Looking for the best Android TV apps list? Keep reading, you are in the perfect place.
Android TV is gaining so much popularity around the world and android TV OS is present in plenty of households either on their Smart TVs or on an Android TV-based device like the famous Mi TV Box or Mi TV Stick from Xiaomi. So, it is quite legitimate to want to take full advantage of all the functionalities of these devices. But how to?
It is of little use to have a television with Android TV at home – or connected to a TV Box – if you do not install apps that help you get the most out of it.
Clear examples are Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, Twitch, Google Chrome, or Google Drive, apps that we all know and that you can also install on your Android TV device.
In addition to these popular applications, on your Android TV device, you can also take advantage of the functions of other free apps that we will talk about below.
We bring you the best Android TV apps list so that you can get the most out of your player. It does not matter if you have a Mi Box TV or another device or Smart TV, as long as it runs an Android TV OS, these applications will help you to be more informed and entertained.
The best Android TV apps list for your Device
First, you will discover a list of Must-have apps that should be installed on your Android TV to get you started, then you will find a broad list of apps arranged by categories. Most of these apps are already available in the Android TV app store.
Must-have Android TV apps list
For you to explore the full potential of an Android TV-based device like Mi TV Stick, several must-have apps must be installed. These are handy apps that would make your experience on an Android TV device smoother and allow you to carry out a set of tasks easily and effectively. And this is exactly what the first part of this article is going to be about. So, let’s get to business
Most Android TV media boxes or TV Sticks come with fairly compact remotes but a lot of smart TVs come with a remote with a lot of buttons and if you are using just the Android TV platform most of these buttons are useless and that’s why the Button Mapper is so useful.
As its name suggests, the app allows you to map and configure function for the buttons of your Smarts TV remote. This way, you can add extra possibilities to the ones that come standard which broadens the horizon of customization and speeds up when taking shortcuts. Simply install it and access its configuration to select new uses for the buttons. In general, there are no limitations in the style of the hardware (physical buttons, capacitive …) or in the elements that can be mapped.
We can map the Home buttons, the two volume buttons, the one for recent applications, and the back button. Each one allows us to customize it for one press, two, and long press. You can also convert a button into an opposite one, get it to launch a specific application, turn off the screen, fire the shutdown menu, advance or rewind songs, raise or lower the brightness … The number of available functions is quite high.
As is logical, we should not change the simple way of pressing since the buttons have to exercise their primary function, although nothing prevents us from giving them the behavior we want.
I liked Button Mapper. Simple to use, easy to add actions, with a lot of options included and without excessive limitations even in the free version. A very good option for those of us who want to go back and forth in music playback by pressing the volume buttons as well as having access to new ways to map the rest of the buttons.
Button Mapper is free and is already available in the Android TV app store.
TVUsage is a digital well-being app for Android TV. A complete application that allows you to easily know all the viewing and usage statistics of the Android TV apps. But that’s not all, since it also allows you to block applications with a PIN, either because you don’t want your child to see it, or because someone at home abused the time. Anyway, a fairly simple parental control system…
One of the things that I liked the most about TVUsage is that it integrates very well with the Android TV menus, and navigation with the remote control. All the options are easy to locate, and although the application is in English only, it is very intuitive and this does not cause any problems. Besides, it has no advertising of any kind.
Note, the app shows you the usage details for free but if you want to put limits or lock an app you will have to make a one-time purchase. To know more about this app just follow this link.
Send files to TV
Both Android TV and Android have the same code yet there is no way to send files between them which is strange. Anyway, the app a lot of people use and I use personally to send files, mostly APKs, from my Android Smartphone to the Android TV is send files to TV
It is a super simple app. All you need is your phone and a TV connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Select the file, Select Send on the phone and Receive on the TV and that’s it the file will be sent
Note that th
is works fine on the smaller files but I did notice that it kind of slows down at times with larger files. But still, for APKs and other small files, this is a very good one. See how to send files from android mobile to Mi TV Stick
Like most Android TV users, I used to use the Puffin browser in the past and it was great until they started a subscription service to use the browser without any time limit. Yup, a subscription to use the browser
Anyway, I was looking for another browser and that’s when I came across TVBro, a simple web browser optimized to use with a TV remote. I find the UI not to be so intuitive at first but once I got used to it I liked the whole feature set and the browser.
First of all, let me make it clear that I like the name TVBro. Second, it loads up all the websites I use very well and it’s very fast and smooth, something very important. Plus, navigating the web pages or accessing different menus is responsive to the DVD mode which is again very important.
As for the features, it has a download manager, voice thread support and it is open source meaning you can use the service and pay nothing. So, this is one of best Android TV apps to browse the net.
Find out more about TV Bro Browser Features
FX File manager
A file manager app is absolutely a must-have for any Android TV because you need to access files like APKs and local files etc…
There are a lot of file managers available for Android TV but my favorite and the best file manager app for Android TV is FX File manager
Well, there are many reasons why I believe so. First, the UI looks clean and navigation is very smooth. Most of its features from its phone version are available for the Android TV version. There is support for multiple windows with a split-screen view so you can move files between different folders easily. There is also a built-in video player, music player, image viewer, text viewer, and editor. It also supports creating and packing archives such as zip and rar. So it has all features and its free version has no ads, no privacy issues, and all the important features needed. So yeah, it’s got to be perfect for most people
You may have noticed that play store for android TV has a lot of popular apps but it is still pretty limited, and sideloading Android TV apps is still a little bit of a hassle and this is where alternative app stores come to play.
In case you didn’t know, Aptoide has an Android Smart TV (and Android set-top box) version called Aptoide TV.
Aptoide TV brings you an app store that offers content with a rich user experience, optimized for the larger screen devices, such as high-definition televisions. Yep, it means that you can use Aptoide not only on your mobile devices but also from the comfort of your couch
Aptoide TV is the Android TV app store you need on your device because this TV aimed version has all the Android TV apps you may think of. So make sure you check it out
By default, the Android TV manager does not show sideloaded apps in the apps list. So we have to use apps like sideload launcher to access these apps or dig deeper into the system settings, which is annoying.
Well, what if there is an app that can get these apps on the default Android TV launcher.
It’s called Nebula manager and it does a good job. It’s very simple. Just open up the app and it will show you all the third-party apps
All you need to do is select the apps you want to see in the app drawer. From the app drawer, you can even add them to the home screen. Yes, It’s a very simple app but very useful if you sideload a lot of apps
Background apps and process list
What I don’t like about android TVs is that there is no way to switch between different apps or see the apps running in the background.
Sure, some TVs allow that but most Android TVs don’t have this functionality
For the latter, the ability to see background apps is fixed by an app called background apps and process list
So this is again a very easy to use app that shows you all the apps running in the background. The UI seems kind of basic but it gets the job done
Anyway, this app allows you to see all running apps in the background and kill them right there. The process to key labs is not the most intuitive because even when you use the close all button it opens up the app info page for each app. So you have to go through them all one by one and press force stop for every single app. It’s kind of annoying process but you can kill only the apps you are not using for the time being.
Overall, it’s not the best solution to kill apps in the background but at least it is a solution. So check it out
Best Android TV apps by category
We have been trying and testing so many Launchers for android TV-based devices that are available in the play store and we have come up with a list of the best Launcher apps for android TV that are worth your attention. These apps can do the job to significantly enhance your experience on any Android TV device.
Square Home Launcher
One of the most curious launchers that you can use to change the visual appearance of your Android TV or Android box is Square Home. It offers a fully customizable desktop, with different sizes for icons, colors, shading, widgets, customizable wallpapers, and more. The interface is of the Metro UI type, which is known to appear in the most recent versions of Windows.
Sideload Launcher comes with a very, very useful function for your Android TV device. It does allow you to load all those apps that do not appear on the Home of our Android TV because they are not completely compatible.
This is especially important because Sideload Launcher is not just a launcher. It allows us to see and use all those applications both in APK and in the Play Store. That does not mean that they work, but we can already try them, and for some, even use them.
TV Home Launcher
An easy to use as well as a functional launcher with a very similar design to that of the WebOS and TizenOS interfaces that we see on Samsung and LG Smart TVs. Therefore, for those who want to emulate the experience of a smartTV on their Android multimedia box, TV Home Launcher is a perfect choice.
With this launcher the applications are shown in a single line in the bottom area of the screen, giving a clean and elegant touch to the user interface. To navigate we simply have to move left and right with the remote control and the wallpaper is customizable.
With the absence of a built-in browser in your Android TV device and with the need to use one, you might feel confused about where to start.
The number of web browser Android TV apps is not very high at least when talking about the official play store, but this is not the only way to find the best browser for you.
To make things easy for you, we have already tested many available browser apps for android TV and come up with the best.
Puffin TV – Fast Web Browser
Puffin TV browser is a special edition of Puffin Web Browser optimized for the Android TV. It is the best web browser that you can find by searching the Android TV Google Play Store. It is perfectly adapted to use with the TV remote control, it has favorites, the content loads normally and most of the elements are reproduced correctly on the screen.
TV Bro, one of the best apps you can have on your Android TV, is an open-source web browser optimized for Android TV media boxes.
It is the only browser to date that offers adaptive mouse speed control and full remote control support and advanced customization.
TV Bro optionally uses search solutions and voice search from Google.
Downloader app: an all-in-one tool
Downloader allows Android TV owners to easily download files from the internet onto their devices. You can enter a URL that directly points to a file, or you can sideload the web browser plugin to download files from websites.
The browser plugin supports remotes and game controllers, so a mouse and keyboard are not necessary. The browser plugin can also be used for general web surfing with fullscreen mode, zooming, and quick access to favorites/bookmarks.
Firefox for Android TV
There’s no bug – we’ve featured a web browser for Android TV. And it is that the a
dapted version of Firefox works perfectly: just install the APK on the Android TV device and navigate. Its use is perfectly adapted to the remote control of the TV and offers an experience as complete as it is simple. In our opinion, it is the best app for what we are looking for: surfing the web from TV.
File Explorer apps
File explorers allow access to the different folders that are on your Android TV device, so they allow advanced management of the files that are stored and even perform actions that may be important when optimizing the use of Smart TV, such as storage space maintenance.
X-plore file manager
The first option we recommend is X-plore File Manager. A two-paneled approach is needed for file management. In the context of side discharge, this is great. The two panels make it easy to transfer an APK from a USB stick to your Android TV’s storage drive.
On the downside, it’s not particularly user-friendly. While not complicated, it takes a while to get used to how the app works.
ES File Explorer
ES File Explorer is a great tool for managing files and programs. It comes with a multitude of additional features such as a tool for killing running applications, direct cloud drive storage (via Dropbox, Google Drive, or Skydrive), and an FTP client so you can use it both on your mobile device as well as your PC.
The program allows any Android user to easily manage all of their files, being able to access anything on their mobile device and then share it, if they so want to. Uploading photos, watching movies, and managing your 3G connection is now even easier.
Total Commander will be familiar to many users. It is one of the best file managers for the mobile version of Android. However, it also works wonderfully well with Android TV; it’s packed with features that are especially useful for the big screen.
The app offers native support for Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox. We have already discussed the value of having access to such services.
Media Player apps
Without a doubt, with your Android TV, the first choice application or player to play lists or m3u files is VLC. And, the famous multimedia player, in addition to being an OpenSource software that we can get completely free of charge, allows us to reproduce almost any type of content without the need for additional codecs.
To do this, just go to the Android TV app store on our smart TV or your Android box device, search for the VLC player and proceed with its installation.
Kodi is another powerful media player you can use to play IPTV on your Android. Like VLC, Kodi is an Open Source multimedia player. Therefore, All you need to do is go to the Google application store, search for the player, and get it installed on your Android TV device.
Plex is an app that allows us to create a local content network for video, photos, or music. We can turn an old computer that we do not use into a “transmitter” of that content that we can reproduce with our account on other devices both at home and abroad.
For example, if you digitize your movies or music, you can put them on an external disk and from there to the PC that serves as a Plex server to create a kind of home Netflix in a very simple way.
Another popular player for Android is MX Player, which is characterized by its extensive customization options.
Furthermore, MX Player supports any type of video format and is also compatible with most subtitle formats, such as DVD, DVB, SSA, SRT, SUB, or IDX.
We return to the topic of customization to tell you that you can easily change the style of this player and modify the buttons that appear on the screen, all without losing the simplicity of use that characterizes it.
In short, MX Player is a complete multimedia player that you can install for free.
Music streaming apps
Television still comprises a major proportion of people’s music listening experience, and this observation prompted the streaming services to improve their Android TV apps. The following are the most known among users and they are available right in the Android TV app store.
The most important application you are going to listen to for music streaming, and which you can take advantage of even if you don’t pay your monthly fee thanks to its free service. Perfect to enjoy your favorite music on TV, all the discs you have saved, and even podcasts, as well as all the personalized playlists that the service will offer you, learning from your tastes.
The Android TV app of Deezer has been redesigned, and it allows both paying and freemium subscribers to access more features of the streaming service through their television sets.
Among the features that are included with Deezer’s improved Android TV app is the Flow soundtrack, which is a personalized music playlist that uses smart data suggestions to identify the songs that the user may want to hear.
SoundCloud is another extremely popular music streaming service. It’s useful for indie creators all over the world. Tons of people upload their stuff to SoundCloud for the pleasure of others. SoundCloud Go, SoundCloud’s on-demand service, adds tens of millions of popular tracks to the mix. The total is over 150 million available tracks for $9.99 per month. That’s the second largest collection of music (Google Play Music and YouTube Red together technically have more). This is a great spot for discovering indie stuff that no one else knows about. Additionally, the service includes the usual stuff like playlists, stations, and other discovery features.
YouTube Music is now Google’s big streaming service. It works fairly well as a streaming service. You get access to the same tens of millions of songs as every other streaming service. However, this one also sources YouTube itself and that gives it the advantage in terms of song choices. The app is a bit barebones but new features launch fairly consistently. The service is overtaking Google Play Music eventually and most of Google Play Music’s features are being ported to the new service before it shuts down.
IPTV Player apps
In the case of having a smart TV with an Android TV operating system, the offer is very wide, since we can find a lot of IPTV applications to watch our favorite channels on the Internet.
Upon research and testing to determine the best Android TV apps to run IPTV on your Smart TV under Android TV OS or any other Media Box with Android TV OS like Mi TV Stick, These are the best you can try.
IPTV Smarters Pro
IPTV Smarters Pro is an application that was designed to work with any Smart TV but with special support for the Samsung and LG brands. This app works great on Android-based devices too. This video player application is easy to use with an attractive presentation and user-friendly operation. Users can choose to upload their playlist or file/URL or log in using the Xtream Codes API.
IPTV Smarters Pro application is not offering any kind of IPTV services like IPTV subscriptions or streams. The user has to contact the TV Service Provider for Username, Password, Server URL, or Playlist ( M3u file / URL ), this is just a fast IPTV app that provides the platform to play the content.
TiviMate is one of the best IPTV apps available only for Android TV. So far you can’t use it on android mobiles.
The app supports multiple playlists, renaming of channels and categories, and hidden categories. You can import your channel logos, customize the order in which channels appear in the TV guide, and take advantage of the search feature (which works for both channel names and currently playing shows).
The free version of TiviMate seems enough for users with one playlist who don’t watch too often. If you use IPTV more often, it’s worth upgrading to the pro version. This costs $4.99 per year and allows
you to install the app on up to five devices.
Perfect Player IPTV
Perfect Player is a set-top box style IPTV/Media player for watching videos on TVs, tablets, and smartphones. It is a popular IPTV player among Android TV users looking for a better alternative to the native Live Channels app.
The app supports M3U and XSPF playlists. And if you want to add an electronic program guide, you can use XMLTV (ZIP, GZ, XZ) and JTV.
Please note that this app does not include any IPTV channels. To add IPTV channels, you need to add your m3u playlists within the configuration section.
Like GSE Smart IPTV, Perfect Player uses a theme that’s easy on the eyes and draws its design cues from cable and satellite TV EPGs.
XCIPTV is a Media Player App For Android TV, Android Phone, and Android Tab. Easy to use and fully Customizable for OTT Service Providers. This application comes with two built-in Media Players ExoPlayer and VLC Player with Adaptive HLS Streaming. No 3rd party apps or players are required.
The User Interface is very simple and easy to navigate through. Most importantly, XCIPTV Easy to navigate using Android TV Remote and Dpad. This app can be installed on Android Phone, Tablet, and TV.
Movies and TV Shows Streaming apps
If you want to save money but not sacrifice y
our entertainment, you can replace paid subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, DoorDash, and Grubhub with free alternatives. They may not give you the same, but they are quite close. Many of these free services are ad-supported.
Cinema HD is an app for Android with which you can watch movies and series for free. You’ll find premieres and the latest seasons of the best TV shows
Thanks to Cinema HD we can access a huge collection of movies and TV series, both classics, and premieres. We only need to access the app, select the subtitles that we want to show during the playback, and explore the catalog that allows us to browse through the best movies and the latest episodes of our favorites series.
This streaming app to watch movies and series works similarly to other Android applications of the same style, as of the likes of Stremio or Popcorn Time. In other words, we can access (without needing to sign up as users) and explore its entire catalog that incorporates hundreds of movies, including premieres, and the best TV series at present. We can do so by flicking through the contents, receiving suggestions from the app, resorting to the categories structure, or simply carrying out a manual search.
Unlike the paid platforms that use their closed video compression system to offer you the contents through their online or desktop applications for PC, Mac, or Smartphone, Popcorn provides a service through torrent connections that download the video to a temporary folder, which means you can start watching a movie or episode whilst the rest of the video finishes downloading.
This is a list of the best Android TV apps that you should be using on your Android TV. So go ahead check them out. If you think there is another good Android TV app that we missed out make sure to comment below so that everyone else knows.
This is a list of the best Android TV apps that you should be using on your Android TV. So go ahead check them out. If you think there is another good Android TV app that we missed out make sure to comment below so that everyone else knows.