- In 2020, Google went ahead and replaced Android TV with Google TV with the launch of Chromecast.
- Google TV fixes some annoyances about Android TV by introducing a more polished UI with movies/TV show cards upfront with better recommendations.
- In this article, we have summarized a list of best Google TV apps.
In 2020, Google replaced Android TV with the launch of the latest generation Chromecast with Google TV. The new TV UI brings a number of changes and improvements and is expected to address most (if not all) of the reservations about Android TV.
Many users found Android TV bland and unattractive; Google TV is changing that by introducing a more polished UI with movies/ TV show cards in the foreground with better recommendations.
Also, developers have now optimized their apps for Google TV. So today, we have compiled a list of the best Google TV apps for you to check out.
1. Send Files To TV – Best File Sharing App for Google TV
If you want to transfer files from your smartphone to your TV, Send Files To TV is the best app. Firstly, the app can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store, and secondly, using the app is not a problem.
Just download the app to your smartphone and Google TV and connect both to the same WiFi network. After that, you can quickly transfer files back and forth between Google TV and the smartphone.
Besides sharing everyday things like photos and videos, you can also share APK files without any hassle.
There have been several instances where I have used the app to sideload third-party Android apps to Google TV with ease. An indispensable app for Google TV.
2. VLC Media Player – Best Video Player for Google TV
Want to stream the latest 4K movie you recently downloaded without buffering on your TV? Want to play movies without worrying about the format of the video files? Look no further. VLC Media Player is our top choice for the best video player on Google TV.
In fact, it was also a part of our best Android apps list, owing to its overall functionality. The app can easily handle 4K resolution playback and supports all popular video file formats like Mkv, mp4, and many more.
You can import subtitles and change the playback speed quickly with the Google TV remote control. Besides, VLC also tries to repair and play damaged video files, which is good.
3. Photos TV – Best Photo Viewer for Google TV
Photos TV is a straightforward photo viewing app for Google TV that does precisely what the name says. After downloading from the Google Play Store, the app systematically displays all the photos on your TV.
It also creates a photo library so that users can quickly view their saved pictures and delete them directly in the app if they wish.
4. Solid Explorer- Best File Manager for Google TV
Okay, I have shared files with Send Files to TV; how can I access them? What is the best file manager for Google TV? Solid Explorer is the key to this door.
The app can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store and works great with Google TV remote. It is just like the file manager on our smartphones, meaning users can navigate through multiple files, rename them, create folders, and more.
A good file manager helps manage storage space better and remove unwanted items later to free up more space.
5. Disney+Hotstar – Best Entertainment App for Google TV
Most devices equipped with Google TV have Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime preinstalled, so we did not include them in the list.
Our pick for the best entertainment app is Disney+Hotstar (Disney+ outside of India). The app brings together all the popular Hollywood, and Disney shows in one place. Moreover, the app also lets you enjoy live sports like cricket seamlessly.
However, like other popular OTT platforms, users have to pay monthly subscription fees.
6. YT Music – Best Music Streaming App for Google TV
Listening to music is an immersive experience when connected to the home theater system connected to the TV. Therefore, YouTube Music is our first choice for the best music streaming app for Google TV.
First of all, it comes preinstalled on Google TV, so you do not even need to download it from the Google Play Store. Also, the collection of songs on YT is enormous, from Justin Beiber to The Weekend.
Since it’s an in-house app, YouTube Music is very well optimized to work seamlessly on Google TV, so that’s a trick up its sleeve.
7. Puffin Browser – Best Browser App for Google TV
In the era of Firefox and Google Chrome everywhere (not officially available on Google TV ), the Puffin browser is our choice for the best browser for Google TV.
The app is free, and navigation in the browser UI is flawless with the Google remote TV.
Also, websites load in no time, and overall, browsing with Puffin on Google TV is a smooth experience.
8. Beach Buggy Racing – Best Game for Google TV
Google TV or any other smart TV is not suitable for demanding games. If you want to play on your TV, you should instead buy a PS5 or an Xbox.
However, users on Google TV have access to a number of casual and retro games. One of these games is Beach Buggy Racing, and it works well with Google TV.
And you know what the best part is? You do not need an external controller to enjoy the game on your TV, which means you can simply play it with the Google TV remote.
9. Windscribe – Best VPN App for Google TV
Windscribe was our choice for the best VPN app for Android, which still applies to Google TV. The app encrypts all data and also prevents any cyber attacks on your network.
It is also handy if you stream content from a service that is not yet available in your country or if you want to surf the Internet safely and securely while maintaining your privacy.
But how do I set up and use VPN on my TV? Worry not; we already have a detailed guide on setting up and using VPN on Google TV.
10. HALauncher- Best Launcher App for Google TV
Did you know that you can install launchers on Google TV just like on Android smartphones? And also replace the new and polished Google TV UI altogether?
It is possible, and if you want to do the same, you need to download and install Simple Launcher from the Google Play Store.
HALauncher is pretty simple and easy to use. Unlike Google TV, this launcher does not recommend content based on your preferences. Instead, the launcher only shows all your installed apps and can be very useful if you find Google TV cluttered with many options.
11. Mouse Toggle for Google TV
Mouse Toggle for Google TV is a paid app, but it is undoubtedly worth it. The app creates a pointer on the screen to navigate the entire UI using its remote as a cursor, more like an air mouse on some LG TVs.
The app is extremely useful if you have a mobile app installed on your Google TV and can not control the UI with the remote controls.
With the mouse toggle, you can simply drag the cursor to the UI and click the desired menu in the app with ease.
12. Kodi – The Multimedia All-Rounder for Google TV
Kodi is the all-rounder of apps for TV. So why do I call it a jack of all trades? There are several reasons: The app can play movies, TV shows, photos, and even games in a single app.
Moreover, Kodi also allows users to play their local media files. There is also a massive list of add-ons that can be loaded on Kodi, including IP-TV, which is very impressive.
One can also customize Kodi UI according to their own preferences to enhance their experience with the app.
13. Downloader – Best Download Manager for Google TV
The next app on the list of the best Google TV apps is Downloader. As the name suggests, Downloader is a download manager for Google TV.
It speeds up all your downloads and allows you to pause or resume the download at any point without losing progress. Indispensable if you download large files directly to your TV via a network connection.
14. AirScreen – Airplay on Google TV
While Google TV comes with Chromecast support, Airplay support has been missing. AirScreen is supposed to fix this once and for all.
The app works seamlessly on both Android and Google TV, and the best part is that you can simply download it from the Google Play Store.
Once installed, connect your Google TV and iPhone to the same WiFi network and open the Control Center on your iOS device. Here, click on “Screen Mirroring” and select ” AirScreen,” and you are good to go.
15. HayStack News – Best News App for Google TV
The following app on the list of best Google TV apps is HayStack. In case you do not already know: HayStack is a messaging app for your TV.
With this app, users can stream their favorite news channels on TV. The news categories are based on their preferences and viewing behavior, making the app an engaging experience.
16. Button Remapper- Remap Buttons on Google TV with ease
Button Remapper is by far my favorite on the list of best Google TV apps. However, sometimes it is very tedious to do simple tasks like taking a screenshot on Google/Android TV.
With this app, you can easily assign a long/double button press to any button on the remote. For example, I assigned a long press on the home button to take screenshots; it’s that simple.
17. Google Stadia – Cloud Gaming for Google TV
Cloud gaming has allowed us to play our favorite AAA titles on our TVs.
One such excellent cloud gaming app for Google TV is Stadia. The app has an extensive collection of games that can be easily played online, provided you have a stable internet connection.
Note, however, that you need to use an external Stadia controller, as you cannot play these games with the TV remote.
Confused about which controller to buy? You may want to check out our list for the best gaming controllers.
Uplift Your Google TV Experience by Using These Apps
As we have seen, there are many apps for Google TV, which are very useful. These apps, once installed, greatly help to improve the overall user experience with Google TV.
Let us know in the comments below what you think about Google TV and if you found our list of the best apps helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use Google TV apps on Android TV and vice versa?
Yes, indeed you can. Since both Google TV and Android TV are Android, you can install or sideload any app on both devices. In addition, both have almost the same number of apps and access to the same Google Play Store.
2. How to uninstall an app from Google TV?
Uninstalling an app from Google TV is a fairly straightforward process. So let us take a detailed look at it.
- Navigate to the settings page and scroll down till you see App Management.
- Click on it and select the app you want to uninstall.
- Once done, hit the uninstall button and select okay to uninstall the app.
Users can also uninstall any app by long-pressing the app on the home screen and click the uninstall option.
3. Can you install any app on Google TV?
Yes, and no! Google TV is much like Android TV except for some refined changes to the UI elements. That means it can run any Android TV apps available on Google Play Store or third-party stores. You can even sideload Android TV apk as you do on a smartphone. An important thing to note here is that it has to be an Android TV app and not just an Android app.