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Here’s how to get the Google TV UI now on Android TV devices



Android TV to Google TV Hero

With the introduction of Chromecast with Google TV, Android TV received the largest interface update in years. If you don’t want to wait for the new UI to be available on your older Android TV streaming device, download it now.

Android TV devices will slowly be updated to the new Google TV interface over the next few years. The most noticeable change is the redesigned home screen. By installing a few apps, we can get this new experience now before the big update is released.

CONNECTED: What̵

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Before we start, there are a few requirements you need to meet. First of all, your Android TV set-top box, television or dongle must be running Android 9 or higher. You can check this by going to Settings> Device Settings> About> Version.

Note: The instructions in this guide have been confirmed to work on the Nvidia Shield TV. Your results on other Android devices may vary.

There are some files that we need to sideload on your Android TV. The first file is the Google TV Home Launcher itself. This will do most of what you need to do, but the Search tab won’t work. For this to work we also need to install an updated Google app.

Download these files to your Android phone or tablet, iPhone, iPad, or computer. We need to move them to your Android TV device. The easiest way to do this is with a cloud storage service like Google Drive. Upload the two files either through the website or through the Google Drive mobile apps.

You can then access Google Drive on your Android TV using an app called “File Commander”.

Open Google Drive in File Commander
Open Google Drive in File Commander Load game

Once the files are moved to Google Drive, open them with the File Commander app on your Android TV.

Download apk from File Commander

If you select the APK, you will be asked to allow File Commander to install unknown apps. Select settings. “

File Commander installs unknown sources

Turn on the switch for the File Commander app. You don’t have to do this every time.

Enable the file commander for unknown sources

Now select the APK again and click “Install” on the next screen. Do this for both the Google TV Home and Google Base APKs.

tap Install for apk

Now that we have the necessary apps installed, we can replace the old Android TV Launcher. In order to use Google TV Home, we must first uninstall the old launcher. Since the Android TV Launcher is a system app, uninstalling it requires a little extra work.

First, select the gear icon on your Android TV home screen to open the Settings menu.

Settings from Android TV home

Scroll down the Settings and select “Device Settings”.

Select device settings

In the settings above, select “About”.

Choose approximately

Scroll down to “Build” and select it repeatedly until the message “You Are Now A Developer!” Is shown.

Select Build repeatedly

Tap the Back button on the remote and select the newly added “Developer Options”.

Choose Developer Options

Turn on the switch for “Network Debugging”. This way we can send ADB commands from our Android phone or tablet to Android TV.

Toggle network debugging

Next, take an Android phone or tablet and install “Remote ADB Shell” from the Google Play Store.

Remote ADB shell

Open the app and enter the IP address of your Android TV device. You can find this on your Android TV by navigating to Settings> Device Settings> About> Status> IP Address. Keep the port number as 5555 .

Enter the IP address

Tap “Connect” after entering the numbers.

Tap Connect

A message will appear on your Android TV. Select “OK” to enable the wireless connection.

Choose OK to enable debugging

Your smartphone or tablet is now connected to the television. We’re going to use a command to uninstall the Android TV Launcher. Type this command and hit Enter:

pm uninstall --user 0 com.google.android.tvlauncher

Type the command and hit Enter

If the command worked, you will see a message titled “Success”.

Success!

If you now click the Home button on your Android TV remote control, you will be taken to the new start screen (it may take a few seconds to load). You now have the Google TV experience on your Android TV! And since we installed the Google app, the Search tab should work too.

google tv homeGoogle TV search

It’s worth noting that this is just Google TV on the surface. There are more features, including the redesigned Settings menu, that require a firmware update. Until then, you can enjoy a brand new look.




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