One of the best features of Android TV is that you have access to the Play Store, which means you can run your favorite Android apps on the TV. However, there are several Android apps which are not available on the Play Store. Although we can transfer the APK file to the TV, some apps fail to install due to various compatibility issues. So, if you are looking for a way to run incompatible Android apps on Android TV, you have come to the right place. Here we have mentioned a number of helpful steps to install and run Android apps on Android TV.
Run incompatible Android apps on Android TV in 2021
I recommend that you go through the guide from the first step because some instructions are linked. From basic to advanced steps, we have covered everything in this article. On that note, let’s find out how to run incompatible Android apps on Android TV.
1. If you are trying to load an APK that is already stored on your Android TV, you must first enable the option to install unknown apps from third-party sources. To do this, open Settings -> Device Preferences -> Security and restrictions -> Unknown sources. Here, enable the toggle for “Solid Explorer” or whatever file manager you use.
2. Now you can transfer APK files to Android TV and side loading applications which are not available on the Play Store due to incompatibility issues.
3. You can also skip the basic Android TV compatibility check and force install android apps on Android TV via ADB wireless. Just set up ADB on your computer and open Settings -> Network & Internet -> Your WiFi network on your Android TV. Here, write down the IP address.
4. After that run adb connect ipaddress to connect to your Android TV wirelessly. Be sure to replace ipaddress with the actual IP address you have above. Then press enter and your Android TV will be connected to your computer via ADB wirelessly.
5. Now download the APK on your computer and move it to the ADB folder. In my case, I’m installing Firefox on my Android TV. Make sure you rename the APK file to something shorter. Finally, run adb install firefox.apk on the terminal and within seconds the app will be installed on your Android TV.
6. If the installed app does not appear in your TV’s app drawer, you can find it under Settings -> Apps -> See all apps. Here, search for the app and open it. Then click on “Open”.
7. You can also install Side Load Launcher (To free) from Play Store to find all sideloaded apps on your Android TV in one place.
8. Finally, if an app is installed but does not appear in the app drawer or under the Settings page, you can invoke the specific activity of the application to open it. For this, you need to install Activity Launcher which is not available on Android TV Play Store. You can download the APK file from APKMirror and follow the steps above to load it to your TV.
9. Once installed, open Activity Launcher and find the incompatible app you want to run on your Android TV. Open the app and click on each activity to check if the app is working properly. One of the activities will surely launch the app on your TV.
10. In case Activity Launcher is not working, you can force app start via ADB terminal on your computer. Just write down the Activity name of the app and the Package name of the Activity Launcher app. After that run the command like this: adb shell am start -n packagename/activityname.
For example, here is what the ADB command looks like to call Google TV on Android TV.
adb shell am start -n com.google.android.apps.tv.launcherx/com.google.android.apps.tv.launcherx.home.HomeActivity
11. If all the above steps fail, you can try searching for the app on some play store alternatives. For example, you can Sideload Aptoide TV (To free) on your Android TV and install incompatible apps from there.
Run all kinds of Android apps on Android TV
This is how you can install and run incompatible Android apps that are not available on the Play Store. Although some apps may have orientation issues, you can definitely use the app without any issues. I’ve used VPNs and some niche apps on Android TV that are otherwise not compatible with Play Store requirements.
So go ahead and try all the steps above and see if you can run your favorite Android apps on Android TV. Either way, it’s all about us. If you found the article helpful, comment below and let us know.