A big bonus that comes with Android TV devices is they can access the Google Play Store. Keep reading and we’ll reveal the top ten apps for set-top boxes available in the store, covering aggregators, streaming services, file managers, players, utilities, and more. Let’s get started.
Content player and manager
Kodi is a media platform that functions as a content aggregator. With plugins, it harmonizes nicely with official video streaming services, such as Fox Sports and BBC. The app allows you to watch YouTube videos and access online radio.
Kodi doesn’t offer any out-of-the-box content, however, it can be linked to online services and play content from the local network, cloud storage, or a removable drive. It is an excellent media library organizer that can cast videos, for instance from a PC to a set-top box.
This video player supports hardware acceleration and most video and audio formats. As a bonus, it has built-in parental controls to screen out adult content if it’s used by minors.
MX Player’s main advantages are as follows:
Supports more than ten subtitle formats with configurable subtitle language, color, and font.
Hardware and software decoding that provides fluid content playback. It supports major video formats.
Playback resume. If you stop the player, it will resume playing from that place.
Online video playback. MX Player can play files from the internet as well as local files. It’s simple – just enable the streaming mode and put in the file’s URL.
The player’s settings include several themes plus a file/folder hide feature. It’s also possible to export settings to a config file to sync them with other devices.
Documentary streaming service
Join over 20 million viewers who subscribe to this service! Curiosity Stream is a thematic streaming service featuring a huge index that includes documentaries about many topics such as nature, history, science, biographies, educational videos from experts, plus a fabulous CuriosityKIDS category.
The app has a paid plan with these features:
- VIDEO DOWNLOADING FOR OFFLINE VIEWING
- 4K AND HD VIDEO ACCESS
Video streaming and VoD service
Apple TV+ is Apple’s streaming service. Subscription buys you access to exclusive content. It was previously unavailable on Android TV but it is now supported on some Android TV™ and Google TV™ models. Their catalog boasts over 100,000 movies, TV shows, and channels. Subscribers may either buy or hire the content and some episodes are available for free.
Apple TV allows users to create playlists and resume playback from where they paused, even if the video was watched on a different device. Also, it offers personalized recommendations and channel subscriptions.
TV Bro is an open-source, remote-friendly browser for Android TV. It’s great for displaying web pages on your TV. It comes complete with voice control, fast restoration of previously visited pages, and shortcuts. It basically has everything you get with a web browser on your PC such as tabs, favorites, history, download manager, and the default search engine setting.
TV Bro is intended to be navigated using a TV remote. It automatically adjusts the website’s rendering for the size of the TV screen. A big plus is that it has a built-in ad and pop-up blocker.
TV streaming and VoD service
Tired of monthly subscriptions? Pluto TV allows you to watch TV completely for free (legally). The ad-supported service offers over 250 live channels plus movies and TV shows. There’s, unfortunately, no sport available which may put some people off the service. However, there is news, old and new movies, and series. New content gets added all the time. Pluto TV is an OTT service that you can simply stream on the website or download the app to one of the many supported devices. All of Pluto TV’s content is in English. The app has an easy-to-navigate content search and selection UI and includes TV guides, radio, and thematic collections.
Music streaming service
Spotify is a popular music and podcast streaming app that currently has about 456 million users. It allows users to create and edit playlists on their mobiles and then play them on a TV set-top box.
The app also automatically generates mood- and activity-based playlists, and personalized recommendations based on listening history, and allows playlist sharing with friends.
Spotify for Android TV supports Bluetooth remotes.
Send Files to TV (SFTTV)
File transfer app
Send Files to TV allows users to quickly transfer files rapidly between their smartphones, set-top boxes, and computers over Wi-Fi. It does not need an internet connection, just a local network or Wi-Fi access point enabled on the smartphone is enough. SFTTV automatically detects all devices where the app is installed.
The app has a very simple UI with only two buttons: Send and Receive. “Send” opens a menu for the user to choose a receiving device and then choose which files to send there. All file transfers are encrypted.
X-plore File manager
File manager and transfer app
This app allows users to transfer files from their Android TV set-top boxes to other devices. For instance, TVs, smartphones, or removable storage. It boasts a simple, easy-to-navigate interface. The app divides the screen into two panels showing files and directories.
Transfers in X-Plore File Manager work only for devices on the same network. It can transfer files over Wi-Fi, LAN, and FTP, edit text, view images, PDFs, and GIFs, and open audio and video files in the built-in player.
Plex: Stream Movies & Live TV
Video streaming, content storage, and management app
Some say that Plex is the best available media server app. As long as you have your own digital movies and a TV.
Plex is a multimedia platform that combines three services:
- LIVE TELEVISION
- MEDIA SERVER
Plex allows paid users access to free movies and TV shows on popular streaming services, such as Paramount, Crackle, and AMC. Also, it includes 180 broadcast channels, that feature news, sports, and children’s content.
It is also possible to use the service without signing up or signing in within the app. If you or a friend has a media collection (movies, shows, photos), Plex enables you to stream it all from a PC or server to your TV.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about our Top Ten Android TV apps. There are loads more on Google Play Market’s huge catalog of Android TV-compatible games, browsers, file managers, and other utilities for set-top boxes and TVs.