Like any other Android device, Google TVs are also able to have apps side loaded. This means manually installing apps that may not be available from official app stores like the Google Play Store. Many apps are not optimized for Google TV, but that does not mean that they do not work with the platform. All it means is the developer hasn’t optimized the experience for the larger screen nor made it available for your device.
You won’t be able to get these apps officially on your Google TV, but many of them can be sideloaded. On the other hand, many others are really not compatible with Google TVs. This could be due to orientation limitations, hardware requirements, slight OS differences and many other slight differences between Android devices. You pretty much just have to try and see for each app you want to sideload. Let’s show you how to get this done.
How to Sideload apps to Google TV:
- Go to Settings>Applications and check the box next to “Unknown Sources”
- Download the .apk file of the app you would like to install (These can be obtained by going to forums like XDADevelopers.com. You can then download these straight from the Chrome browser in your Google TV or transferring the file via any other method)
- Go to “Downloads” (or use a file manager) and click on the .apk file and install
- You are set!
In step 2 I mention that you can get the .apk files from XDA Developers. I mention this source because it is very popular and trusted among the Android community. You can get these files from many other sites, but remember getting apps from unknown sources can be risky. Many times hackers modify the files and add malware or viruses, so be careful.
Watch our video for a better view at how this is done. As mentioned, many apps still can’t be installed on Google TVs, so it would be nice if we could create some kind of database. Please let us know in the comments which apps you have successfully been able to install, and which ones fail to. We will then add them to the list below. I’ll start with mine!