Android TV was first announced as a Smart TV platform back in 2014, and we’ve come a long way since then.
Where Android TVs were originally only made by TV manufacturers choosing to add the Android TV operating system to their flagship TVs,
we are now seeing multiple Android TV boxes, allowing you to convert any TV with an HDMI port into an Android TV.
Take for example the Mi Box. This cool looking, $69 Android TV box, packs quite a punch. It comes with a quad-core processor clocked at 2 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, and 8 GB on internal flash storage.
The Mi Box is also capable of streaming 4K HDR video over its HDMI 2.0b port. Things like these have made Android TVs a lot more accessible, and affordable, to a lot more people.
So, if you’ve purchased an Android TV box, or if you’re using an Android TV, here are the 5 best Android TV apps you should be using:
1. HopWatch for Reddit
HopWatch for Reddit is an Android TV app that will let you keep up to date with the latest images, GIFs, and videos, right from the comfort of your couch, and with the luxury of watching them on your TV.
The app covers the “hot” threads from the “pics”, and “videos” subreddits, as well as the “movies” subreddit.
It also comes with a built-in search function, that will let you easily search for videos, images, and GIFs on the front page of the Internet.
The app is specifically designed with Android TV in mind, and works very well.
Android TV boxes such as the Mi Box come packed with a plethora of applications, ranging from music and video streaming apps, to news applications.
However, if those news apps don’t meet your needs, you should check out Haystack.
Haystack is a news app that you can use to stay updated on a variety of topics, from Science and Technology, Politics and Current Events, to Games, and Movie Trailers.
News items are presented in a nice fluid interface, which is perfect for an Android TV set up. Also, the way things are laid out is exceptionally well thought out.
Haystack brings news curated from a number of sources, such as AP, BBC News, CBS, and many more.
Plus, there is a handy “weather pane” on the bottom of the window to keep you updated with the weather in your location.
Kodi is perhaps one of the most powerful media center applications out there.
The app can be used to manage all your media into one central location, which can even be set up to be accessed remotely.
Along with that, Kodi’s abilities can be enhanced with a number of Kodi add-ons that add on a lot of power to the application.
You should definitely use Kodi on your Android TV if you have a lot of media stored on your Android TV, and are looking for a way to quickly organize all of it, with a proper hierarchy.
Any extra media that you may add to your device after you’ve set up Kodi, will automatically be sorted into the proper categories, and arranged into the locations you have decided.
Kodi’s add-ons also help it support almost any audio, and video format that you may throw at it, making it a very versatile solution for consuming media on your Android TV.
Netflix is to video streaming, what Spotify is to music. It is one of the most popular movie, and TV show streaming platforms in the world.
And now that Netflix is available almost everywhere in the world, chances are, you have a subscription already.
Even if you don’t, I highly recommend that you give Netflix a try. It has a wide variety of TV shows, and movies to choose from, and you will definitely find something that interests you.
The Netflix app comes pre-installed on Android TV boxes, like the Mi Box, and you can simply log in with your Netflix account to get started with binge watching your favourite TV series.
VLC media player is a very popular video playing app, and with good reason. The app supports almost every file format, and can playback videos encoded in a wide variety of codecs.
VLC can even easily decode videos that use the HEVC H.265 codec. Add to that the intuitive interface, and the stability that VLC offers, and you’ll know just why VLC is so widely used.
The VLC app automatically categorizes your media into Video, Audio, and other. Plus, with the settings inside the app, you can control things like hardware acceleration, and more.
VLC comes pre-installed on Android TV boxes like the Mi Box, but can be easily installed as it is available on the Android TV Play Store.