So you got yourself a shiny new LG Smart TV! But if you are accustomed to using an Android device or other streaming method, you may not know immediately exactly how to start using your LG Smart TV. In this article, we will take you through how the LG Smart TV works and how to download apps to stream your favorite content.
Android streamers may find themselves a bit disappointed with LG TV when they discover that there are only about 1,000 apps in their store. While LG has chosen the best of the best streaming apps, you are missing out on another 3.5 million apps in the Google Play Store. Plus, it is not possible to sideload applications such as Kodi onto your LG TV.
So what do you do if you want to expand your options on your LG Smart TV? We’ll take a look at that too…
How To Download Apps On LG Smart TV
These days, smart TVs are designed to work out of the box. Plug them in, switch them on, (crucially) connect to your Wi-Fi, and you are already in an intuitive environment that is easy to navigate and takes you to popular streaming content.
Like most smart TVs, LG comes with a lot of the most popular apps pre-loaded. Out of the box, you’ll find Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Video, and more on your homescreen. All you have to do is sign into your existing subscription account (or create an account) to start watching.
But everyone’s tastes are different, so there are likely other apps that you would like to install. For these, you will need to venture into the LG Content Store, which contains around 200 apps compatible with your LG Smart TV. Among other streaming apps, you can find health and fitness apps like Independa Health Hub and LG Fitness, news apps including various weather channels and international news stations, and plenty of games.
Downloading these apps is simple from your homescreen, where you will find an LG Content Store tab. From here, you can browse all the apps in the store by category, whether that be games, weather, or just what’s “hot” right now.
To install the app that you want, simply select it and hit install. When it is ready, it will be immediately available in your TV menu.
If you have trouble installing an app, it is usually because you don’t have enough space. You can free up space by uninstalling unused apps in My Apps.
But What About Apps That Aren’t In The Content Store?
But what about applications that aren’t available in the LG Content Store?
Streamers that use Kodi will be disappointed to know that it is not available. And while some VPN services have LG specific apps, your VPN service might not be available on LG. In that case, what do you do?
Sadly, the LG Smart TV operating system makes it impossible to sideload applications onto your TV, so there is no way to install these directly onto your TV.
If you want to install and use any apps that aren’t available via LG’s proprietary system, you basically need to abandon LG’s existing smart TV offer and replace it with a more open smart TV system by plugging in a different streaming device such as an Android TV box or an Amazon Fire Stick.
You can plug these devices into your HDMI port on your TV and use them as an alternative smart TV interface. You get the benefits of having a significantly greater number of apps available and the ability to sideload apps like Kodi and Google Chrome if you wish.
But wait — if you buy an alternative streaming device, are you just paying for something that you already have with your smart TV? Well, yes and no. Your smart TV is “smart” because it can go online and can download certain applications. But it is limited to a very small corner of the internet that has been pre-approved by LG. It’s basically like going online behind China’s Great Firewall.
With an Android TV streaming device, you can do pretty much anything that you can do on your mobile device. That means full access to the world wide web through a variety of web browsers.
This is why, despite smart TVs becoming the norm, there is still a huge market for Android and other streaming devices.
These can be installed on your smart TV just like any other TV. Plug the device into your HDMI port and choose this port as your input. Follow the set up guidelines and you have a whole new smart interface for your TV.
You can find our recommendations for the best Android TV boxes here. Remember that if you have a 4K LG TV, if you still want to take advantage of its 4K capacity, you will need to get a streaming device that is also capable of delivering 4K. Your home entertainment set-up is only ever as good as the weakest link.
How do I install apps on my LG Smart TV which are not available in the LG Content Store?
LG’s operating system prevents sideloading of apps, so you cannot install apps not available in their store. If you want to expand your streaming options, you can bypass the LG environment by installing a third party streaming device such as an Android TV box or Amazon Fire Stick.
Why can’t I download apps on my LG Smart TV?
If you are suddenly unable to download new apps onto your LG smart TV, it is probably because you have run out of space. The easiest way to fix this problem is to uninstall apps that you aren’t using. The TV comes with many apps pre-installed so there are probably a few unused apps that can be removed. If this does not free up enough space, you can also install additional storage via USB.
What apps are available on LG Smart TV?
LG has made most of the most popular streaming apps available including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Video, and much more. There are also a variety of games and news apps available as well as entertainment.
How do I find the LG Content Store?
The LG Content Store is accessible from the homescreen on your LG Smart TV. There is a bright-red button that will launch the store for you available there.
Does LG TV have the Google Play Store?
LG Smart TVs do not connect to the Google Play Store and the TV is not compatible with apps available in the store. You can only download applications from the smaller LG Content Store.
How do I update apps on my LG Smart TV?
To update the apps on your LG Smart TV, navigate to the My Apps section of the menu. When you enter here, you should see if there are updates available for any of your apps. You can update them individually or choose to update them all at once.
What does webOS mean on my LG TV?
WebOS is LG’s Linux-based proprietary operating system for its TV. It controls the streaming environment and how it interacts with the hardware of your smart TV.
LG offers high-quality smart TVs that can usually deliver 4K image quality and great sound. The LG Smart TV environment is intuitive and easy to use and will probably satisfy many streamers who just want to enjoy content from the most popular streaming services such as Netflix and Prime Video.
But if you want to do anything more with LG Smart TV, such as run Kodi, install your favorite VPN, or even install a web browser, you are out of luck. LG is a very locked-down operating system that restricts you to a small corner of the internet. This is part of the reason that they can offer such a good user experience; they aren’t dealing with too many variables.
But if you don’t like being locked down and want to do more with your fancy smart TV, you can do this by connecting an Android TV box to your TV by HDMI. With this, you basically bypass LG’s smart environment and use the more open and adaptable Android environment.
In this way, you get the best of both worlds. You get the great hardware quality of LG and the flexible streaming possibilities of Android.
Do you have an LG Smart TV? Do you know any hacks to get it working well? Share them with the community in the comments section below.