Android TV has greatly improved the TV watching experience. For starters, you can install dozens of applications and games through its Google Play store. So you have at your disposal content from various sources, such as YouTube, Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video or Filmin, among many other applications. Precisely, installing applications on Android TV is very easy. But sometimes there are apps that are not available in the official store.

The good thing is that, just like it happens on your Android phone or tablet, on Android TV you can install applications beyond Google Play. You have to be careful about the origin of these apps, but in any case, with little effort you can expand your service catalog. And remember, you can install applications on Android TV remotely and from Google Play, using your own Android smartphone.

Let’s look at three different methods to do the same thing: install applications on your Android TV compatible TV or device even if they are not on Google Play. First, using an Android phone for help. The second, directly from your Android TV, taking advantage of Google Drive or Dropbox. And the third, from Android TV, with an application specialized in downloading and installing applications outside the official store.

Install apps on Android TV from Android

First method. You have an Android phone and an Android TV compatible TV or player. And you want to install apps without using the Google Play store. To send the application from the smartphone to the TV we will use the application Send Files to TV. You have to install it on the phone and on Android TV. In both cases, from Google Play.

With this application you can send APK installers to your TV. As they are not in Google Play, we will download these installers previously from their official page or from an alternative platform such as Aptoide, APKMirror or APKPure. Once downloaded, check that the file is reliable and does not contain surprises such as malware.

Once we have the APK of the application that we want to install, we open Send Files to TV for Android TV and we choose the option Receive. Then, we open the Android version of the same app. We will look for the APK installer, hosted on your phone. It will be in a folder called Download or similar. When you select the APK, you will see the name of your TV on the screen. By selecting it, shipping will start.

On your TV or player with Android TV, you will see the transfer. When it’s done, you can open the APK file or installer. In this step, you may run into two problems. One, that Android TV does not let you install the application. This is for security reasons. You can change it from Settings. Although the options may change slightly, you will usually find this option in Personal> Security. You must check or activate Unknown sources.

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Second problem. When trying to open the APK installer from Send Files to TV, fails. In this second case, you will have to install a file manager like File Commander or similar. You will find it on Google Play. Once installed, you can open the APK directly from the file manager.

If everything goes well, you will see the installation process, like one more app. When finished, you can close the installer or directly open the application you have installed on Android TV.

Install apps on Android TV from Drive

Second method. Let’s say you have a television or device with Android TV. You want to install an application that is not on Google Play. You have downloaded the APK installer. Now what? If you don’t have an Android phone or don’t want to use the above method, upload the installer to the cloud. Can be Google drive but also OneDrive or Dropbox.

As we saw in the previous method, previously you will have to activate the option Unknown sources what you will find in Settings, in the category Security. This way you can install applications not available on Google Play.

To install the APK that we have in the cloud, we will need a file manager compatible with these services. In Google Play you will find several of them, such as File Commander or similar. You will only have to log in with your corresponding account in the app, access the file and open it from there. Android TV will install the application for you.

Install apps on Android TV with Downloader

This third method is similar to the previous one. But the process of search, download and install it is done from a single application. Is named Downloader and its author is Elias Saba, responsible for the specialized portal AFTVnews and that he went on to work for Amazon on the development of Fire TV devices. Hence you can download and install Download both on Android TV devices and Amazon Fire TV devices.

What is this app for? First, integrate a web browser. So you can search for APK installers for a specific application. Once located, you can download it directly from the app Downloader. Finally, after downloading, it will install automatically. Three in one.

Remember that to install third-party applications on Android TV you need to enable Unknown sources what you will find in Settings from Android TV, in the category Security.