Although Google TV would be a temporary exclusive to the Chromecast, you can already try the new interface on any modern Android TV.
The Chromecast with Google TV is one of the company’s latest devices to arrive in Spain, a device that has come to revolutionize how we enjoy our content on any television, regardless of whether it is a smart TV or a basic television, as long as it is have an HDMI port.
See also: What Is Google TV And How Is It Different From Android TV?
The advantage of the new Chromecast is that it is no longer only a device to which you send content from your mobile, but it also allows us to enjoy Google TV, a version that, taking Android TV as its base, aspires to replace the popular operating system of smart TVs. So you can install Google TV on your current television.
Installing Google TV on a current Android TV is easier than you thought
When we met Google TV, many doubts arose about the future of Android TV. Is the new system coming to replace the old one, is it a name change as happened when Android TV was renamed Wear OS, or is it simply a layer of customization?
Well, it seems that reality is simpler, and that is that the entire Google TV experience is accessible through a simple launcher . And we are not talking about an adaptation or a hack , far from it, but you can really have the entire Google TV experience on Android TV, simply by installing the official Google launcher, with some conditions, of course.
See also: Top 8 Launcher Apps For Android TV, TV Boxes and Mi TV Stick
Google has uploaded the official Google TV launcher in the Play Store, a launcher that will update the experience of using android TV devices. When we go to install the application, it will indicate that we do not have compatible devices, or you might not even find it on your version. Something logical, since it is designed for the Chromecast with Google TV device.
But Android TV is still Android, and that always leaves us the possibility of taking the APK and directly installing it on our Android TV. Since the APK file is already available in APKMirror and is compatible with devices that are at least on Android 9 , it was worth trying to install it. And it seems that it can be installed.
See also: The Apple TV Application Comes To Chromecast And Android TV
In fact, there two methods to install the Google TV Launcher. In the first method, we will use Google TV Launcher alongside the default android TV Launcher and we will use Home Screen Launcher app to choose which one to use. The second method a little bit complicated, we will disable the default Launcher and set Google TV Launcher as the main UI of the android TV device.
So, this guide will show you both methods to install the new Google TV launcher apk in android TV and Mi TV Stick to test the new Google TV UI that comes with Chromecast with Google TV.
Install Google TV Launcher alongside default launcher
- Android TV device under Android 9 at least
- Google TV Home apk
- Button mapper app from the Play Store
- Home Screen Launcher app from the Play Store
Download and install Google TV Launcher
Since we are going to use an apk file to install Google TV Launcher, precisely from APKMirror, the first thing we need to do is enable installation from unknown sources. If this is the first time for you to install an apk file from outside the official Play Store, please read how you can easily download and install any apk on android TV andMi TV Stick.
Now that Google TV Launcher is downloaded and installed, we need to install two other apps from the play Store to help us obtain the Google TV UI.
Open Play Store and find and install Button Mapper app
Now, find and install Home Screen Launcher.
After downloading and installing the necessary tools, some minor Settings adjustments are needed. So, go to Settings from home screen
Scroll down to Device and preferences
In the list of apps, Enable Accessibility for Button Mapper
Now, go to your app drawer and open Home Screen Launcher
A box will prompt, Select Launcher X
That’s it, Google TV Launcher is ready
The application does not replace the current Android TV launcher, so your television experience will not change radically. If you press the start button, it will take you to the traditional Android TV menu, and the Google TV launcher will appear in the list of applications (under the name of Launcher) .
Disable default launcher and install Google TV Launcher
- Google TV Launcher apk
- Remote ADB Shell apk
Enable Developer options
For this method to take place, we need first to enable Developer options for your android TV device. To do so:
From the Settings, go to Device preferences
Enter About section
Scroll down to bottom of the list and find Build. Highlight Built and click 7 times on the OK button of the remote till you get a notification at the bottom of the screen that you are Developer
Now press the back buttonand scroll down the list. You will notice that a new element has been added Developer Options
Access Developer optionsand Enable USB Debugging
Next move will be to download and install Remote ADB Shell apk.
[Download Remote ADB Shell apk]
Disable Default launcher and set up Google TV
Launch Remote ADB Shell, keep the credentials as in the image below and click Connect
A prompt will ask you to allow Network Debugging, check Allow and click OK
Now, you will need to make use of your android TV Remote Control app and connect it to your device.
Press the Keyboard Icon on the top right and copy/paste the below command to directly send it to the ADB Shell
pm disable-user --user 0 com.google.android.tvlauncher
Well, now press Home button and you will see something like this:
Choose Home and press Alwaysis you want Google TV to be the main UI whenever you Launch your device
Still if you are not satisfied and want to go back to the default android TV launcher you can always access the Remote ADB Shell, Connect and put in the command below. This will easily restore your default launcher.
pm enable com.google.android.tvlauncher
Being installed and chosen as the main Launcher, Google TV will offer a beautiful view and a completely different UI
The main menu shows us contents of all the platforms that we have installed, combining them all in one. When we click on a content, it gives us the option to see it in the main application, to see the trailer, mark it on our pending list, see what streaming services it is available on, mark it as a view and rate it.
Although the contents have taken the main page, we have an applications section, with all the Android TV applications installed (the ones that we have downloaded as APKs are still not shown directly, as in Android TV).
And in the library section appears the movies purchased on Google Play Movies (which is now called Google TV).
Although the installation and use medium is a bit cumbersome if you are not used to installing third-party applications on Android TV, we did not expect the experience to change simply by installing the Chromecast launcher with Google TV. It is hoped that once the months pass, all Android TVs will begin to receive this launcher and that it will replace the traditional home screen.