Google TV is a television streaming platform developed by the Mountain View company that has its roots in the Android TV operating system and is designed to offer users a complete entertainment experience. Using the Google platform, pre-installed in a vast array of multimedia devicesyou have a unified, easy-to-use interface for accessing a wide range of digital content, including movies, TV shows, apps, games and more.
Google software pre-installs the main ones streaming services available in Europe, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, DAZN, Disney+, YouTube, YouTube Kids, Rai Play, Amazon Music, Spotify, Discovery+ and many others. Users can search, browse and select content from one single screen instead of having to switch between different installed applications.
The apps available for Google TV are published on Play Storewhich is directly integrated and accessible from the platform interface that appears on the TV screen.
One of the main features of Google TV is its powerful search function: Users can search for movies, TV shows, and more by titles, actors, directors, and genres. Google TV will search through all connected apps and streaming services to find it relevant results. The access buttondigital assistantallows you to ask Google TV to search for or play specific content using convenient voice commands in natural language.
The system behind Google TV also focuses heavily on personalized recommendations that is, on the suggestion of content based on user preferences and their viewing history. This means that the platform can suggest new movies or TV shows based on personal tastes of the user, independent of the streaming service that provides them.
Which devices support Google TV
On the official Google website there are several “hints” with a series of suggestions on compatible devices Google TV. A good part of smart TV Today on the market they directly support Google TV and pre-existing Android TV devices are upgradeable via firmware to embrace the latest and most updated multimedia platform from the company founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Just take a look at Amazon Europe to realize which and how many smart TVs Google TV offers.
Chromecast 4K and Chromecast HD sticks (the latter often available in promotion at a price of less than 30 euros…) of the most recent generation are based on Google TV: they can be connected to the television with the HDMI connector and powered via USB from the wall socket, Chromecast sticks make any television smart. The various applications can be run through the single interface offered by the stick but sending content from devices such as smartphones and tablets using Google Cast is still supported.
Using the castingjust connect the Chromecast stick to the same network as your smartphone or tablet and then tap the appropriate icon to start streaming.
Google TV is then available on many other devices: products such as Xiaomi Mi Box, for example, support Google TV or can be updated to load the platform.
Google TV and Chromecast: what is it sideloading
As we saw above, the Play Store offers a selection of Android applications certainly compatible with Google TV. It may happen, however, that you have the need to install an app which cannot be found in any way using the search function integrated into the platform.
The term sideloading refers to the act of installing an application or software on a device, such as a smart TV or smartphone, from a source other than the official store. In the case of Google TV devices, this operation allows you to install and run any Android application, keeping in mind that some of them may not be perfectly compatible with loading on a television screen.
Before possibly carrying out the sideloading of an app on a Google TV device, it is obviously important to ensure that the source from which you download the installation package is trustworthy and that the file itself does not contain any threats. It is also advisable to limit the sideloading only in cases where this is strictly necessary, for example when you want to install an app that is not officially available on the Play Store.
Although Google claims that its platform supports thousands of applications, you might be incredibly disappointed to find that yours does streaming platform favorite is not supported or even today, in 2023, it can be used on flash drives Chromecast con Google TV only in mode casting.
How to install and run any application
Il sideloading it is the right key, sometimes, to shape the functioning of Google TV to your needs and add applications not present in the Play Store.
To install and run any application on the Google multimedia platformyou must access the user profile icon, select the gear icon then Systemchoose Information and then press OK repeatedly Build Android TV operating system or similar until you receive the message “You are now a developer“.
Using the search function you can then locate and install the free Downloader application: it is nothing more than a browser Web useful for downloading the APK files of the applications you are interested in.
In the field Enter a URL or Search Termwe recommend typing the name of the application to install (not available on the Play Store) followed by
apkmirror. We have seen what APKMirror is and why it is essential in the activities of sideloading as well as to install Android apps in Windows 11.
After clicking on Goyou should never click on the first results that are usually returned (often referring to URLs like
bit.ly) but it is necessary scroll the web page until you locate the page of the application you are interested in APKMirror.
Here, selecting DOWNLOAD APKyou can download the installation package which is then saved on the local device.
Download completed, Downloader asks if you want to install the downloaded application. At this point it is necessary to answer in the affirmative.
At first, however, the system replies that it is not possible to proceed because installation from is not permitted unknown sources. To proceed, simply select the app Downloader from the list then activate the option Unknown sources. At this point the installation of the Android app will be successful and it will be immediately accessible from the Google TV main menu.
Opening image credit: iStock.com/metamorworks