Three ways to install APK apps on your Android TV or Chromecast with Google TV


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Ivan Linares@ivsu

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 media 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 mobile phones, TVs and media players 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 do not appear in Google Play on your TV

Android TV interface with Google TV

APK files are a very simple way to enjoy applications that are not available in the official Android store, the Google Play Store. Because they are not compatible with the device, because they are not found 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.

In Xataka AndroidThe mobile as Android TV remote control: the three available options and their differences

Since Android TV does not include a file manager as standard, 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 bother use.

File Commander Manager & Cloud

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 Google Play, what does vary is the way to send the APK to Android TV. Below you have 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 SD

Typically, your TV or player includes a USB port or an SD card socket that is used to expand the device's storage, an element that is suitable for what we are looking for: installing APK applications. Unfortunately, this is not true for the Chromecast with Google TV as it lacks SD or expansion ports (its USB C port is for power only).

Just as you would do to move any file to a computer, simply add the APKs to the USB or SD card (they must be formatted as FAT32), insert the external medium into the corresponding socket on the Android TV and install the files from File Commander (enter on the external media 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 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 located in the Google Play Store.

Send files to TV

Once you have Send files to TV installed on the TV and on the phone, carry out the following process:

Via the File Commander server

Direct transfer from web browser to TV using File Commander

This method is my favorite: it's fast, very simple and avoids intermediate steps since the transfer is done 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 File Commander's built-in HTTP server:

Write the IP that appears in File Commander to connect from the web browser of your computer or mobile Selector of files to send from the web browser (computer or mobile)

All three ways allow you to push and install any app in APK format on Android TV devices. They are the fastest and most comfortable, they allow you to broaden the horizons of your TV or player and are perfect for those apps that, inexplicably, you cannot download from the Google Play store. It is worth having these methods among your favorites.

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