media player app, and you have searched for it, you might have come across this app, the VLC media player.
It is one of the popular media players in the Computer and smartphone section. This app is now available for android TV platform as well.
It supports all file formats, and may play back movies encoded in all kinds of codecs. VLC can also decode movies that use the HEVC H.265 codec.
Also with the intuitive interface, and the features that VLC presents, we can tell simply why VLC is so broadly used.
This app automatically categorizes video, audio and other files which is a plus. Also with the settings in the app, you can alter the features like hardware acceleration, and more.
In some Android TV’s the VLC app comes preinstalled but in case if it’s not present then you can easily install it from android TV play store.
This can be considered as one of the best apps for Android TV because with this you use many of Android apps with no geo-restriction or Android TV compatibility related problems.
If you don’t know, Aptoide is a third-party app store similar to the Google Play Store. Here you can find and set up apps which are in any other case not available on the Play Store.
In case if you are not sure about the app integrity, Aptoide is well-supported by the developers so that their use does not come into problems.
In case you are unable to get your favorite apps on Android TV Play Store, the Aptoide app is for you to solve the problem.
This can be considered as one of the best media server applications on the android TV segment apps.
This app can be utilized to handle all of your media into one central location, which might even can be accessed remotely.
Also, the Kodi skills can be enhanced with numerous Kodi add-ons that add different new features to the application.
In case you have a lot of offline media, you should use Kodi, and it will really help you manage them easily.
If you add any media after setting up, Kodi will get organized well in categories. Add-ons of Kodi help support any format of audio and video, which makes it a good app for media consumption in android TV space.
You may not have an internet browser pre-installed in an Android TV, which it should have been in real life.
In case you are planning to install a browser in Android TV, then you should try installing Google Chrome.
Having Google Chrome installed, you possibly can browse the online, and do much more in your Android TV.
As we’re putting in a fully supported Android app, it is going to have each function that the Google Chrome app has on an Android smartphone.
Since Google Chrome is not available in the Android TV Play store, You can side-load it very easily by downloading the Google Chrome APK for android TV.
As we know, we store many of the data in cloud services nowadays as they are easy to access from anywhere.
If you are looking to access your drive files inside Android TV, Google Drive should come handy. With Google Drive in your TV, you may enter your login information and access the files in your Android TV.
Google Drive app is not available on the Android TV Play Store, you may simply side-load the APK from websites similar to APKMirror.
In case you are not willing to use Google Drive, you may check its alternatives to store your information on the cloud and access it on your Android TV.
Android TVs come with Google Cast enabled so that you can easily cast any audio or video to your Android TV.
The problem really starts if you have an iPhone, as they do not support google cast and you may not be able to cast your phone content to your Android TV from the phone.
The feature of iPhone to cast is known as Airplay, which works with Apple TV. So in case you have a phone, and you want to cast, then you need an app like Airscreen.
Airscreen app can add an AirPlay server in your Android TV, so that your iPhone will consider your Android TV and Apple TV.
This can help you play the content on your iPhone and cast it to your android TV screen.
VPN applications are good to use in certain situations. It helps to maintain your privacy and secure your internet usage if you are using a public wifi network.
Tunnelbear is one of the best VPN apps you should use on an Android TV. The app is not that optimized for Android TV, it really works great, and truly seems to be quite good.
You can get up to 500 MB data free in a month, and also you can get their paid subscriptions which could help you to lift the restrictions.
For basic browsing and minor usage 5000 MB would be enough but if you are looking for video streaming and gaming then the data limit won’t be enough, here you may be in need to look for their premium packages.
There are many other VPN options available, but I have tried TunnelBear, and it has worked well. So thought of recommending the same to you.
Netflix being one of the most popular video streaming platforms, you might have heard of it already. In the video streaming apps space, Netflix will be the one that you will hear first if you search for a good video streaming app.
The content quality and the wide range of movies and shows available in Netflix makes it one of the best platforms to watch online content.
It’s a paid subscription app, and I am sure that if you have seen Netflix content you will be aware of the plans.
They are a bit on the pricey side, but the money that you pay for it is worth it. You also have different online streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video or Hulu which you can try.
But in my experience, Netflix will make you like it once you start using the service.
Questions and Answers
Before checking out the apps for android TV, following are some questions usually asked on apps in Android TV.
Can Android TV run all Android apps?
The answer is NO. At present, there are only limited number of apps that are optimized for Android TV platform. In case if you side-load any mobile app APK to android, it will crash most probably or won’t work properly.
Can you download apps on Android TV?
Yes, you can download Android TV apps through Google Play Store for Android TV.
You need to be logged into your Google account inside Android TV. You can open the play store app which will be available in a stock Android TV like Sony TV’s and search for an app that you are looking for.
What is better Android TV or Smart TV?
Here, many people have confusion between an Android TV and Smart TV. To make it clear, when we add a custom skin to an android interface, it becomes a smart TV or called as a smart TV.
Many Brands like Samsung or LG add their custom interface over the stock android to make them look their own.
How can I watch local channels on my Android TV?
Basically any Android TV or Smart TV is first a TV and then come android or smart .
So it will have all the options of a normal TV that we were using for long. Do you have a set-top box or a streaming device, you should be able to connect them to the TV and watch TV channels. It will have an HDMI or RCA ports that you could utilize for connecting.
Is there a YouTube TV app for Android TV?
Being an OS from Google, an Android TV always comes with YouTube installed. It may be an old version, and you may have updates when you buy a TV, but you can update. So you will have YouTube on Android TV.
What are the disadvantages of Android TV?
An Android TV being a video streaming device should have no disadvantages, but as per the people using the TV and the apps installed, there could be some.
In case of a child using an Android TV, the apps should be restricted based on the content available.
An Android TV is connected to the internet, so people should always have an idea what they are using and what data is being transferred.
Is Android TV worth buying?
Depends on the price that you are looking for. Are you willing to pay the premium for a stock android TV, then it should definitely be a good choice as it has the variety of apps and streaming options.
As most of the popular streaming services are available online as apps, an Android TV can make your TV watching experience better.
There are many apps that come preinstalled when you buy a new Android TV, Some are useful, some are not. When you keep using your Android TV and explore its features, you will have more requirements to be done using your TV.
But you may not have options with apps installed on the TV, so you start looking for other apps that could do that. In this section of the best Android TV apps, I have tried to cover the most popular apps that could help you out in enhancing your Android TV experience.
If you like this section please share and comment if you need any more info on the apps mentioned here.