Android TV OS is developed by Google and it is available for televisions, set-top boxes, digital media players, and soundbars. Android TV has a lot of features that take a lot of time to know about. This is why you need to know the most important tips and tricks on Android TV that will be very useful to you. With these tricks, you can use Android TV without any problems.
Table of Contents
Best and Cool Android TV Tips
- Data Saver Mode
- Customize Home Screen
- Wireless File Transfer
- Sideload Launcher
- Use Android TV as a Computer
- Use Google TV on Android TV
- Restricted Profile
- Custom Screensaver
- Recommendations Carousel
- Video Calling
- Google Assistant
- Connect Gaming Controllers
- Mirror Smartphone or PC
- Use Smartphone as Remote
1. Data Saver Mode
Data Saver Mode is one of the must-known tips in Android TV. With this feature enabled, you can stream three times more content with the same amount of data. It also comes with alerts, if enabled, gives you an alert message when the data reaches the limit. This is quite a helpful feature for those who have limited WiFi or use mobile hotspots to stream movies, TV shows, and more on Android TV. To access Data Saver mode on Android TV, select Settings > Network and Internet > Data Saver.
2. Customize Home Screen
People who are new to smart TVs might find Android TV a bit overwhelming when they see a whole list of apps on the home screen. As there are a lot of apps on the home screen, you might find it hard to go to or even find your favorite channel in between all these apps. This is why Android TV gives you an option to personalize the screen. This way, you can easily find your favorite channels and start streaming your favorite movies and TV shows. To reorder or rearrange apps on the home screen, highlight the app and hold down the Select or Enter button on your remote. On the menu that opens, select Move and use the Arrow buttons on your remote to move the app to the position you want. Here, you can also remove the app that you have designated as favorites by clicking on Remove from favorites. You can also go to Settings > Device preferences > Home screen > Customize channels to customize your home screen.
3. Wireless File Transfer
If you want to transfer media files from your PC or smartphone to your TV, you first need to copy the files to your USB drive and connect it to the TV. This way, you can transfer the files to your PC. This process is quite a hassle and takes a lot of time. But now, Android TV has an app that helps in simplifying the process to a small number of steps. With Send Files to TV app, you can easily send files from your device to your TV. First, you need to install the app on both your device and PC. Make sure that they are connected to the same WiFi and select Send on your device and choose the file. On your TV, click on Receive to receive the file. After receiving it, you can easily access the files on your TV.
4. Sideload Launcher
If you are some of those people who frequently install third-party apps on your TV, then Sideload Launcher is an essential app for you. Normally, if you install apps from outside of the Play Store on your TV, you can’t find them on Apps because your system won’t allow them to appear in it. So, to launch your Android TV, you need to install an app that lets you open these third-party apps and this app is called Sideload Launcher. You can directly install the app from your Play Store. Open the app and allow the necessary permissions and you will be able to see all your third-party apps in it. Just click on the app that you want and sideload launcher will launch the app.
5. Use Android TV as a Computer
Nowadays, your smart TVs come with so many features that you can use them as a makeshift computer. Especially your Android TV, which you can easily use as a computer. It comes with almost all the same features as your computer, like HDMI ports, USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, WiFi connectivity, and more. You can browse the internet and also stream streaming media like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more. If you have a wireless keyboard and mouse, you can also create, edit and send emails from your TV. All you need is just an internet connection for your TV and you can easily use Android TV as a computer.
6. Use Google TV on Android TV
Recently, Google has announced that in the recent future, an improved Google TV interface will replace the old Android TV. Google has invested a lot of time, energy, and resources into its Google TV interface so that it will be a way ahead of Android TV. If you are a person who likes to use new things or you are bored with the Android TV interface, then you can switch to the Google TV interface. You can follow our guide on how to install Google TV on Android TV.
7. Restricted Profile
If you want to restrict certain apps from being available to your children without parental supervision or you just want to lock certain apps, then they can be on your Android TV by using the Restricted Profile. This type of restriction is set mainly to prevent children from watching unnecessary content on your TV or playing games without us anyone knowing. With the restriction set, only those who know the PIN can access the other apps. It is one of the best tips for Android TV. To set restrictions on apps, follow the steps below,
1. On the Android TV home screen, select Settings.
2. Navigate to Personal and select Security & Restrictions.
3. Now, you need to create a restricted profile and enter the PIN that you want to set a password.
4. After settings the password, you will see a list of installed apps.
5. Here, select the app that you want to restrict and the app that you do not.
6. Now, if a person wants to see other apps that are restricted, you need to enter the PIN.
8. Custom Screensaver
Android TV gives you a lot of features to use, but at the same time, these features are also limited. Like the Screensaver feature, it comes with a limited number of options and you can’t even set your own picture. Also, the app that we love, Google Photos is not available on Android TV because of security reasons. So, if you want to set your personal photos, then you can only do it from your Google account or internal storage. This is where Photo Gallery and Screensaver app comes in. You can install the app from Play Store and this app brings all the features that you need for a larger TV screen. With this app, you can choose a photo from your internal storage and edit photo, or even much more. Also, this app allows you to connect to your Google account and it can directly pull photos and display them as a screensaver. In summary, you can easily set the photo you like as a screensaver on your Android TV.
9. Recommendations Carousel
Just like every other TV out there in the market, Android TV also comes with pre-installed apps. This is not a problem for us since almost all devices, whether it is Android, iOS, or other devices, also comes with pre-installed apps. But the problem with Android TV is that the TV keeps popping up in-built apps in the recommendations column, which is a bit irritating. If the apps that pop up are YouTube or Play Store, there is no problem since we use these apps frequently. But, you will get pop-ups for unused apps. This is why Android TV allows you to customize the sources that show up on the recommendation column. To do that, use the following steps:
1. Go to Settings and select Home Screen.
2. Navigate to Customize channels. Here, according to your preference, you can choose whether you want to show or hide the sources available on your TV.
3. For some apps, like YouTube and Google Play Movies & TV, you can even customize channels per app.
10. Video Calling
If you want to make a video call to your families, friends, relatives, or others from your Android TV, you can use the Google Duo. Yes, you heard it right, Google Duo is now available on Android TV. But make sure that your Android TV OS is at least nine or above. All you need to do is install the Google Duo app on your Android TV from Play Store and plug in a webcam. There will be another surprise for those who use Google Duo on Android TV and that is Picture-in-Picture(PiP) works. PiP is a great feature that enhances your Duo experience on Android TV. For instance, when you are in a video call with your friend using Duo, press the Home button and the PiP window will appear on the screen as an overlay. Now, you can open any sports app and enjoy streaming the game with your friends, family, or others.
11. Make Use of Google Assistant
After many years of trial and research, Google has released Google Assistant for Android TV. As we know, Google Assistant is a voice recognition A.I. that helps to make our life a lot easier. You can ask Google Assistant to search and play movies, TV shows, music, check the weather, and a lot more. You can summon the assistant by saying, “Hey, Google.” Google also allows you to control your Android TV from the smartphone by using Google Assistant. First, install Google Assistant on your mobile phone and connect both the smartphone and TV to the same WiFi network. Then, open the assistant app, you can now control Android TV with your Google Assistant, and be sure to say “On TV” at the end of each sentence.
12. Connect Gaming Controllers
As you know, Android TV supports games, this includes not only board games but also action games like Badlands, Sky Force, Dead Effect, Racing games like Asphalt 8, Horizon Chase, and a lot more. But to play these games on your Android TV, you might need a gamepad that is connected to your TV through a USB or Bluetooth. Although the standard gamepad is good to use, you can connect it to your Android TV. To connect the controllers to your TV follow these steps:
1. Press and hold the PS and Share buttons on your PS4 controllers simultaneously so that they can enter pairing mode.
2. When you see the light blinking on the backside of your controller, that means it is in pairing mode.
2. Now, go to your Android TV and select Settings. Click on Add accessory under the Remote & Accessories option.
3. Your Android TV will search for nearby Bluetooth devices and your device will be available on the screen.
4. Select your PS4 controller and it will be connected to your TV.
5. Now you can use the controller on your TV and enjoy playing games on it. If you are a gamer, these kinds of tips will greatly help you while playing games on Android TV.
13. Mirror Smartphone or PC
Android TV comes with an inbuilt Chromecast, which means that you don’t need to install an app or set up external hardware so that your TV supports Chromecast. Since Chromecast is available on your Android TV, you can cast pictures, videos, movies, and more from your smartphone, PC, or other devices. There is only one prerequisite for casting and that is both your Android TV and the device from which you are casting need to be connected to the same WiFi network. On your Android device, go to Notification Panel > Select Cast > Choose your Android TV from the list of available options. The contents on your Android device will be cast to Android TV.
To cast from your PC, go to Chrome browser > select the three dots menu or Customize and control Google Chrome icon > Select Cast > Choose your Android TV from the list. You can also cast from Apple devices like iPhone, Mac, and other devices to Android TV. Casting is one of the most helpful tips to know on your Android TV.
14. Use Smartphone as a Remote
If you like to browse or search for a lot of things on the internet, then using the Android TV remote is a bit of a hassle. Although the TV remote is small in size, has a simple user interface, and looks delicate when it comes to typing or searching for something on the internet, the use of an on-screen keyboard is a must. But using the on-screen keyboard takes a lot of time and energy, that is why you can use your Android phone as a remote. You can install any TV remote app from Play Store, but I would recommend the Android TV Remote app and use it as a remote for Android TV. The reason I recommend the Android TV remote app is that you can easily connect your Android TV with this app and also it supports all the latest Android TV updates. You can also use the voice recognition feature on the app to easily control your TV. So, make sure that both your Android TV and Android smartphone are connected to the same WiFi network and install the app on your smartphone. Now, you can use your Android Phone as a remote for your Andoird TV.
These are the tips and tricks that you can try on your Android TV. Try these tips on your Android TV and comment on your favorite one in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can easily take screenshots on Android TV by pressing the Volume Down and Power buttons simultaneously.
On your Android TV, select Settings > Device Preferences > About > Navigate to the Build menu. Keep clicking on Build until you see the “You are now a Developer” pop-up.