Android tv tips

Use Google Assistant

The next Android TV trick that you must learn is using Google Assistant to its full advantage. For example, you can search for movies, music, and videos with just a press of a button and it will pull the content from various apps instantly. Apart from that, you can check the weather, your next schedule on Calendar, and ask just about any question that you can do on your smartphone. In fact, you can control your Android TV right from your smartphone using Google Assistant. Just ask the Google Assistant on your smartphone to turn on the TV or play something while you are away from the remote. Make sure to add “on TV” at the end of your voice command. And your TV will follow suit.

Wireless File Transfer

This is the first Android TV trick that you should know. There are times when you want to send files to your Android TV but have to look for pen drives for file transfer which is a hassle. Not anymore. With Send Files to TV app (Free, offers in-app purchases), you can wirelessly send files from your Android smartphone to Android TV. You just need to be on a common WiFi network and SFTV app will work seamlessly.

Video Calling with Duo (PiP Support)

If you are not aware, Google Duo has arrived on Android TV and it’s available on the Play Store. You just need to plug in a webcam and Android TV will take care of everything. Keep in mind, your Android TV should be on Android 9 build to be able to use this feature. The best part about Google Duo on Android TV is that even Picture-in-Picture mode (PiP) works. For instance, while you are on a video call on Duo, press the Home button on the remote and a PiP window will appear as an overlay. Now, you can open any sports app and co-watch the game with your friends and family. What’s more, the overlay window remains on top of video players as well. If you want to learn how to install Google Duo on Android TV then follow our linked guide.

Custom Screensaver

Android TV does come with a native screensaver feature (Backdrop), but it’s very limited and you can’t set your own photos. Secondly, the much-loved Google Photos integration with Android TV is gone due to a security issue. So basically, you don’t have many options left to display your personal set of photos either from your Google account or internal storage. In that case, the Photo Gallery and Screensaver app (Free, offers in-app purchases) comes to the rescue. The app is specifically designed for Android TV and brings all the screensaver features that you have always wanted on a larger TV screen. You can choose your photos from internal storage, change the aspect ratio, apply a transition effect, and do much more. And the best part is that through this app, you can even connect your Google account and it can pull your photos and display them as a screensaver. To sum up, Photo Gallery and Screensaver is one of the best Android TV apps and you should know this trick to further customize your Android TV.

Enable Wireless ADB

If you want to tweak your Android TV then enabling ADB is a must. You can sideload apps without APK transfer, uninstall bloatware, enable hidden features, and more. Here is how you can do it. Open Settings on your Android TV -> Network and Internet -> Your WiFi network and make a note of the IP Address. You will need it later. Now, open Settings -> Device Preferences -> About -> Scroll down to the Build menu. Now, click on the “Build” menu for 7-8 times continuously. It will enable Developer Options on your Android TV. Next, go back to Device Preferences and scroll down. You will find “Developer Options“. Open it. Here, scroll down a bit and enable the toggle for “USB Debugging“. Now move to your computer and install ADB. No matter if you have a Windows PC, Mac, Chromebook, or a Linux machine, you can set up ADB by following our linked guide. Once ADB is ready on your computer, run adb connect ipaddress command to connect to your Android TV wirelessly. Here, replace ipaddress with the actual address that you noted above. You will get a prompt on your Android TV. Enable the checkbox for “Always allow” and then click on the “OK” button. If everything is fine then you will get connected to ipaddress response in the Terminal. Finally, run adb devices command to reconfirm if your computer is connected to your Android TV. If your Android TV is connected then it will show the device along with its IP address. You are done.

Install Apps Without APK Transfer

As I mentioned above, enabling ADB opens the floodgate for advanced customization and tweaking on Android TV. As such, you can even install apps without transferring the APK file on your Android TV. Just enable wireless ADB (point 4) on your Android TV and then move the APK to the Platform Tools or ADB folder of your computer. Now, simply run adb install firefox.apk and that’s it. You can change firefox.apk to whatever APK file you want to install. After that, the APK will be wirelessly installed on your Android TV. You can find the app under the App Drawer or you can use the Sideload Launcher app (Free) to find those sideloaded apps. That’s one neat Android TV trick, right?

Sideload Launcher

Sideload Launcher is for those users who frequently install APK files and need quick access to those apps. You can install Sideload Launcher (Free) from Android TV’s Play Store and pin it on your home screen. Whenever you want to open third-party apps that are generally not available on Android TV, just open this Launcher and you will find all your apps.

Find Files, Trip Details, Contacts And More

Powered by Microsoft Graph, selecting the Search magnifying glass immediately loads your most recent documents, favorite contacts, trip itineraries, and even package delivery tracking. Many of the search criteria used by desktop Outlook also work in the Outlook phone app.

Filter Emails In the Outlook App

People love to keep emails, even if they know they’ll never use them again. That’s okay, because you can filter them.

  • In the Inbox or any folder, select the Filter button.
  • Choose to filter by any of All messages, Unread, Flagged, Attachments, or @Mentions Me. @Mentions Me is a feature in desktop and web Outlook that works just like @mentions in social media apps.

Sync Phone Contacts With the Outlook App

By default, your phone contacts aren’t synced with the Outlook app.

  • On the Outlook home screen, select the Settings gear icon.
  • Select the account to sync with Outlook Contacts.
  • Scroll to Sync contacts and use the slider switch to turn it on. The color of the switch will change.
  • It will ask Allow Outlook to access your contacts? Select Allow. If sync ever doesn’t work, go back into Settings, scroll to the bottom, and select RESET ACCOUNT.