Android TV has become very popular for some time now. We see a growing number in the manufacturers providing smart TVs over different price segments.
However, there are some good apps found preloaded on Android TV. At the same time, some Android TVs are not coming with even some basic apps because of the fight between companies such as Amazon, Google, Netflix, and TV manufacturers.
That does not mean you cannot use these apps on your Android smart TV. The advantage of Android TV is that you will be able to sideload apps easily. So, if you are looking for some ways to install and run your favorite apps on your TV, here are some methods on how to sideload apps on Android TV.
How To Sideload Apps On Android TV?
In this article, you can see many ways to sideload apps on your Android TV.
Before that, you need to enable a toggle from the Settings page and further download a file explorer on Android TV. So, here is how it goes.
- Open the Play Store on Android TV and then search for Solid Explorer. And then, install the app.
- Now, go to Settings -> Device Preferences -> Security & Restrictions -> Unknown Sources -> Enable the toggle for Solid Explorer. Being completing the preliminary steps, let us move forward to the wireless method now.
Sideload Apps On Android TV Wirelessly:
Here we use Send Files to TV app to send the Android apps from Android devices and Windows devices. And for macOS, we can use a native way (SFTP) to connect to Android TV. After that, we can easily sideload apps on Android TV using Solid Explorer. Let us begin!
Sideload Apps on Android TV using an Android Smartphone:
- launch the Play Store on your Android TV and Android smartphone, and install Send Files to the TV app.
- Then, open Send Files to the TV app on both your devices. Tap on Send on your smartphone and then choose the APK file that you wish to send to the TV. Your Android TV would show up on the next screen. Further, tap on it, and within a few seconds, the APK file will be sent to your Android TV.
- Note that both your Android TV and Android smartphone must be connected to the same WiFi network. And you should have the SFTV app open on both devices.
- Now, open Explorer and go to the Downloads folder. Here, you can see the transferred Android APK file. Open it and then select the Package Installer option.
- Click on the Install button, and the app will be sideloaded on your Android TV. You can now see the installed app in the Apps section.
So that is how you can sideload apps on Android TV using an Android phone.
Sideload Apps on Android TV using Windows PC:
You can also install Send Files to the TV app on your Windows PC. Recently, the developer has released the Windows app, and it works flawlessly on computers. So, here is how you can send your Android APK files and other files, too, from your Windows PC to Android TV wirelessly.
- Download and install Send Files to the TV app on your PC. After installing, the app will sit in the system tray.
- Now, right-click on it and select the Send Files option. As stated above, for this method to work, both your Android TV and Windows PC must be connected to the same WiFi network, should also have the SFTV app open on them.
- Then, choose the Android APK that you want to send to TV, and it will open a window where it will show the Android TV. Select the TV and click on the Ok button.
- If, for the first time, the transfer fails, try again, it will surely work. You can also try to send files by right-clicking on the system tray icon and then choose View Transfers. Click on Send Files and then select your APK file.
- Eventually, the file will be sent to the TV, and you can now proceed with the installation using Explorer. Now, open Downloads -> Android APK -> Package Installer -> Install. You are done with the installation.
Sideload Apps On Android TV Using MacOS:
Sideloading apps on a smart TV using MacOS is not at all a tough task. It would be best if you had a file explorer on your Android TV, which can connect to SFTP servers, an SFTP Server running on your Mac.
Both of these can be done very quickly using Solid Explorer and macOS native settings. Note that both your Mac device and smart TV should be connected to the same WiFi network. Follow the steps provided below:
- Open System Preferences on your Mac device, and click on Sharing.
- In the left pane, check on the File Sharing and Remote Login and then on the right side, allow access for all users.
- Above that, you will find “ssh <username>@<ip address>.” Note down the username and the IP address of your machine.
- Now, launch the Solid Explorer on your TV, and then open the hamburger menu.
- And there, click on the menu with 3-dots beside the cog-wheel. Go to the Storage Manager and further click on the Plus sign at the bottom-right -> SFTP.
- Add the details for the secure FTP server. In the Remote hostname field, enter the IP address that was noted above on the Mac device. Apart from that, keep everything as it is and then click on Next.
- Now, you have to enter the username and password of your Mac device. Username should be the same that was noted above in the Sharing section. The password is your Mac device login password. Then, click on “Next” and keep everything default in the next few screens.
- Lastly, the server is created in Storage Manager. Now, click on it, and your Mac on Android TV opens. All your APK folders and files will be available to copy and install. You will find all the data in the Volume\Date\Users\YourUsername folder.
- If you download APK files on your Mac, they will also readily appear on Solid Explorer. Under the hamburger menu, you can find your Mac Server. All you need to do is just navigate to the APK file and directly open it to install the app. There is no need to copy and paste it to your internal storage.
Sideload App On Android TV Using USB Flash Drive:
One of the quickest ways to sideload apps on TV is to use a USB flash drive. Everything you need to do is just copy the APK file of the app that you want to install on your smart TV and then plug it to your TV.
- Download the APK file on your Mac device or PC.
- Once downloaded, copy the APK file of the app to the USB drive.
- Now, plug in the USB drive to the TV. After that, launch the Solid Explorer. Then locate the USB drive under the hamburger menu and open it.
- Then, navigate to the location to where you have saved the APK file, and click on it to start installing it on your Android TV.
Some companies also add a File Browser to their Android TVs and you can use that app just as the Solid Explorer to sideload APK files onto your smart TV.