So you’ve purchased an Android TV gadget. Congratulations! But what now?
A select programs, such as YouTube and Netflix, may come pre-installed. The rest is all up to you. A combination of movies, music, productivity, and system programs is required for the optimal experience.
With that in mind, here are the top Android TV applications you should download right immediately.
1. MX Player
MX Player has long been regarded as one of the top Android video players. Its attributes transfer well to a bigger screen.
The program can play a wide range of codecs and subtitle files. The user interface is smooth and simple to use.
MX Player can also read both locally stored files and information from external devices, making it an ideal companion for anybody with a USB-enabled Android TV device.
Download: MX Player (Free)
2. Sideload Launcher
The Google Play Store for Android TV is a scaled-down version of the one seen on smartphones. Some applications are not Android TV-compatible, thus there are fewer options. However, since the operating system can run any Android app, sideloading applications on Android TV is a popular practice.
But there’s a problem. Sideloaded applications will not appear on your device’s home screen or app list. The only way to get to them is via the Settings menu. As a result, installing a third-party software is the answer. Sideload Launcher is the most user-friendly. When you open it, you’ll get a list of all the applications you’ve sideloaded.
To learn more, see our post on how to handle sideloaded applications on Android TV.
Download: Sideload Launcher (Free)
This is an obvious choice. Netflix may already be installed on your device. If it doesn’t, download the app.
You can watch hundreds of TV movies and series with a Netflix membership. It’s a must-have service for anybody looking to cut the cord.
Download: Netflix (Free)
Another obvious choice. If you have a large personal library of digital movies and TV episodes, Plex is the finest option for casting them across all of your home’s displays and devices.
Plex can automatically download subtitle files, information, movie artwork, user ratings, and more in addition to its stunning libraries.
Plex is completely free to use as long as you don’t wish to view your material remotely.
Download: Plex (Free)
Google Cast is included into Android TV devices. This means you can cast material directly to your TV screen from Android smartphones and other Google devices such as the Chrome browser and Chromebooks.
AirPlay from Apple is not supported. If you have an Apple smartphone, AirScreen is one of the greatest applications you can install. It will allow you to mirror the screen of your iPhone or iPad on your Android TV box.
Additionally, the program supports the Google Cast, Miracast, and DLNA protocols.
Download: AirScreen (Free)
6. X-plore File Manager
It’s generally a good idea to maintain a file manager on your smartphone, but it’s especially important if you want to sideload programs.
We are fortunate to have a nice range of file managers for Android TV. We suggested X-plore File Manager, Total Commander, TvExplorer, and AnExplorer File Manager in our roundup.
In terms of sideloading, we propose X-plore File Manager. It employs a dual-pane technique, making it simple to transfer an APK file from a USB stick to the hard disk of your smartphone.
Download: X-plore File Manager (Free)
7. Google Drive
Google Drive is the greatest option for accessing your computer’s data on your Android TV device.
Google Drive is not yet available in the Google Play Store for Android TV. You’ll have to sideload the program. Before you attempt to install the app’s APK file, make sure you have X-plore File Manager installed.
Download: Google Drive (Free)
If you don’t have any digital material of your own, you may argue that Kodi is a better option than Plex.
The program offers an almost limitless amount of add-ons that may enable access to on-demand media, live TV, weather updates, news, productivity tools, and much more.
Related: The Best Free IPTV Apps for Android
Download: Kodi (Free)
9. Wake on LAN
Wake on LAN is the only Android TV software that can remotely wake up your PC.
If you do a lot of local streaming using Plex or Kodi, this is a must-have tool. If the computer that runs the Plex or Kodi server goes to sleep, the Wake on LAN program can wake it up so you can resume streaming video.
Download: Wake on LAN (Free)
10. Steam Link
Steam Link, its Android TV app, was ultimately released in 2018.
You may use the software to broadcast your Steam games straight to any Android device. You can now play all of your PC games on your TV without having to move your computer or deal with a fussy HDMI cord.
Download: Steam Link (Free)
Cable TV music channels are obnoxious and full with advertisements. And, unless you pay for YouTube Premium, the musical experience on YouTube isn’t much better.
Spotify is the solution. Pandora and Google Play Music are two more music providers with dedicated Android TV apps.
Download: Spotify (Free)
12. Google Chrome
Surprisingly, Google Chrome is not pre-installed on Android TV devices. The app does not even have an Android TV version.
You don’t need to sideload Chrome since it doesn’t have a store version. Your Android TV box will be displayed as a supported device if you go to Chrome’s page in the Google Play Store on the web.
Download: Google Chrome (Free)
The cord-cutting movement shows no signs of abating. Users are quitting their cable subscriptions in droves and transitioning to à la carte live TV options.
Sling is one of the most popular cable-cutting services. Depending on the plan you choose, you may watch AMC, CNN, ESPN, Disney, Comedy Central, NFL Network, and many more channels.
Download: Sling (Free)
If you want live TV plus on-demand video in one subscription (and you reside in the United States), Hulu + Live TV is the best option. The entire package (no advertisements) is presently $65 per month.
Aside from the substance, the app merits praise. After many years of development, it is currently one of the best-looking Android TV applications on the market.
Download: Hulu (Free)
15. Network TV Apps
Almost all of the major TV stations in Europe and the United States now have an Android TV app. You can catch up on current programs, see some of their older classics, and even watch live TV in certain circumstances.
ESPN, FOX Sports, Comedy Central, FX, MTV, HGTV, The Travel Channel, The Food Network, ABC, Disney, HBO, Showtime, and Nickelodeon all have Android TV apps. Users in the United Kingdom may download BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub.
Please keep in mind that some of the applications need a cable TV subscription.
16. YouTube TV
YouTube TV is another popular cord-cutting service. Despite the fact that it just launched in 2017, it has already amassed millions of users.
Most of the major networks have deals with YouTube. This means you can watch CNN, Discovery, BBC News, FOX, ABC, CBS, ESPN, NBA TV, TNT, VH1, and more networks.
Download: YouTube TV (Free)
Kids viewing too much television has been a recurring subject in family life since TVs first became available in American homes in the 1950s.
However, with the increased number of channels accessible, the situation may be greater than ever.
TVUsage is an Android TV parental control software that allows you to set screen time limits and track your children’s watching habits.
Download: TVUsage (Free, in-app purchases available)
18. Send Files to TV
Transferring files from your computer or smartphone to your Android TV device is easier said than done; there is no native, user-friendly method.
Send Files to TV is the solution. It allows you to share movies, TV episodes, and other things through your local network with your other devices and your Android TV box.
Send Files to TV (Download) (Free, in-app purchases available)
19. Photo Gallery and Screensaver
The standard screensaver settings on Android TV are pretty minimal. And these days, you can’t even use your Google Photos collection to create a slideshow screensaver.
Photo Gallery and Screensaver offers a more feature-rich screensaver experience (with Google Photos integration). Google Photos, Facebook, and Flickr may all be used as sources.
Photo Gallery and Screensaver are available for download (Free, in-app purchases available)
20. Haystack News
One of the drawbacks of cord-cutting has often been identified as live news. In reality, it is no longer the case. All of the live TV apps we’ve highlighted below feature 24-hour news stations.
You also have choices if you do not wish to pay for a service. Haystack News is one such alternative. Based on your interests and watching history, it pulls articles from all of the major news networks.
Download: Haystack News (Free)
Android TV Is Right for Everyone
As this list demonstrates, there are very few regions where an Android TV app is not available.
In our perspective, the sheer number of accessible applications implies that Android TV is appropriate for everyone, even if you don’t own an Android smartphone. There is currently no better cord-cutting option on the market.
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