As in mobile phones and tablets, where anyone can customize their interface with the download a launcher, Android TV also allows you to install these applications. They are not very popular, but there is more than one good example. We highlight our favorites.
Having Android on the TV allows mobile apps and games to run on a bigger screen. And if said Android is Android TV use from the remote control is significantly improved, also the compatibility of all applications. Even for launchers: there is the option to exit the default interface, customizing it with another aspect and use. Let’s see how to install them and which ones are the most recommended.
Install a new launcher to mark it as default
Android TV is still an Android even though it is adapted to television, so there is no faster way to change the interface than do the installation of a launcher and choose that it opens by default instead of the one that comes by system. Although that yes, not in all the devices with Android TV it is so simple.
The steps to change launcher on Android TV are as follows:
- Install a new launcher on your device. For example, you can start with ATV Launcher.
- Once ATV Launcher has downloaded, click on the start button on your remote control. Android TV should ask you if you want to choose the new ATV Launcher or the interface that your device brings by default.
- Choose the new launcher and check the ‘Always’ option. You will have changed the interface on your Android TV.
This is the most common, but it is not always so simple: It is likely that the manufacturer of your device does not allow to apply another launcher by default. In that case you can try the following:
- Go to the settings of your Android TV and go to ‘Applications’.
- Click on ‘See all applications’ and scroll down to ‘Show system applications’.
- Search for ‘Android TV Home’, access its menu and click on ‘Delete default actions‘. This eliminates the default opening of the system interface.
- Press the start button and Android TV should show you the dialog to open ATV Launcher or the Android TV start application.
What are you still unable to change the launcher? It is time to get involved with a somewhat more complicated process and can damage your Android TV: you have to remove the default launcher from the system. To do this, carry out the following process, always having previously installed one of the launchers that we recommend:
- If you didn’t already have it, download the file manager TV File Commander on your Android TV.
- Make sure your Android TV and the device where you downloaded the Apk files are connected to the same WiFi.
- Open File Commander and click on ‘File transfer to PC’.
- Click on the big button ‘Power’ and type the URL in the browser of the device where you downloaded the Apks.
- Go to the download folder of your Android TV (or any other, at your choice) and upload the files.
- Go back to the TV File Commander of your Android TV, go to ‘Internal storage’, go to the folder where the Apks are and install them. You will have to accept the installation From Unknown Sources.
- Once you have installed the files, touch remove the default launcher from your Android TV. Go to its settings, go to ‘Device Preferences’, go to ‘Information’ and click repeatedly on ‘Build number’ until the developer options are activated.
- Go to ‘Status’ (within ‘Information’) and write down the IP address of your Android TV.
- Go back with the remote control and enter the new options for developers.
- Activate the ‘Network debugging’ and you will have everything ready to connect via ADB with your Android TV. In the event that ‘USB debugging’ does not appear active: this way it is also activated wirelessly.
- Install the Remote ADB Shell app on your mobile or tablet and open it.
- Enter the IP address you wrote down, the one that corresponds to your Android TV (do not touch the port). Remember that all devices have to be connected to the same WiFi.
- Accept the permission for network debugging: it will appear on your TV screen.
- Now copy this code “pm uninstall –user 0 com.google.android.tvlauncher” (without the quotes) and paste it into Remote ADB Shell, on mobile. You accept.
- The default Android TV launcher installation will have been removed. This does not go away: it will be active again if you restore your device.
- Once the ADB instruction has been completed, press the start button on the remote control of your Android TV and you will see that the launcher that you installed loads. It may take a few seconds.
- If you want to go back to the default interface of your Android TV, carry out the ADB loading process again by entering this code: “cmd package install-existing com.google.android.tvlauncher”. This will restore the deleted application.
Once you have the option to change the launcher on Android TV, let’s see which are the most recommended.
It is a somewhat outdated app since it has not been updated since 2018 (the paid version since 2019). Still, it’s a good replacement for the original interface if you basically need access to the applications you have installed. In addition, ATV Launcher allows you to apply widgets, it can show the covers at the start of compatible apps, it allows easy access to all installed Android apps (not just those specific to Android TV) and it has support for wallpapers.
ATV Launcher is available in two versions: one free and one paid (3.19 euros). Our recommendation is that you try the paid one: it is more up-to-date and works much better. In the event that you are not convinced you can always return it within two hours after purchase.
ATV Launcher Pro
Top TV Launcher 2
In line with the previous app, with Top TV Launcher 2 it is possible adapt the screen appearance while maintaining the Android TV aesthetic. The launcher allows you to customize the grid, change the wallpaper, cards can be designed from photos and icons and it also supports widgets.
Top TV Launcher 2 is a paid application (3.09 euros), although there is a trial version with which to check that everything works correctly before paying.
Top TV Launcher 2 – Trial
Google TV Launcher
If you don’t have a Chromecast with Google TV you can install its launcher. It is an interface that should be reaching the rest of Android TV, but it is not yet found by default in all of them. And you can anticipate: install it by following the following tutorial.
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