Apart from the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G model, the internet-giant Google has also announced an all-new Chromecast after a couple of years. This time the Chromecast has its own TV interface called Google TV which is a slightly improved UI over the default Android TV OS. The newly designed stick and the easy to use user interface for Google TV makes a better combo to discover content what you need all in one place. Now, if you’ve eagerly to experience the Google TV UI, then you’re in the right place. Here we’ve shared the easy step by step method on How to Install Google TV on Any Android TV.
It’s worth mentioning that Google TV UI is simply accessible on any Android TV devices like Mi Box, Nvidia Shield, Sony TVs, and more. Make sure that your Android TV device should be running on the Android 9.0 Pie or higher. Though Google TV with the new Chromecast has been launched in the US only right now, you’ll be able to play content via this in any region with the help of the VPN service.
However, you’ll require APK files, ADB commands via a computer to sideload the Google TV user interface completely. We’ll come to that part later as the process of using a VPN service is as easy as using any application on your computer or mobile device.
Table of Contents
How to Install Google TV on Any Android TV
So, first of all, you should check the Android TV OS info from the Android TV device Settings > Device Preferences > About > Version. If your Android TV device is running on the Android Pie or above, you’re now good to go. So, without getting further ado, let’s jump into the guide below.
Please note that some of the Android TV device manufacturers provide an in-built File Manager app that can be used for file searching or transferring or installing. So, in that case, you don’t need to install a third-party file manager app on Android TV.
- Google TV APK (LauncherX)
- Google App for Android TV (V18.104.22.1681218010 or higher)
- Solid Explorer File Manager App (Google Play Store)
- Send Files to TV App (Google Play Store)
- Home Screen Launcher for Android TV (Google Play Store)
Installation / Sideloading Steps:
Step 1. Make sure to download both the Google TV APK and Google Apps for Android TV APK files on your Android smartphone. [If you’ve downloaded the APK files on Windows/Mac/USB Flash Drive then follow the sideloading steps below and then start following again from the Step 8]
Step 2. Now, install the Solid Explorer File Manager application on your Android TV via the given link of Google Play Store directly.
Step 3. Then head over to the Android TV Settings menu > Device Preferences > Security & Restrictions > Unknown Sources > Turn it on for the Solid Explorer app. (Important)
Step 4. Now, transfer or share both the downloaded APK files to the Android TV.
- To do this, launch the Google Play Store app on both the Android TV and Android smartphone. (Keep in mind that both the devices should be connected under the same Wi-Fi network)
- Now, install Send Files to TV application on both the devices.
- Once done, launch the application on both the devices > Next, tap on Receive on your Android TV.
- Tap on Send on your smartphone > Choose both the APK files.
- From the next screen, you’ll see the Android TV info > Simply tap on it to confirm sending APK files.
- Within a few seconds, the files will be transferred to the Android TV.
Step 5. Now, launch the Solid Explorer File Manager app on the Android TV > Go to the Downloads folder.
Step 6. Select the APK file one by one and choose Install via the Package Installer just like we install APKs on Android smartphones.
Step 7. Once installed both the Google App and Google TV apps, they’ll be listed out on the Apps section of your Android TV.
Step 8. Now, launch the Google Play Store on your Android TV > Install the app called ‘Home Screen Launcher for Android TV’ from the download link given above.
Step 9. Open the Home Screen Launcher for Android TV app on the Android TV > Quickly it will detect the LauncherX (Google TV) app which is already installed on your Android TV.
Step 10. Just open the LauncherX or the Google TV UI.
Step 11. Boom! You’re done. You’ve successfully installed the Google TV UI on any of your Android TV.
Step 12. Just restart your Android TV once and start exploring & streaming content seamlessly. Keep in mind to open the Home icon (Home Screen Launcher for Android TV app) every time after turning on your TV to directly open up the Google TV UI. [Obviously, because of the launcher kind of thing]
Most importantly, everything will work fine and smooth with the Google TV UI as it should be including the Personalized Recommendations (For you), Google Assistant, Movies, Shows, Apps, Library, Synced Watchlist, Play Next, and more options. However, for the first boot, the whole new UI may take a while to load completely.
Transfer & Install APK Files on Android TV using Windows PC
- If you’ve downloaded both the APK files on your Windows PC/Laptop, then you’ll need to download and install the Send Files to TV app on your PC.
- Once installed, go to the System Tray of the Taskbar and right-click on the application.
- Click on Send Files > Remember, both the PC and Android TV should be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Choose both the APK files > From the new window, your Android TV will show up.
- Click on the TV name to select it and then click on OK.
- Both the files will be transferred shortly. If not sent, just try again and check whether both the devices are connected under the same Wi-Fi or not.
- Then launch the Solid Explorer File Manager app on the Android TV > Go to the Downloads folder.
- Select the APK file one by one and choose Install via the Package Installer just like we install APKs on Android smartphones.
Transfer & Install APK Files on Android TV using Mac
- As we already mentioned, both the Android TV and Mac should be connected to the same Wi-Fi network to transfer or share files seamlessly.
- Now, launch System Preference on your macOS > Click on Sharing.
- Click on File Sharing as well as the Remote Login from the left pane.
- Choose to Allow access for All users > You’ll see something like ssh <username>@<ip address>. (Take a note of the username and IP address of your Mac)
- Head over to the Android TV > Launch Solid Explorer File Manager app.
- Click on the hamburger menu icon to get options.
- Now, select 3-dots icon (menu) > Storage Manager > Click on the + (plus) icon on the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Choose SFTP > Add the FTP server details like IP address that you’ve just noted for your Mac. (Make sure to put the IP address on the Remote hostname field)
- Leave the rest of the options and click on Next.
- Now, you’ll need to enter the ‘Username’ of the Mac that you’ve noted above.
- You can set the same ‘Password’ that you’re using for your Mac login for ease of use in the future.
- Then click on Next > Keep the rest of the options untouched.
- Finally, the new FTP server will be created on your Android TV under the Storage Manager section.
- Now, click on the server link to open up the Mac on your Android TV.
- Then you can easily copy & paste both the APK files on your Android TV. (File path will be Volume\Date\Users\YourUsername folder)
- Finally, you’re good to go and once files are transferred to the Android TV, just use the Solid Explorer app on the Android TV to install/sideload APK files via the Package Installer.
Transfer & Install APK Files on Android TV using USB Flash Drive
- Simply download both the APK files on your Windows or Mac computer.
- Connect the USB Flash Drive to the computer and transfer both the files.
- Disconnect the USB Flash Drive and connect it to the Android TV USB port.
- Launch Solid Explorer on the Android TV > Find and select both the APK files from the USB storage.
- You can directly install the APK files one by one on your Android TV by clicking on the APK file and choosing Package Installer to install easily.
Run Google TV UI on Android TV in any Unsupported Region
We’ve mentioned above that as Google has announced the latest Google TV UI with the all-new Chromecast in the USA region only, other countries may not get full streaming features or content options. But it’s no brainer that once you install any of the free to use or even paid one VPN service app on your Android TV, you’ll be good to go.
- Simply head over to the Google Play Store on your Android TV.
- Search for a VPN app and there are plenty of free VPN services available. However, you can either install the Turbo VPN or Windscribe VPN app on your Android TV.
- Once installed, launch the VPN app and set the region a USA server (Turn on the VPN).
- You’re done. Now, you’ll be able to view and stream whatever you want.
But here is a slight catch because the USA-specific content results will be shown to the users. Although using a VPN service isn’t a good idea always if you want to watch your preferred location-wise content, as of now there is nothing to do from our side.
Now, the icing on the cake part is that Google will soon gonna release the Google TV UI along with the new Chromecast for other countries as well (by the end of this year expectedly). So, cheer up!
Set Google TV UI as Default Android TV Launcher
Now, if you want to set the Google TV UI as a default launcher on your Android TV then you’ll require a computer, a USB cable, and some ADB commands to execute.
- Go to the Settings menu on your Android TV.
- Select Network and Internet > Your Wi-Fi network and please note down the displayed IP Address to somewhere else which will require later.
- Now, go back to the main Settings menu again > Head over to the Device Preferences > About > Scroll down and click on the Build for 7-8 times repeatedly to enable the Developer Options on your Android TV.
- Then go back to the Device Preferences menu again under the Settings menu.
- Here you’ll see the recently enabled Developer Options menu.
- Click on the Developer Options to open it > Turn on the USB Debugging toggle just like the Android smartphones we do.
- Now, head over to your Windows/Mac/Linux computer and install the ADB Fastboot Tools.
- Once done, execute the below command on your PC to your Android TV wirelessly after launching the Command Prompt as an administrator: (Make sure to replace the ipaddress text with your actual IP Address that you’ve noted recently in the 2nd step)
adb connect ipaddress
- Now, a confirmation pop-up will appear on your Android TV. It will ask you to Allow USB debugging? on your Android TV from the computer.
- Simply click on the checkbox ‘Always allow from this computer’ to enable it.
- Then click on OK to give permission.
- Once your Android TV is connected, you’ll see connected to IP address response on the Command Prompt.
- However, to cross-check your connected device, you can run the below command if you want (optional)
- List of adb devices attached option with a device ID on the command prompt of your computer. (If in case, not connected then you should retry the process properly from the 2nd step i,e IP address noting down)
- Now, we assume that your Android TV is wirelessly connected to your computer. So, run the below command on your PC’s Command Prompt to uninstall the default Android TV Launcher from your Android TV: (Ensure that you’ve already installed the Google TV UI on your Android TV before running this command)
adb shell pm uninstall –user 0 com.google.android.tvlauncher
- Once done, the installed Google TV UI will appear on the Android TV home screen itself as a default launcher. If it’s not appeared, just restart your Android TV.
- You can also press the Home button on the Android TV remote to bring the default Google TV UI Setup Wizard (for the first time only).
- Finish the Setup Wizard by following the on-screen instructions and you’ll be done.
- However, if in case, the Google TV Setup Wizard not appearing, you’ll see a prompt to select ‘TV Home’ > Choose ‘Always’ to make it the default home screen app and now, you’ll see the Google TV Setup Wizard.
What if I Want to Go Back to Stock Launcher?
Somehow, if you don’t like the Google TV UI or you’re facing any lags or stutters and want to go back to the stock Android TV Launcher again, then you can run a single command.
- Make sure that you’ve wirelessly connected your Android TV again with your computer by using your Android TV’s IP Address. It means just follow the steps again from the executing IP address command on your PC.
- Once re-established the wireless debugging on your Android TV with the computer, type the below command on the Command Prompt of your PC and hit Enter to execute:
adb shell cmd package install-existing com.google.android.tvlauncher
- Once done, restart your Android TV and you’ll be back in the default Android TV Launcher again.
- In that scenario, you can just uninstall both the Google TV app, Google App for Android TV app, and Home Screen Launcher for Android TV app from your Android TV. Additionally, you should also delete both the APK files from the File Manager app to free up some storage space.
That’s it, guys. We hope you’ve found this in-depth tutorial and some other info regarding Google TV installation on any of your Android TV devices. Still, have some queries? Feel free to ask in the comment below.