While we strongly believe that Android TV is the best operating system for your smart TV or streaming experience, it’s not perfect.

One of its downsides is the reduced size of the Google Play store. If you sign into the Play Store with your Android TV, you’ll find fewer apps than you have on your smartphone.

Luckily you can download android apps on the operating system. Here are some of the essential Android TV apps you should download today.

Compatible with Android TV apps

Any Android app will run on the Android TV operating system. However, you may find that navigation is tricky; apps are not necessarily compatible with the input buttons on the TV remote.

For these hard-to-navigate applications, you have three options:

  • Use game controller: game controllers have more input buttons and are thus more likely to work.
  • Use the smartphone app. Some Android TV devices, such as the Nvidia Shield, have a smartphone app that you can download and use.
  • Use keyboard and mouse. If your Android TV device has a USB port or supports Bluetooth, you can use a keyboard and mouse.

Some Android TV devices come with their own gamepad. Xbox and PlayStation controllers may also work.

1. Google Chrome

Chrome doesn’t come pre-installed as a native app on Android TV devices; the operating system does not have a browser.

Several browsers are available through the Android TV Play Store, but if you’re already a Chrome user, it makes sense to download its APK. Depending on your Android TV device, you can also install it from the Play Store on your desktop computer.

You can import all the usual stuff into Chrome on Android TV, including your bookmarks and browsing history.

Unfortunately, Google Chrome is one of the applications that you will find it difficult to work in without one of the previously discussed alternative navigation systems.

Download: Chrome (free)

2. Aptoid

Aptoide is one of the best alternatives to Google Play There are some significant differences between Google Play and Aptoide. For example, each user hosts their own store on Aptoide, and the Aptoide app is open source.

One of the best app stores for Android, F-Droid is a fork of Aptoide.

There are many different versions of the Aptoide app, so be sure to download the Android TV APK when downloading from the company’s website.

Download: Aptoide (Free)

3. minecraft

Minecraft is available for Android on the smartphone version of the Google Play Store, but you won’t find it on the Android TV version. If you try to install it from a desktop browser, you will see that your Android TV device is grayed out.

However, fans of the game will be grateful to know that the smartphone version of Minecraft is seamlessly transitioning to Android TV.

If you want to play Minecraft on Android TV, you just need to download the APK file directly from the game’s website. Remember, you need a license to play.

Download: Minecraft (Free)

4. Hearthstone

Another Android game worth downloading is Hearthstone. Hearthstone is a fantasy card collecting game. The game offers both online one-on-one battles and single missions.

Anyone familiar with the World of Warcraft universe will love it; Hearthstone includes characters from the Lich King, Illidan, Thrall, and more.

If you enjoy playing card games, you should also check out our article on collectible card games for iOS.

Download: Hearthstone (Free)

5.TubeMate

You won’t find any apps to download YouTube videos on the Google Play Store, so you’re forced to use alternative options instead.

If you want to save YouTube videos to Android TV, we recommend checking out TubeMate. It can be downloaded from all major sites including Vimeo and DailyMotion.

Remember, don’t upload someone else’s video and don’t claim it as your own. This can lead to trouble with the authorities.

Download: TubeMate (Free)

6. APK Mirror

apk mirror

APK Mirror is one of the best places to find the APK file of an app. The site often has a file available shortly after the app is launched on the Google Play Store.

Unlike some other APK sites that are known to insert malware and other unwanted code into their APKs, APK Mirror has built a reputation for being reliable and honest.

There is no official APK Mirror app for Android. This unofficial version was created by Vojtech Horanek from XDA Labs.

Download: APK Mirror (Free)

7. Amazon App Store

Our latest recommendation, the Amazon Appstore, is another alternative app marketplace.

You don’t need an Amazon device—such as a Kindle, Fire TV Stick, or Fire Tablet—to access the Amazon store; just download the APK.

Amazon Appstore has some advantages over Google Play Store and Aptoide. In particular, Amazon is giving away a lot of free content. This is often content that you have to pay for in competing stores.

At the time of this writing, there are over $20,000 of free apps and DLC to get stuck into.

Download: Amazon App Store (Free)

Where to find APK for Android TV

There are several different places to find APK files. Some of the best sites to download APK files include the aforementioned APK Mirror, AppBrain, and APKPure.

You can download files to your desktop using any browser in the Android TV Play Store. Launch them using the android file viewer app. Again, you can find one on Google Play.

Remember that you also need to know how to access downloaded apps on Android TV. They don’t show up in your regular app list, but there are some workarounds.

Other Android TV Apps You Should Install

All the apps we’ve covered in this article are worth installing. But don’t let us put off further research; The Android TV Play Store has a lot of great apps.

If you want to learn more, check out our articles on top apps for Android TV. and the best Android TV games for

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