Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Google TV devices can access Android TV apps, but non-TV apps must be sideloaded manually.
  • Sideloading on Google TV is easy using the “Send Files to TV” app to transfer APKs.
  • Not all apps may work correctly on Google TV, so testing is necessary after sideloading.

Google TV devices (including the Chromecast with Google TV) have access to apps and games made for Android TV. However, apps that haven’t been specifically designed for TVs won’t show up in the Play Store on your TV. You’ll just have to download them from someplace else and sideload them. We’ll show you how.

Sideloading is the act of installing an app from outside the Play Store. Rather than the Play Store handling the download and installation process, you’ll have to do it manually—but Android still does most of the work for. Sideloading on Google TV is a little different than on Android TV, but still very easy thanks to a handy app.

How to Add Apps to Google TV From Your Phone

Before we can do any sideloading, you’ll need to download an APK of the app you’d like to install on your Google TV. This is much, much easier to do on your Android phone than the TV itself. APK Mirror is a trusted source for downloading apps, and you won’t be pirating. Visit the website, find the app you want, and download the APK file (not “app bundle”) to your phone.

Now comes the trickiest part of the whole process—getting that APK from your phone to the TV. The easiest way to do this is with an aptly named app called “Send Files to TV.” You’ll need to install the app on your TV and Android phone.

Now, open the app on your TV and permit it to access media. Then, go to the main screen and select “Receive.”

Grant permission and select "Receive."

Open the app on your Android phone and permit it to access media. This time, choose “Send.”

Grant permission and tap "Send."

Find the APK file you downloaded earlier, then select your Google TV device to send it.

Locate the APK and choose your Google TV.

This same method can be used to easily move files—not just apps—from your phone to a Google TV or Android TV device. It’s much easier than fiddling with cloud storage apps or trying to use a browser on the TV to download the APK.

Sideload Apps on Google TV

Now that we’ve got the APK file on the Google TV, we can go ahead and sideload it. When the transfer is finished (it will say “Succeeded”), select the file.

Select the transferred APK file.

Choose “Open” from the “Choose Action” menu.

Select "Open."

Finally, select “Install.” You may be asked to grant the app permission to install apps from unknown sources.

Select "Install."

When the APK is finished installing, you can select “Open” or “Done.”

Click "Open."

That’s all there is to it! The app is now available on your Google TV device.

One thing to remember is not all apps and games will work correctly on Google TV. Some may be completely broken, while others will be impossible to use with a remote. You’ll just have to test and see. Sideloading is an incredibly handy feature for Android devices, especially those that don’t have the Play Store. For example, you can sideload apps on Amazon Fire TV and sideload apps on Fire tablets too.

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By John P.

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