How to Sideload Apps on Android TV Box Tutorial and Steps
So here we discuss the How to Sideload Apps on Android TV Box, and after a lot of requests from our users here is a guide about How to Sideload Apps on Android TV Box.
In this guide, I will demonstrate how to sideload apps on Android TV Boxes. I have separate methods for True Android TV OS boxes and Stock Android TV Boxes. The difference between these Android boxes is explained in the first part of this post.
You will find a wide range of Android TV Boxes in the market. However, there are only two broad categories where you can place all these boxes in : True Android TV OS Boxes and Stock Android TV Boxes.
Both types of boxes support the Google Play Store. You download many official apps from the Play Store, such as Netflix, Hulu, Plex, etc. But the true potential of any streaming device is explored with third-party apps that aren’t available through the official Store. Such apps should be sideloaded or installed manually on your device. That’s exactly what this guide is all about.
Here’s what we’ll go through in this post:
– Enable unknown source (to enable sideloading)– Understand different types of Android TV boxes– How to sideload apps on True Android TV OS Boxes- How to sideload apps on Stock Android TV Boxes- How to sideload apps on your Android Box with a PC (works for both types of boxes)
Note: ‘True’ Android TV OS is not an official term. I used the word ‘True’ to help you make a clear distinction between the two types of boxes.
Enable unknown source to sideload apps on Android TV Box
Yes, you won’t install a third-party application on your Android box until you’ve enabled the unknown resources in the security settings. This applies to both types of boxes – True Android TV OS Boxes and Stock Android Boxes.
The following pictures were taken from the Mi Box. However, the steps to enable unknown sources are pretty much the same on both types of Android TV boxes. Here’s what you need to do:
1- Click Settings on the home screen of your Android TV Box (top right on Mi Box)
2- Scroll down and click Security and restrictions (some devices may simply say Security)
3- Click Unknown sources
Note: If your device is running on an older Android operating system, you’ll find a switch on this screen to enable unknown sources universally for all apps. Turn on unknown sources. Click YES on the prompt that follows. You don’t have to follow the following steps.
4- Now you enable unknown resources separately for each app you plan to use for sideloading purposes.
For example, we used downloader, browser, and file management apps in these guide
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Understanding different types of Android TV boxes
It is important to understand the different types of Android TV boxes to determine the sideload methods that apply to each. There are only 2 types of Android boxes that we need to worry about:
1. Real Android TV OS2. Stock Android Box
Let’s learn a little more about them:
1. Real Android TV operating system: These are the devices running on the Android OS fully customized for the TV experience. The True TV OS is usually found in the smart TVs with the built-in Android interface. They are also common among the more popular brands selling Android TV Boxes, such as Mi Box and Nvidia Shield.
Since the Android TV operating system is specifically designed for TV screens, they also have their own version of the Google Play Store. You can download the TV version of popular streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
Devices with real Android TV OS are apparently more expensive. However, they use high-quality design materials, respond fully to the remote control and have a more user-friendly user interface.
2. Stock Android Box: This is the type of box that runs on the Android OS similar to (or even the same as) that is used in the Android Mobiles tablets. Nougat, Oreo, and the most recent Pie are some of the code names that are assigned to different versions of Android OS.
If you’re using an Android phone and a stock Android TV Box, don’t be surprised if you both run on the same Android OS version. However, TV Boxes don’t usually use the latest versions.
Only a handful of devices come with the latest Android 9 Pie version. In fact, Android 8 Oreo is also quite rare. Most TV devices run on Android 7 Nougat as I write this.
Most Android Woods use the modified version of Android OS for a better orientation with the larger screen of your TV. However, at its core, they are much the same.
While these boxes do basic work, they are often poorly designed with cheap materials. The interface is also not as responsive to the remote as you would like. They are also not suitable for those who like to stream through popular and official streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, etc. That’s because they mobile version of these apps from the Google Play Store. The mobile apps are intended for touch devices. They are not very remote-friendly.
Nevertheless, due to their low cost and easy availability, they are still quite popular.
Note: Read before you go any further
Governments and ISPs around the world monitor the online activities of their users. If you stream copyrighted content on your device, you could be in serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. I highly recommend you get a good VPN and hide your identity so your movie viewing experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
I use ExpressVPN that’s the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device, including Amazon Fire TV Stick. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you always ask for a refund. ExpressVPN also has a special deal where you get 3 months free and save 49% on annual plan.back to menu ↑
How to Apps sideload on True Android TV OS Boxes
First, a little intro.
Both, True Android TV OS Box and Stock Android TV Box support Google Play Store. However, both have different versions of the Store.
There are many apps that are not common between these two devices. One of them is:
Downloader is a sideloading tool designed for Android devices such as Android TV Boxes, FireStick, etc. This app is available through the Play Store for real Android TV OS devices, such as Mi Box and Nvidia Shield.
It is Not available on Stock Android including Stock Android TV devices, mobiles, and tablets. For Stock Android TV devices I have the browser installation method separately in this guide.
We are now going to install and use the Downloader app to sideload an app on an Android TV OS box. Follow the steps below:
Note: The following photos were taken on the Mi Box
1- Power up your Android TV Box and wait for the home screen to load up
2- Select and open Google Play Store
Note: You can also access the Google Store from Settings (click the tooth-scary icon in the upper-right corner, followed by the lens icon on the next screen)
3- Click the search option (magnifying glass) in the upper-left corner
4- Use the voice feature and look up for AFTVNEWS
Or just type AFTVNEWS in the search box
Note: For some reason, your TV device doesn’t look up for the app with the app name
5- Mark the row that displays the apps in the search result. Select and click downloader in the row
Note: Downloader may or may not be the first app in search results. If not, navigate to the right until you find it
6- Click Install in the next window
7- Wait while downloader app is downloaded and installed on your device
8- Click Open downloader
Note: You can also run it later from the Apps section on the home window of your Android TV Box
9- When the Downloader app first opens, it can ask you for permission. Click Allow
10- The downloader app’s main window is now loaded up. If you have a popup sees on the first run, press the back button to reject itY will find that the Home tab in the left section is selected by defaultIn the right section, you just need to enter the desired Url and click Go
Important!!! Make sure that the URL refers directly to the APK file and not to a web page. Browser-based downloads are not supported on Android TV OS Boxes
11- Let’s download the Cinema HD MOT for demonstration purposes. Type the URL https://www.firesticktricks.com/cinema and click Go
Note: You also type the shorter version of the URL, which firesticktricks.com/cinema
12- Wait while the Cinema HD APK is downloaded on your Android TV device
13- Click Install in the lower-right corner when asked
14. App installed Notification
Note: We’re going back to the Downloader app window to remove the Cinema MOT file, which is no longer needed. We will run the app later from the Apps section. However, to run the app now, click OPEN
15- Click Remove
16- Click Remove Again
17- Exit Downloader app and go back to the home window of your Android TV Box. Click Apps
Note: In Mi Box it is in the left section, in the top row. If it’s not in the same location on your device, find it. It won’t be hard to find.
18- Open Cinema APK now and start watching your favorite content
How to load apps on Android TV OS Box.back to menu ↑
How to Apps Sideload on Stock Android TV Boxes
As I said before, the Downloader app is not available through the Google Play Store on the Android mobile Platform. Therefore, it is also not available on Stock Android TV Boxes.
Fortunately, the stock TV devices allow browser downloads (as is the case with Android mobiles tablets).
To sideload apps, you only need to use the pre-installed browser or download one of the popular browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox from the Google Play Store.
I have the following pictures of the X96 Mini Android TV Box. Your device may have the same, similar, or different user interface. However, the method remains more or less the same.
1- There’s a good chance you already have a built-in browser. It is usually available from the home screen of the device. If it’s not on the home screen, you can access it from the Apps drawer section
2- Some devices are pre-installed with one or more popular browsers such as Chrome or Firefox.
If you don’t want to use the built-in browser and the browser you want is not pre-installed, click Google Play Store in the home window, look up for the browser and install it
3- Go to the Apps section and run the browser
4- Select the browser address bar and type the URL https://www.firesticktricks.com/cinema
Some browsers also accept the shortened version of the URL firesticktricks.com/cinema
5- Wait while the MOT is downloaded
6- Once the MOT is downloaded, if the browser asks you to run the MOT, you start installation right away. If there is no such prompt, go to the next step
7- Most Android Boxes (both Stock and Android TV OS) are pre-installed with a file management (or file browser) application. You find it on the home screen or you go to the Apps section.
If you don’t have a file management app, install it in the Google Play Store
8- Enter the app bestate management and open the folder in your internal storage where the MOT was downloaded. Typically, MOT files are downloaded to the Downloads by default folder
9- Simply run the MOT file to start installation
10- Click Install
11- When the installation is complete, click Open and run the app. You can also open the app later from the Apps tray
For example, you load the apps on to stock Android TV Boxes using a browser.back to menu ↑
Sideload apps on Android TV box with a PC
If the URL points directly to the MOT, you can easily sideload apps on your True Android TV OS boxes. However, if the URL opens a web page that you need to click on a link to download the MOT, it won’t work on the Android TV OS device. That’s because these devices don’t support a browser download.
In that case, you have to sideload apps with a computer on your TV box with a TV box. In order to do so, the following requirements must be met:
– Your Android TV OS Box and your computer must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network: you must have a file management application on your Android TV Box with PC connectivity feature
These are the steps to sideload apps on your device using a computer:
1- Access the URL in your browser on your computer from which you want to download the MOT file and download the MOT
2- Make sure your Android TV Box and computer are connected to the same Wi-Fi
3- Open Google Play Store on your TV box and search for a file manager tool with PC connectivity feature (such as File commander)
Install the file manager
4- Open the file management app you just installed. Find PC connectivity (or PC file transfer) feature
5- Give the file access to the file manager app
6- Enable PC connectivity (some file management apps automatically turn it on feature the moment you get access to PC connectivity feature)
7- You now need either a httpse path or Ftp path, depending on the file manager you have on your Android box
Also, switch the Allow All Incoming PC Connections option at the bottom
8.1- If the file manager is displayed httpse pad, open a browser on your computer and access the padY now have access to all Android TV Box folders in your browser on the computer
You should also find the option to Upload files somewhere on the web page
Find the APK file you downloaded earlier on your computer. Upload it to one of the folders on your Android TV Box
8.2. Ftp access a folder on your computer and the Ftp path in that folder’s address bar
You now watch all your Android TV Box folders on your computer
You now copy the APK file on your computer to one of the Android Box folders
9- Go back to your Android TV Box now
Use the file manager to access the folder in which you copied your computer’s MOT file
Let’s say you copied the file to the Downloads folder
10- Select and click the MOT file
Note: Enable unknown resources for the file management app using the method I specified in the beginning. If you haven’t already, you’ll see some of the clues you’ll use to enable it before installation
11- Click Install when asked
12- Wait for the app to be installed
Well, this is how we sideload apps on Android TV Box using a PCback to menu ↑
Since there are two types of Android Boxes with different sideloading techniques, things tend to be a little tricky. Although the stock Android box browser download, the Android TV OS boxes such as Mi Box and Nvidia shield do not have browser support.
You can install the Downloader app on your Mi Box, Nvidia Shield or TVs with built-in Android OS on the Google Play Store. This app allows you to sideload third-party apps from the URL that points directly to the MOT.
If you have a URL for a web page with the link to the MOT, you first download the MOT on your computer. Later, you use a file management tool on your Android TV OS Box or Android TV to connect to your computer and transfer the MOT file to the device. This seems a bit complicated, but that’s all we have until browser support is added to your Android TV OS boxes.
Things get a little easier with stock Android TV boxes because you download the files directly through the browser, or the URL is directly to the MOT.
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Specifications Need How to Sideload Apps on Android TV Box
|Internet:||Good Speed Internet|
|Ram:||4 GB and above.|
|Supported Devices||Firestick, Tv Windows, Linux, and Android|
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