The 10 Best Android TV Apps for 2019

Get the most entertainment out of your Android TV-compatible device

Android tv home screen

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Android TV is an alternative to Apple TV and offers a way to gets apps onto any capable TV set. Here are the best Android TV apps you should consider adding to your TV.

01
of 10

YouTube

youtube interface

What We Like

  • Easy to navigate

  • Account access for all subscriptions

What We Don't Like

  • Updates have caused crashing in the past

  • Not full featured

Second to none, YouTube is the most ubiquitous video platform and should be on every TV. The Android TV app is more limited compared to the website, but it features bigger buttons that are easy to navigate with a remote from your couch. YouTube should be one of your first downloads on your Android TV device.

02
of 10

Spotify

Spotify tv app

What We Like

  • Native music experience

  • Free and premium versions supported

  • Can use Phone as remote

What We Don't Like

  • Limited features compared to mobile app

  • No podcasts

Having Spotify natively on your TV through an Android TV app is a simple way to play your music through your expensive home theater speakers. It features large album artwork for a screensaver-like effect. Spotify on your TV is similar to other Spotify apps in that you can sign in and have all your albums and playlists displayed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other apps, like a sleep timer.

03
of 10

PBS Kids

abs kids promo

What We Like

  • Free shows

  • Educational videos

  • Live and recorded shows available

What We Don't Like

  • Not all episodes are always available

It's not be for those without little kids in the house, but for those with little kids, the PBS Kids app is easily one of the best available. It features free recorded TV shows and a live stream of current programming. The one downside is not all episodes are always available, but it's hard to complain about free, educational videos that keep kids engaged.

04
of 10

Google Chrome

chrome browser

What We Like

  • Best web browser for nearly any device

  • Translates websites

  • Syncs passwords and history

What We Don't Like

  • Tricker to install than other apps

Google Chrome may seem like an odd choice, but having a web browser on your TV can provide access to basically anything else you’d like to do. Chrome works well on a TV despite being a little slow to control. Go shopping, stream any video service (even those without an official app) and much more.

The trickiest part is getting it installed, but anyone should be able to do it. Just navigate to the Chrome download page on a computer, select Install, then choose your Android TV as the download destination.

05
of 10

Twitch

twitch tv app

 Twitch

What We Like

  • No sign up required

  • Can follow and chat from TV

  • Free to watch

What We Don't Like

  • Takes longer to navigate than website

With the Twitch Android TV app, all those Twitch streams are now available on your TV. Everything from Fortnite to casino slots are available to watch people play.

The nice thing about the Twitch Android TV app is once you download it, you can start watching right away without logging in. You'll need to sign up if you want to chat or follow people, but there's a nice code given so you can link the TV app from your phone or computer for easier typing.

06
of 10

Plex

flex app interface

What We Like

  • Attractive interface

  • Intuitive controls

  • Easy streaming from other personal devices

What We Don't Like

  • Some features, like user controls, aren't free

  • You need to provide the media

Plex is one of the most popular media storage and sharing services around, and for good reason. The Android TV app is a great example of the Plex's all around attractive interface and easy-to-use navigation. You first download Plex on the device you're storing your personal media—like movies and photos—and Plex handles the rest. You can then access it from any other device, including an Android TV.

07
of 10

Washington Post

Washington post video

What We Like

  • Videos of news stories

  • Lots of available content

  • Professional videos

What We Don't Like

  • App is a bit rough around the edges

While some news apps try to include text stories for news, the Washington Post Android TV app focuses on videos. These are professional videos of relevant news, so you can be sure it will be high quality. That said, while the content is fantastic, the app itself could use a bit of polish to make it as attractive as other apps on the TV.

08
of 10

AccuWeather

accuweather app

What We Like

  • Easy-to-read information

  • All weather information available

  • Advanced controls for customization

  • Light and dark themes

What We Don't Like

  • Some occasional sluggishness

AccuWeather is one of the most used apps on mobile devices, and it works well on the TV too. The app's main screen features a big, easy-to-read temperature reading, hourly forecast, daily forecast, maps, and weather videos.You can dig into the hourly forecast to display all the common weather items like humidity, dew point, wind speed, and UV index. AccuWeather on Android TV covers all the basic and loads relevant information quickly.

09
of 10

VLC

vlc interface

What We Like

  • Versatile codec support

  • Completely free with no ads

  • Open source

What We Don't Like

  • It is not as attractive as other Android TV apps

More than anything, VLC player is a necessary app to cover your video playing needs. Chances are your Android TV can accept USB drives or storage devices of some sort, but if your TV or Android TV doesn't know how to play the file format of a stored file, you may be out of luck.

VLC player has been such a highly regarded app for so many years because of its ability to play nearly any type of file format. It may not be the prettiest Android TV app, but it gets the job done whenever you need it.

10
of 10

iHeartRadio

iheartradio app interface

What We Like

  • Access to terrestrial radio stations

  • Free music streaming

  • Podcasts available

What We Don't Like

  • Music curation not as good as Spotify

If you want music on your TV set, but don't want to use Spotify, there's always iHeartRadio. Even if you do like Spotify, you may want to get this Android TV app to get over-the-air radio stations into your living room.

While the Pandora or Spotify-like streaming curation doesn't produce the same kind of serendipitous feeling, the iHeartRadio app is full-featured and even includes the ability to listen to podcasts.