It’s been a couple of years since Android TV has come out and it’s been slowly maturing as a platform. It has more apps and games available for it than ever before. There could be more hardware available, but we’re sure that’s coming sooner or later. If you have an Android TV device and you’re looking to get the best experience, then check out the best Android TV apps! Also, most Android TV apps have a Chromecast built-in. That means any app with Chromecast support can be used on most Android TV devices!
Amazon is fairly ornery when it comes to their streaming services. Amazon Prime Video on Android TV is a no brainer. The Android app doesn’t support Chromecast (only Fire TV sticks). Thus, the Android TV app is the only way to get it on an Android-powered TV without some sort of hassle. The selection is decent. Paying the price of admission also unlocks other Prime benefits. The service also includes a variety of specialized channels with additional content. It’s not bad for what it is. The main app could really use some Chromecast support, though.
Google Play Music is another obvious choice for Android TV apps. It has a rock solid music streaming experience. In fact, it’s probably better than the mobile phone version. You can also upload 50,000 of your own songs to the cloud and access them anywhere. That makes this service the easiest way to listen to your locally stored music on your TV. Uploading music and select radio stations are free. The $9.99 per month charge is for on-demand music play. The $14.99 per month charge is for the family plan. For now, Google Play Music subscriptions also include YouTube Premium. That’s a great one-two punch.
Hulu is slowly growing into one of the better Android TV apps. It has a decent video streaming service. There are just a ton of shows to watch. Additionally, the service allows for live TV for $39.99 per month. It includes a bunch of channels, including local sports channels. Going for the live TV option also includes all of Hulu’s in-house streaming content as well. That makes it an enticing option for cable cutters. You can also add HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and additional cloud storage space for additional fees.
MX Player is one of the most solid video player apps on Android. It retains that title on Android TV as well. It can play pretty much any codec. The interface is simple to use. That makes it great for large, locally stored video collections. It’s a bit buggy. However, Android’s support for USB storage devices is also not great. Thus, it can be frustrating using an app like this one for stuff like playing videos off of flash drives. We recommend you try the free version before buying it, but we didn’t have much trouble playing our videos. This one might not be around for too much longer, though, as it may transition into a streaming service eventually. We’ll keep you posted!
Netflix is among the most obvious Android TV apps. It has a huge selection, is binge friendly, and it’s still among the cheapest video streaming services out there. The Android TV version looks and feels a lot like the Xbox and PlayStation versions. Thus, veterans of those platforms know what to expect. It also supports 4K video and HDR. However, your TV has to support it. You also have to pay the top tier subscription price. Otherwise, it’s rock solid.
Pandora is one of the best music apps on almost every platform. That includes Android TV apps. It’s still among the best fire-and-forget-it music radio apps available. They also have a new on-demand service for $9.99 per month. That puts it on par with services like Spotify, Google Play Music, and Apple Music. You could do much worse than this one. That’s especially true if you just need some music playing in the background for parties or get-togethers.
Plex was one of the first Android TV apps. It remains one of the best. Its main purpose is to play videos from your computer or phone to your TV. It also works with other types of files like music, photos, and more. The app also allows streaming from various cloud storage sites like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. It has a variety of apps that add more stuff you can watch. However, you’ll need the Plex Pass subscription or a one-time in-app purchase to get them. It’s a bit expensive, but it Plex does good work.
Spotify is another one of the obvious Android TV apps. It is a rock solid music streaming service. It also has podcasts and even some video content. Word around the grapevine says that they’re experimenting with Hi-Fi music as well. That might sound really good coming out of your home theater set up if you have one. The prices have remained the same for ages. The selections are also far above average. We like Google Play better, but Spotify is just as good.
Wake On Lan is a very unique Android TV app. It lets you wake your computer, NAS storage, etc from your Android TV device with just one click. If that didn’t make sense, that’s okay, this one is a bit more for the tech savvy than most apps. With the ability to wake up your computer or NAS storage, you can simply sit down, turn your stuff on in one location, and watch your stuff without any extra work. The app can’t put devices back to sleep. However, there are ways to automate that on your computer anyway. We definitely recommend this one.
YouTube is a bit of a cheap pick for Android TV apps. We admit that. The service has more video than 1,000 people can watch in a lifetime. That includes comedy, tech, music, and even politics if you really want to make yourself angry. You can get an ad-free experience with YouTube Red. The Android TV version of this app has its ups and downs. In some cases, it may even be easier to cast from the app on your phone. It works well enough, though.
If we missed any of the best Android TV apps, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!
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