Android TVs are great, and with Android TV boxes like Mi Box, the cost of having an Android TV is also greatly reduced. The Mi Box can be easily configured and gives you all the freedom of the Android ecosystem. Well almost. However, while there are many easy-to-use functions on the Android TV, there are some unclear functions hidden in the platform. Therefore, if you have an Android TV and want to get more than l, Here are 12 tips and tricks for Android TV you should know :
1. Sideload applications on Android TV
While there are quite a few applications available for Android TV, the selection of applications available on the Android TV Play Store can be quite limited at times. Especially when it comes to utility applications that you can have on your TV. Fortunately, you can easily download Android applications to your Android TV.
To download applications on your Android TV, simply download the APK file on your computer and copy it to a USB flash drive . Then, simply connect the USB drive to your Android TV, and use an application such as ES File Explorer, to install the APK on your TV.
If attaching a USB flash drive is not a viable option for you, you can even use FTP to download Android applications on your Android TV.
2. Use your mobile phone as a remote control for Android TV
Android TV boxes come with some really decent remote controls. The Mi Box comes with a really nice, lightweight and elegant remote control. However, these Bluetooth remote controls can only go very far when it comes to ease of use, especially when you need to write text on your TV. Fortunately, Google has an application of " Android TV remote control "(free), which you can use to get a remote interface on your mobile . With a Bluetooth / WiFi connection Between your TV and your phone, you can easily navigate the interface through your Android phone.
The best thing about this is that when you need to enter text on the Android TV, you can use your mobile's on-screen keyboard To do so, which is definitely much faster than using the Leanback keyboard with which Android TVs come. .
3. Browse the Internet on Android TV
Android TVs do not usually come with built-in web browsers. However, since it is possible to download Android applications on an Android TV, you can easily download a browser to your Android TV and use it to surf the Internet on the biggest screen in your home . There are a lot of excellent Android browsers that you can download on your Android TV, and most of them will work fine. With a browser on your Android TV, you can freely surf the Internet directly on your TV, and larger screens are generally better. We use Google Chrome on our Android TV, but it doesn't work well without a pointing device, so you will have to connect a mouse to your TV. If that is a decisive factor for you, Web TV (free) is another browser you can use, but it has a poor UI.
4. Connect Gamepad with Mouse Mode
Google clearly wants Android TV to become a viable gaming platform; At least for casual games. Therefore, the Most Android gamepads connect easily with Android TVs to via Bluetooth and then can be used to play. However, many gamepads, such as the Amkette Evo Pad 2 that we are using, come with a "Mouse Mode", and switching to that mode can give you a cursor on your Android TV for point and click actions .
This can be useful when using web browsers such as Google Chrome, which do not offer any other way to click on the links. Note that not all game controllers come with this function, so if this is something you want, you should check in advance if the driver you are buying is compatible with this function or not.
5. Use Android TV as a computer
Wouldn't it be great if you could use your Android TV as a computer? After all, he has enough power to serve as a basic navigation machine, along with some lightweight games and word processors. What is quite, considering that the Android TV boxes have prices as low as $ 70.
Can simply connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to your Android TV box, and everything is ready. Use the cursor to point and click, and the keyboard to type quickly, and there you have it, an easy-to-configure Android computer, directly in your living room, on the largest screen you have. In addition, with Bluetooth peripherals, you can sit wherever you want and use your computer with ease.
6. Take screenshots on Android TV
The Android TV platform is ideal for casual games, thanks to the fact that even affordable Android TV boxes, such as the Mi Box, can easily handle most games (even Asphalt!). So what if you are playing Leo's Fortune on your Android TV and want to share something really great with a friend? Well, screenshots are the way to go! Fortunately, you can also easily take screenshots on Android TVs, and the process is exactly the same as in all Android devices .
Simply press and hold the Power button and the volume down button at the same time to take a screenshot of your Android TV. The Screenshots are saved in / sdcard / Pictures / Screenshots /, so you can easily access them later or share them as you wish.
7. Customize the carousel of recommendations.
Android TV, as a platform, always tries to have something new for us to see. This can be both a blessing and a bane; and although some people may like the "Recommendations" offered by Android TV, I don't want to see recommendations from almost all sources preinstalled on my Android TV. Fortunately, there is a easy way to customize fonts that appear in the carousel of recommendations on your Android TV.
To do this, simply follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings -> Home screen .
- Go to " Row Recommendations ".
- Here you can show / hide sources available on your TV, according to your preferences.
8. Increase internal storage with adoptable storage
If there's a problem with affordable Android TV boxes, like Mi Box ($ 69), it's that they come with a space of extremely limited storage . Fortunately, you can easily add a lot of storage space to these boxes, thanks to their USB OTG support . You can easily add a USB flash drive to the Android TV box and increase the amount of storage your TV has. To do this, simply follow the steps below:
- Connect an external USB flash drive to your Android TV. Be received with a screen that says "USB drive connected." Here, select " Configure as internal storage ".
- On the next screen, select "Format".
The USB flash drive will format as internal storage, and you can start using it as a logical internal memory partition to save applications, and more.
Note : format a USB drive delete any data that is already in it. Make sure you have a backup copy of all the data on your USB drive before doing this.
9. Play the Android game Marshmallow Easter Egg
Android TV currently running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and as you probably know, there is a hidden game within Android Marshmallow. Well, you can play it on your Android TV too. This is much better than playing it on an Android mobile device, thanks to the larger screen. To play the Android game Marshmallow Easter Egg, just follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings -> About .
- Scroll down to "Version", and click quickly on l a few times.
- On the next screen, return to click quickly repeatedly.
The Marshmallow game will start and you can press the selection button (or Up) on your remote control to control the Android bot on the screen. However, don't be fooled, playing this game on a larger screen is as difficult as it is on a smaller screen, so all the best!
10. Reflect the screen of your phone / laptop with Google Cast
Another interesting thing you can do with your Android TV is to launch the screen of your phone or laptop to your TV via WiFi. Thanks to the integration of Google Cast on Android TV, you don't even need to configure anything. Simply open the media file You want to turn on your TV and start broadcasting. On laptops, you can Easily access your Android TV with Google Chrome . May choose to convert only the tab you are in, or your complete desktop to your Android TV.
Unfortunately, the iPhones are not compatible with Google Cast . However, if you want to stream media files from your iPhone to your Android TV, you can use an application like AllCast (free purchases, within the application) to accomplish this. The application has a free version, which limits the duration of the videos that can be broadcast to your Android TV, along with the ads. You can remove these restrictions with a purchase in the application of $ 4.99
11. Show information on your idle TV
By default, when the TV is idle, it only shows a black screen. However, with Android TV, you can make your TV display useful information when it is not in use. Thanks to the Daydream function On Android devices, you can have your TV display information such as the current time, date and weather directly on the screen. Using an application like " Lucid Daydream "(free, with purchases within the application), you can get this feature on your Android TV. There are many other modules available on Lucid Daydream, which include calendar events, notifications and ms . You can choose the things you want your TV to display, from the Daydream settings.
To configure Daydream, simply follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings -> Screen .
- Here, go to "Soar awake."
You can then choose the application for Daydream, along with other Daydream settings that you can play with. Also, if Lucid Daydream is not to your liking, there are many great Daydream applications you can use.
12. Play with Android TV Developer Options
If you like to play with the settings and play with hidden (advanced) features, you'll be glad to know that you can also access the Developer Options on your Android TV. To enable Developer Options on an Android TV, simply do the following:
- go to Settings -> About, and touches the "Build number" 7 times .
- You can then find Developer Options at "Configuration", in "Preferences".
- In Developer Options, you can do things like enable ADB debugging . This can be useful if you are developing Android TV applications and would like to try them on your Android TV.
- In the section " Drawing ", may change the animation scale For various animations. Changing these settings can make the system look much more flexible than usual.
There are many more options that you can change in the Developer Options, but due to the nature of these settings, you should only play with them if you are doing what you are doing.
Use these Android TV tricks to get more from your TV
Even if it is running on a TV, Android TV as a platform is nothing more than Android, it runs on a larger screen. Therefore, a lot of customization on an Android TV is really possible, and you can use these tips and tricks to improve your experience with an Android TV. As always, I would like to know your thoughts on Android TV as a platform; and support of the application (or lack thereof) for Android TV. Also, if you know other tips and tricks of Android TV, let me know in the comments section below.