Back in 2014, Android TV took the center stage of entertainment, and since then, there’s been no turning back.
Today, people can buy Android TV boxes and transform any TV with an HDMI port into an Android TV complete with features like HDMI CEC.
These boxes resulted in the increased sales of Android TVs which can now be found in many households across the globe.
If you have recently purchased an Android TV but don’t know what to do with it, I have listed the 21 best Android TV apps you need to install.
Be it watching movies, listening to music, or being productive – these apps will enhance your entertainment and Android TV experience.
Let’s get to them.
Best Android TV Apps You Need To Install
No matter which Android TV you choose – as there are a variety of manufacturers, all the following apps will work seamlessly.
|Related: 10 Best Apps For Mi TV|
1. Send Files To TV (FREE)
Send Files to TV is one of the most useful apps on an Android TV. As you might have guessed already, you can transfer music, photos, videos, etc.
I have to use a thumb drive to transfer files, but Send Files To TV manages everything wirelessly.
To make the process seamless, you will need to download this app on both your smartphone and Android TV.
This app is a Godsent!
2. Aptoide TV (FREE)
If you want to avoid geo-restrictions on your Android TV, Aptoide TV is the best app for you.
You can download thousands of Android apps, even if your TV is incompatible to install them.
This third-party app store is a great Play Store alternative that gives you access to any app from anywhere!
Although, I’d advise you to exercise caution as some of the apps aren’t trustworthy.
3. MX Player
MX Player is the king of the media players. I have used it for over 8 years and it hasn’t let me down!
With support for subtitle files and a wide majority of codecs, MX Player needs no introduction.
Right from the UI to UX, or the ability to play local files or the ad-supported entertainment, MX Player excels at both the departments with equal aplomb.
MX Player is a must-have app on any device that it supports!
4. Netflix (Paid)
Netflix is the de facto streaming site that made binge-watching cool.
So, it seems fit that it is included in the list of apps for Android TV. By now, most of us know what Netflix is what it does.
What many don’t know is that it’s one of the best video streaming services in the world, catering to 190 counties.
Its Android TV app enhances the Saturday movie vibe we all get on our phones and tablets.
As someone rightfully said, Netflix is to video streaming, what Spotify is to music.
And this is what Netflix’s reputation is now, thanks to its superb original content and the never-ending list of movies that are been added every day!
5. Google Chrome (Free)
What I don’t understand is why don’t web browsers come with a browser pre-installed?
Why do you need a browser on a smart TV, you might ask.
Well, for one, you can do a lot more on your Android TV. You can surf the web, glean more information, and do everything that you do on your phone, albeit with a much bigger screen!
I cast my laptop screen and get some work done. The extra screen real estate does make a huge difference in my workflow.
If you are sold, you’ll have to sideload Google Chrome on your Android TV as it is not available in the Android TV Play Store.
6. Plex: Stream Free Movies & Watch Live TV Shows Now
Many might argue that Plex isn’t as comparable to Kodi, but Plex is a robust media center application.
Plex’s strength lies in its user interface – everything just works.
But first, you’ll have to figure out how the app works.
To use Plex, you’ll need to use a Plex server on another computer that can be accessed by your Android TV over WiFi.
After you have set it up, you can playback any media file on your Plex server, directly on your Android TV. This eliminates transferring files without any wires.
7. Spotify (Free & Paid)
Spotify is one of the best music streaming services you can use. For me, it’s the best music app, even though I have a free subscription to Apple Music.
Spotify spells magic on any device you install it on, and with the Android TV app, the magic expands as does the list of songs.
Spotify essentially is a free music player, but if you don’t want to listen to pesky ads, the premium tier has you covered.
I love that you can use a single account on multiple devices. Spotify is a great app for your Android TV.
Kodi is known to be the most powerful media server application out there.
With Kodi, you can control all your media which can be accessed remotely. The best part about this app is the add-ons, many of them.
You can intensify your Kodi experience with said add-ons and enjoy your entertainment as you want to.
Kodi is an app for those who want it all.
9. SLING: Live TV, Shows & Movies (FREE & PAID)
Sling is an amazing app that provides a vast range of live TV channels.
They include news – both local and international, sports, lifestyle, entertainment, etc.
If you want a working cable alternative, then SlingTV is the absolute pick.
BBC, CNBC, ESPEN, NFL, The Food Network, etc. are some of the well-known offerings of SlingTV.
Even though the app is a free install, you’ll have to pay for the live TV service. That is an okay price to pay if you want reputable channels on your Android TV.
10. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is slowly capturing the popularity of Netflix, as are the downloads on the Android TVs.
Amazon Originals are a great source of entertainment for any type of audience.
Be it The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Boys, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Family Man, etc., there is everything in store for someone.
If you have multiple family members using the same app, then the multi-user profiles will do the trick for you.
Amazon Prime Video is a must-have app for your shiny new Android TV.
11. File Commander
ES File Explorer is an app that will help you manage your Android TV.
The name is pretty self-explanatory – File Explorer. You can explore the files of your Android TV without any hassle.
Keep in mind that this app is not available on the Google Play Store, so you will have to sideload the app on your Android TV.
But you wouldn’t regret the risk once you observe the benefits of this app. This is truly a great app.
Gamers, assemble! There’s no glitch in Twitch.
If you are a gameplay enthusiast, then you are aware of Twitch.
Professional and amateur gamers show off their gameplay on Twitch which is watched by millions.
Imagine watching that enthusiasm on an Android TV screen. Watch live stream as a past-time on a mammoth screen to further your gameplay experience.
13. Google Duo
Google Duo is a great video-calling application. Its ease of use is why I choose it over other apps.
Using Duo on an Android TV adds to that experience.
You can video call your folks or have that office meeting on a large screen. Do what matters on a large screen.
Now that Plat Store officially lists the application, you’ll only need to install it in a few taps.
The app has a flaw, though. It won’t appear on your home screen as you will need to access it via the Settings app or using Sideload Launcher.
Disney+ was a bit late to the party, but it is here with a bang!
Get unlimited entertainment from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic. I guarantee that you’ll never be annoyed.
The lockdown has made Disney+ one of the many streaming sites to stream exclusive content, such as Black Widow.
Disney’s original series Chernobyl made headlines and was referred to as one of the best series of that year. Translating this magic on your Android TV won’t be a hassle.
Download Disney+ on your Android TV and get entertained without a dull moment.
15. HBO Max
HBO Max, like Disney+, was late to the party too! But, its content has proved why it was worth the wait.
Be it streaming originals or curated content from across the globe, HBO maxes out the entertainment factor.
Experience all the bingeable collections on your Android TV. Watch all the exclusive Max Originals, TV series making headlines, and blockbuster movies that will make for a great Friday night.
The app also lets you set up to five viewer profiles with customizable profile images.
16. Notifications for Android TV
Notifications for Android TV does exactly what it says – forwards notifications from your mobile device to your Android TV screen.
The app lets you scroll through every notified message on the Android TV in fullscreen mode.
It also lets you can change the settings individually for all your applications. The app not only forwards the contents of the notifications, but also the images and application logo.
It is a handy app that will save you some time.
Hulu is excellent at offering on-demand and live TV content.
If you live in the US, then look no further than Hulu+ for Android TV. The app is easy to use and has all the entertainment you’ll ever need.
It’s said to be one of the best-designed Android TV apps on the entire platform.
So, the app is a beauty with brains – providing you great content with a stellar user experience.
18. YouTube TV
YouTube is synonymous with entertainment. Type a keyword and you’ll find videos related to it.
Most of my entertainment needs rest on YouTube’s virtual shoulders. I primarily consume YouTube content for watching reviews of the latest gadgets, movies, or software.
Watch live TV, sports, news, entertainment, and keep yourself abreast with all the information with any keyword.
This is a perfect app for your Android TV, without a doubt! You can disable your cable connection and use YouTube all your life.
Overall, YouTube TV will be a wholesome app for your Android TV.
19. Wake On Lan
You got a new Android TV and you have been installing apps from this list.
You might have installed Plex or Kodi on your Android TV, so it’s safe to assume that you are using your computer as a server for the content.
But, what will happen if and when your Plex server dozes off when you want to watch TV?
This is where Wake On LAN comes into the picture! It lets you send a signal over the internet to wake your computer. Pretty cool, no?
Users can even automate Wake On LAN to send signals to your computer using apps such as Tasker.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to extensively configure your computer to support Wake on LAN (WOL) commands, which your internet connection should support.
The screen on time is a great way to know how much we have been using a smartphone or an iPad.
But, what about televisions?
It has become harder to control TV addiction with the increasing number of channels.
TVUsage is a parental control app for Android TV which lets you set screen time constraints and control kids’ viewing habits.
The app is a time-saver for kids and a Godsent for parents.
Now, you can peacefully take that afternoon nap knowing that your kid can’t override the restrictions set by you!
21. Many Live TV Apps
Live TV apps have become common now and most of them can be viewed on an Android TV.
Be it YouTube TV, Sling TV, Hulu TV, etc.
Some individual channels – such as E!, Bravo, Oxygen, SYFY, USA, etc. breathe life into live TV apps that you can take advantage of on your Android TV.
If you are into live infotainment, then these apps won’t disappoint you!
Even if the prices differ depending on the channel, it’s a lot of content to watch for a lifetime.
Heighten your Android TV experience by downloading many of the live TV apps.
What is the best app for Android TV?
All the aforementioned apps are the best apps for your Android TV. My favorite would be the ES File Explorer as you can manage your TV’s storage and files.
Do all Android apps work on Android TV?
No, not all Android apps work on Android TV due to optimization. To check yourself, you can sideload apps and try them on your TV. If they get installed, then you are good to go!
Can Android TV run all Android apps?
Android TV cannot run all Android apps. You will only see apps that are supported by the TV.
Can we install Google Meet on Android TV?
Unfortunately, Google Meet isn’t available on Android TV. What you can do is cast Meet to your Chromecast, Chromecast built-in TV, or Nest Miracast.
How can I watch local channels on my Android TV?
To watch local channels on your Android TV, follow the steps given below:
- Go to the home screen on your Android TV.
- Download the ‘Live Channels’ app from the Play Store.
- Scroll down to the Apps.
- Select the ‘Live Channels’ app.
- Select the source you want to load channels from.
- After you load all the channels you want, select ‘Done.’
These are the 21 best Android TV apps you need to install in 2021.
They are a bunch of free and paid apps, so you can choose depending on what kind of app you are looking for.
Ease yourself after a long day of work by downloading some of the best Android TV apps.
Even though the collection is a bit underwhelming as compared to Android smartphones, you’ll enjoy the apps nonetheless.
Do you know any useful app that our readers would enjoy? Are there other apps you would like to see on Android TV? Drop your comments below and tell us.