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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to load apps on Chromecast with Google TV – Get virtually any Android app on the big screen «Gadgethacks

How to load apps on Chromecast with Google TV – Get virtually any Android app on the big screen «Gadgethacks



At launch, Chromecast with Google TV is quite limited in the number of compatible apps. Many of the common suspects are there, but there are some interesting omissions, such as Google Stadia (although support will come). But basically, the device runs on Android 10, which means you can load apps on the site, including those that do not officially support Chromecast with Google TV.

The process is almost identical to page loading apps on Android TV, which means you need some extra tools to get apps to your device and install them. I will cover the simplest method below.

What you need

  • Chromecast with Google TV
  • computer or smartphone

Step 1
: Download the APK you want to sideload

Download the APK installation file for the app you want to download with either your phone or computer. APK files are like EXE files for Windows, if you are familiar. A good source for these is APKMirror, but you can always check the app’s website for manual download.

If you just want something to try at the moment, we recommend that you first download Droid Hardware Info and Google Chrome. After page loading these apps, you can install future apps without the need for a computer or phone.

If it is a phone app that you want to load pages and you have an Android phone, you can first install the app on your phone and then use APK extractor to download the APK installation file for that app.

Step 2: Download File Commander

Install File Commander on your Chromecast with Google TV. If you are unfamiliar with installing apps, follow this guide.

Image by Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

Step 3: Enable cloud storage integration

Now open the File Commander app and select “Clouds” on the first home page, then follow the instructions to add a cloud storage account to the file browser. We recommend that you go with Google Drive because you already have a Google Account (Chromecast requires you to sign in to one) and it has plenty of free storage.

Image by Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

Step 4: Unlock developer mode

To install an app outside the Play Store, you must enable developer mode first. Scroll to your profile picture and click on it to reveal the shortcut to the Settings app, then click on it.

In Settings, navigate to “System” and then “About”.

Scroll down to About and select “Android TV OS build”. Keep clicking repeatedly until the message “You are now a developer!” Congratulations on your new career path.

Step 5: Enable ‘Unknown Sources’

Go back to the main settings page, then scroll to and select “Apps”. On the Apps page, scroll down to and select Security and Restrictions.

Under Security and Restrictions, select Unknown Sources. Here you will find the File Commander app as a potential source. Click on it and, after following the warning on the page, turn the switch to blue to enable the possibility of installing unknown apps.

Step 6: Upload the APK to your Cloud Storage Service

Now you need to take the APK file that you are trying to page load and upload it to your cloud storage account. If you joined Google Drive, open the app on your phone (Android | iOS) or go to the web version in your desktop browser and move the APK files to “My device”.

Alternatively, you can use the PC File Transfer protocol to transfer an APK from your smartphone or desktop computer to Chromecast. File Commander provides a URL that you can access on your smartphone or computer and you can upload the file directly through your browser.

Step 7: Load the app

Now open File Commander and navigate to the cloud or location of the APK file on your device. Select the file and select “Install”. When the “Open” and “Done” buttons appear, the app is installed.

Please note that if you are registered in the Google Advanced Protection program, you will be blocked from installing the app right now. If you insist on continuing, you must unsubscribe. The process is just a few clicks but it can take a few hours to spread through the system.

Step 8: Launch the Sideloaded App

After installation, you can click “Open” to start the app immediately. Otherwise, it can be listed next to your other apps below To you or Appar pages.

If not, go to Settings -> Apps, then select the app from the list and select “Open”. Alternatively, you can use an app called Sideload Launcher that can be installed by searching the Play Store on your Android TV.

Some apps that were not intended for use on a TV may require the use of a mouse. Since the new Chromecast only has a USB port, we recommend that you use a Bluetooth mouse.

Step 9: Sideload Future Apps

If you chose to page load the two apps in step 1, the process will be much easier in the future. Use Droid Hardware Info to find the CPU architecture of your TV or digital box. This information is below The system tab titled “Instruction Sets.”

With this information, you use Chrome to access third-party app stores. Find the app you are looking for and make sure to download the variant with the same architecture as your TV. Download the app and then use File Commander to open the APK file (usually found in “Downloads”) to load the pages just as you did before.

For those who want to use APKMirror, many of the apps they host in bundles now come and use a new file format (.apkm). To install these apps, you must first reload the APKMIrror Installer app. Check out our tutorial (linked below) on how to use this installer.

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Cover image and screenshots (unless otherwise stated) by Tommy Palladino / Gadget Hacks

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