What the app?! How to download, install and troubleshoot Android TV & Google TV apps
IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check the Applicable Products and Categories section of this article before starting these steps.
Your Google TV or Android TV offers more than just watching regular TV. Like on your smartphone, you can install third-party apps from your favorite service providers, organizations or game studios. This article will briefly explain how you can download, manage, and troubleshoot applications. All navigation explained in this article is done with the arrows on your remote control. Each action (OK, enter) is done by pressing the central button of your arrow keys.
You can press or tap on the question below to quickly jump to the proper paragraph:
- How do I download apps on my Google TV or Android TV?
- Why can't I find apps, or why are they unavailable to me?
- Managing apps on your Google TV or Android TV
- How do I update a Google TV or Android TV app?
- How do I uninstall an app on Google TV or Android TV?
- What do I do if a Google / Android TV app is not working?
How do I download apps on my Google or Android TV?
You can download apps by accessing the Google Play Store on your Google TV and Android TV. The Google Play Store is where you can find all the apps available on both Google TV and Android TV. If you can't find the app in the Google Play Store, it's possible that the app doesn't exist or is currently still unavailable on the Google TV and Android TV platforms. It's perfectly possible that a smartphone app does not have an equivalent on Google TV or Android TV. In that case, you might resort to casting content.
Downloading apps on Google TV
- There are several tabs at the top of your Home screen: Search, Home, Apps, and Library. Use your remote control arrow keys to navigate to the Apps tab.
- The Apps tab screen starts with your Apps listed in a row. There is a search bar underneath that row that allows you to search for apps and games. You can also browse some app categories.
- Alternatively, press the input key on your remote (). You can add apps to your input menu by moving to the right and selecting them from the available list. The Google Play Store is one of those apps. That way, the Google Play Store becomes quickly accessible via the input menu.
- Finally, you can use the voice search or keyboard search on the Home screen to look for apps without using the Apps tab. If the app is available, you will get a Google Play Store search result, and you'll be able to download the app immediately.
Downloading apps on Android TV
- There are several tabs at the top of your Home screen: Search, Home, Discover, and Apps. Use your remote control arrow keys to navigate to the Apps tab.
- When you navigate down in the Apps tab, you'll first see a button to open the Google Play Store before continuing down in the app tile list. On the remote control, press OK to access the Google Play Store.
- The Google Play Store features examples of popular apps, but you can also use the Search function located at the top of the screen. On the remote control, press OK to use the voice search or move to the right to activate the keyboard search.
Alternatively, you can use the voice search or keyboard search on the Home screen to look for apps without using the Apps tab. If the app is available, you will get a Google Play Store search result, and you'll be able to download the app immediately.
Why can't I find apps, or why are they unavailable to me? How do I know my Google TV or Android TV supports an app?
There are two main reasons you can't find or use an app: availability and location. In this case, location can mean your country/region and sometimes even territories.
First, a service provider doesn't always have an app on the market. It's possible that your favorite smartphone app doesn't have an equivalent (yet) on the Google TV or Android TV. Google has an online list of available Android TV apps.
Secondly, your location (country/region, territory) also matters. Some apps are only available in a certain country/region. However, these apps might one day become available in more countries/regions if the app provider decides to expand their support. Yes, it's a complicated patchwork out there. When in doubt, it's always best to contact the service provider and check their website for supported countries/regions and information.
Managing apps on your Google TV or Android TV
Now that you're ready to install all your favorite apps on your TV, it's time to make it easy for you to navigate and manage all these apps. Let's have a look at the App mini-menu.
The App mini-menu
Every app has a mini menu that allows you to take several actions. Hover over the app (as if to open it), and on your remote control, long-press the OK button. If you accidentally opened the app, you didn't press the OK button long enough because a pop-up menu should appear:
Google TV mini-menu
- View details
Android TV mini-menu
- Add to favorites
Adding TV apps to favorites quick-menu
Underneath the recommendations bar on your Home screen, you'll find the Your Apps quick bar. Move to the right and select the See all button. You can move the apps around this grid and change their display position.
- On your Home screen, there's a banner featuring your favorite apps. It's a quick selection bar.
- Navigate to the right to reach a plus sign. Press OK to add new apps to your quick selection bar.
You can also use the app-mini menu to bookmark an app to favorites.
Moving TV apps around in the favorites menu and app screen
This applies to both Google TV and Android TV
- Hover over the app (as if to open it), and on your remote control, long-press the OK button to open the app-mini menu.
- Select Move and navigate the app tile to your preferred position.
- On your remote control, press Back to stop moving the app around.
How do I update a Google TV or Android TV app?
It's not entirely necessary for you to manually update an app. If your Google TV or Android TV is connected to the internet, it will automatically update your apps whenever the service provider releases a new version. Your apps should run the latest version if your TV is connected to the internet.
Google updates applications in phases, so it's possible that your TV hasn't received an app update yet, even though it's available. In that case, there is a way to check for updates manually:
- Google TV: access the Google Play Store via voice search or the input menu.
- Android TV: navigate to the Apps tab and access the Google Play Store.
Once in the Google Play Store, you can check the Apps and games management, which is hidden under your Google Account icon in the top right corner. Under the Google Account icon, you'll find the Apps and games management, in which you can check any available app updates.
How do I uninstall an app on Google TV or Android TV?
If you're not using an app anymore, you might as well remove it and clear some memory:
- Use your remote control arrow keys to navigate to the Apps tab.
- Navigate down to see all your apps listed in a grid.
- You can hover over any app you want to delete and access the mini-menu (long-press OK button) to select View details (Google TV) or Uninstall (Android TV) to uninstall.
- If the uninstall option is greyed out, you can't uninstall the app (e.g. YouTube™). Pre-installed TV apps can't be removed.
What do I do if a Google TV or Android TV app is not working?
An app might have an issue like a lost internet connection, frozen menu or some sound and image glitches. If you feel like something's wrong with an app, the simplest thing to do is reset the app by doing a force stop.
- Access the TV settings via the Quick settings button on the remote control (it's the first option).
- On the remote control, use the arrow keys to move down to Apps and press the OK button (The OK button is the central button in the middle of your arrow keys).
- Underneath Recently opened apps, you can select See all apps.
- Move around to the app you want to reset, press OK and select the second option: force stop by confirming.
- On the remote control, press the Home button or back button to return to the Home screen.
- You can see several tabs at the top of your Home screen. Use your remote control arrow keys to navigate to the Apps tab.
- Go down to the app tile list and hover over the app that's having an issue.
- On the remote control, long-press the OK button to open the app-mini menu. (The OK button is the central button in the middle of your arrow keys).
- In the pop-up menu, with your remote control, select Info and press OK.
- In the info section, with your remote control, select Force stop and confirm twice with the OK button.
- After force-stopping the app, you can open the app and check if it runs as expected.
In short: access the app mini-menu, and force stop the app in the Info section.
Suppose you can't reach the Home or App screen, press and hold the power button and select "Restart TV". This simple restart might also do the trick. (This trick might also help if you notice that your Google TV or Android TV is no longer connected to the internet.)