6 App Store Alternatives for Android TV

Android TV rocks—mostly. Although it is arguably the best operating system for your smart TV or streaming box, there is a drawback. You may not find the app you’re looking for in the Google Play Store.

If you look for available apps on the Google Play Store via your Android TV, you’ll find far fewer apps than you would find if you were to access the Play Store with your smartphone.

That’s why there’s a need for alternative app stores other than the go-to Google Play Store. Both customers and developers can benefit from these alternative app marketplace options.

Why are some apps unavailable in the Google Play Store?

There are several reasons why some apps aren’t available in the Play Store:

  • Some apps are geo-restricted to prevent people in unsupported countries from downloading them. Your IP address is what reveals your location, which, in turn, results in geo-restrictions. However, you can overcome this problem by using a VPN. Simply hide the IP address assigned to your TV by changing the server to a country where the app is not blocked.
  • The app you’re looking for may not have passed the technical or legal requirements to be allowed in the Google Play Store. The Google Play Store is the primary app store for Android applications, which means that restrictions on apps are more stringent. Even though the chances of encountering harmful apps in the Play Store are low, it’s crucial to keep in mind that Google doesn’t assure the safety of all the apps.
  • Some developers simply refuse to submit to Google’s commission structure and rules about in-app purchases. 

Whatever the reasons for exclusion from the Google Play store, fortunately, there are alternative app stores where you can find and offer Android apps that will work on Android TV.

The do’s and don’ts of using alternative app stores

Before you dig into our list of rich sources of Android TV apps, keep in mind that it can be risky to download apps from unknown developers. Be cautious—even a little paranoid—about downloading apps for any of your devices.

Research each app developer. Honest developers work hard to earn a reputation for solid coding, safety, and good-quality apps. Such developers:

  • Make it easy for you to contact them
  • Respond to user requests and issues
  • Update their apps to minimize the risks of new exploits or vulnerabilities being used against their users
  • Have a privacy policy
  • Don’t ask for too many permissions
  • Have good user feedback and ratings


Android TV app compatibility

Although any Android app should run on the Android TV operating system, you might experience a few issues. In some apps, navigation is tricky because the input buttons on your TV remote don’t correlate with the app’s input buttons. Fortunately, there are a few workarounds to overcome issues with hard-to-navigate apps:

  • Gaming controllers. They have a lot more input buttons and are very familiar territory for most people. Both PlayStation and Xbox controllers should work, but some Android TV devices include a gaming remote.
  • Keyboards and mouse combos. If your Android TV device supports Bluetooth or has a spare USB port, you can plug in a keyboard/mouse combination.
  • Smartphone apps. Some Android TV devices offer smartphone applications.


Six alternative app stores

Do your homework before choosing which app store to use. We recommend starting with the following alternatives:

Amazon Appstore

It’s great for Amazon devices (Kindle, Fire TV Stick, Fire Tablet, etc.), but you don’t need one to access the Amazon App Store. There are thousands of apps and games with a subscription management dashboard. It’s linked to your Amazon account, so you also get access to Amazon loyalty and rewards programs and other freebies.


F-Droid offers access to thousands of free and open-source apps and games for Android. The main advantage of using this platform is that, unlike Google Play Store and others, F-Droid doesn’t track you via your Android TV or the apps you install, and there’s no lengthy registration process before you can get started. F-Droid stands out from other app stores due to its commitment to privacy and its vetting process to prevent dangerous apps from sneaking in.


Aptoide is a very popular open-source client and is one of the largest Google Play alternatives, with over 300,000 apps. On Aptoide, each user hosts their own store. Aptoide awards a “Trusted” badge for apps that have been checked for malicious code.


UptoDown offers not just smartphone and Android TV apps but is also a source of software for a range of devices. You don’t need to register, and the apps are generally considered to be safe.


GetJar has been around since the late 2000s, when it was known as the leading provider of Symbian apps. It now supports a range of platforms, such as Android, Blackberry, Java, and iOS. GetJar sometimes offers premium apps for free, and they have a customer loyalty program that rewards its users with virtual currency.


APK Mirror has a hard-earned reputation for being trustworthy. It’s a good source of generally safe Android app installation packages for sideloading onto Android devices. Use the APKMirror installer app available on the Google Play Store to run the APK files from APKMirror and install them on your TV.  


Take some time and visit each of the app stores on our list before you start downloading or uploading your own apps. It will help you to get a better idea of each site’s specialty and focus. With some time and research, you will be able to find the most suitable option for your needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.