Do you want to have all the applications on your Android TV or Chromecast with Google TV even if they are not available on Google Play? As with mobile phones, TVs and multimedia players also have the ability to install applications in APK format . And it is not complicated at all, we tell you three ways to achieve it.
Since Android is based on the operating system that Google develops for mobiles, TVs and multimedia players that are based on Android TV (including the latest Chromecast with Google TV) have very similar characteristics, they can even install identical applications . Of course, not all of them are adapted to the TV interface, this is the main reason why many apps that could be compatible do not appear in the Android TV store. Fortunately, there are the APK files.
Install apps that don’t appear on your TV’s Google Play
Android TV interface with Google TV
The APK files are a simple way to enjoy applications that are not available in the official store of Android, the Google Play Store. Because they are not compatible with the device, because they are not located in the country or because they offer functions that Google does not authorize, the reasons for installing an APK can be multiple . The ways to add the APKs to Android TV as well.
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The mobile as a remote control for Android TV: the three available options and their differences
Since Android TV does not include a serial file manager, the first step will be to download one to the TV or player . I always recommend File Commander, it seems to me the best in its class, also the most secure. It is available in the store of your Android TV (or Chromecast with Google TV), it is free and has some advertising that does not interfere with use.
File Commander Manager & Cloud
- Developer: MobiSystems
- Download it at: Google Play
- Price: Free
- Category: Company
With File Commander you can navigate to the directory where the APK files are downloaded to, by clicking on them, install them on the device . This step is common for any installation from outside of Google Play, what does vary is the way to send the APK to the Android TV. Here are what are, in my opinion, the best ways to achieve it.
Once you have the APK file on your Android TV, the way to proceed will always be the same: you must install it from the File Commander file manager
Install the APKs on the Android TV from the USB or the SD
The usual thing is that your TV or player includes a USB port or an SD card socket that serves to expand the storage of the device , an element that is suitable for what we are looking for: installing applications in APK. Sadly, this is not valid for the Chromecast with Google TV as it lacks expansion or SD ports (its USB C port is power only).
As you would to move any file to a computer, just add the APKs to the USB or SD card (they must be formatted to FAT32), insert the external media in the corresponding socket of the Android TV and install the files from File Commander (enter on the external medium and install the APKs from there). The app will recognize the external storage and install the applications after clicking on them.
USB with APKs detected by File Commander
This method is fast and almost universal, although it involves moving a memory stick or USB from the computer to the TV. If you want to use the phone at all times, the best is the following method.
Use an app: Send files to TV
Send Files to TV on Android TV
If you don’t want to depend on a computer or an external medium, you can carry out the entire transfer process from the Send files to TV app, both on your mobile and on TV . You must install the application on both devices: it is found in the Google Play Store.
Send files to TV
- Developer: Yablio
- Download it at: Google Play
- Price: Free
- Category: Tools
Once you have Send files to TV installed on the TV and on the phone, carry out the following process:
- Download the APK files to your mobile.
- Open Send files to TV on both devices: mobile and Android TV. Both must be connected to the same WiFi network.
- It gives permission to access the storage, essential to send and receive data.
- Select the files to send on the phone with the “Send” button.
- Send files to TV will show you the nearby devices to send the files to. Your Android TV or Chromecast should appear with Google TV. Click on it.
- The file will be sent saving in the folder “Download” or downloads of the Android TV.
- Open Files Commander and install the APK from the downloads folder by clicking on the file. You already have the app on your device.
Through the File Commander server
Direct transfer from web browser to TV using File Commander
This method is my favorite: it is fast, very simple and avoids intermediate steps since the transfer is made directly from the computer to the Android TV . You can also use your mobile browser to send the APKs you have downloaded to the TV: the process is the same.
Let’s see how to make use of the HTTP server built into File Commander:
- Open File Commander on your Android TV or Chromecast with Google TV and enter the ” File transfer to PC” menu .
- Press the switch to activate direct connectivity with the app. You will see a link IP appear.
Write the IP that appears in File Commander to connect from the web browser of your computer or mobile
- Write that IP in the web browser of your computer (or mobile): you will access the storage of your Android TV.
- Go to the “Download” folder and upload all the APK files you want to install with the “Upload files” button at the top.
Selector of files to send from the web browser (computer or mobile)
- Once the files are sent to the Android TV, disconnect the “Transfer files to PC” from File Commander. The HTTP server will shut down.
- Install the applications as in the previous methods: access the “Download” folder using File Commander and click on each file to run them.
The three ways allow you to send and install any application in APK format on devices with Android TV. They are the fastest and most comfortable, they allow you to expand the horizons of your TV or player and are perfect for those apps that, incomprehensibly, you cannot download from the Google Play store . It is worth having these methods among your favorites.