One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Android devices is why they don’t come with the Google Chrome search browser already installed. It is an excellent browser and a Google product!
Well, it turns out that since 2018, Android devices have been blocked from pre-installing Chrome as it was deemed to inhibit competition. You can still browse using Chrome, you just have to install it yourself.
While you can just download Chrome from the Google Play Store for your smartphone, it is not so easy with Android TV Box. Chrome is not directly available as an app download from the Play Store for Android TV devices. Why? There is not yet a version of Chrome optimized to work with your TV, but should that really stop you from using one of the other versions?
If you want to use Chrome on your Android TV box, which is a sensible decision, read on for our step-by-step guide for installing Chrome on Android TV boxes. We’ll be looking specifically at the NVIDIA Shield, but the same process should work similarly on any Android TV box. We’ll also talk about setting up a mouse and keyboard to get the browser working.
Should You Install Chrome?
Considering the little bit of work that might be required to install Chrome on your Android TV box, you might be wondering whether it is worth it. We would say yes.
This is especially true if you use Chrome on other devices, such as your desktop or notebook. Chrome lets you synchronize browsing across devices, so you can easily revisit something you looked up earlier on your computer or phone when you are sitting in front of your TV.
Chrome is one of the fastest, safest, and sleekest internet browsers out there. It also does better with things like heavy graphics, pop up ads, and videos than a lot of other browsers.
Chrome has many extensions available — almost 2000,000 of them — which make a range of otherwise fiddly tasks easy. These include ad blockers, advanced bookmarking and clipping tools, and VPNs.
Perhaps most importantly, it integrates seamlessly with many other Google apps, which are what you are going to be using on your Android TV box. Plus, depending on the device you are using, you might be able to use voice commands with Chrome, and who doesn’t want to do that?
So, yes, while there are other browsers out there, if you are using an Android TV box, it is worth taking a few minutes to download Chrome.
How To Install Chrome
Because Chrome isn’t available in the Google Play store for Android TV devices, you are going to have to sideload the app instead. Fortunately, you have a number of options for doing that.
Install From Aptoide TV
This is probably the easiest way to get Chrome on to your device, especially if you already use Aptoide TV to find apps. Aptoide TV is the third biggest app store (after the Google Play Store and GetJar) and doesn’t have the same restrictions on what apps can be made available there, so the Chrome app is there waiting for you.
Of course, if you don’t already use Aptoide, you are going to need to install it first, in a process that is not too dissimilar from installing Chrome directly. If there are other apps that you would like to install in addition to Chrome, though, the effort might be worth it.
You can find our guide to installing the Aptoide App Store on your Android TV box here.
Install From APK Mirror
To install the APK (Android Package) for Chrome, you are going to need the Downloader app to get started.
The Downloader app is available in the Google Play Store, and it is basically an app that lets you download, manage and install APKs to load applications directly onto your device. If you are unfamiliar with file manager apps, you can read our guide to using Downloader on Amazon Fire TV here.
Once you have the app installed, all you have to do is go to the home page and search for the APK Mirror Chrome. The APK that you are looking for should be among the top links, and clearly distinguishable by the round Google Chrome logo.
Click on the relevant link and then scroll down to find the latest version of Chrome that is available. This should be at the top of the list, but it’s not a bad idea to just have a quick look to make sure. Start the download of your chosen version, and wait.
Once the download is complete, you will be shown an install button, typically located at the bottom right hand corner. Hit it, and Downloader will install Chrome for you; when it is done, it will even give you the option of deleting the installation file. It is a good idea to go ahead and do this, as old installation files can use up space on your device that you might need for other things.
And that’s it! Chrome will now appear among the other apps installed on your device. You can complete the same process using almost any file manager app that you prefer, but if you don’t already use a file manager, Downloader is probably one of the easiest and most accessible.
Using Chrome On The NVIDIA Shield
Chrome isn’t designed to be used on Android TV, only with smartphones or computers using a keyboard and mouse. This is probably why they don’t make it easy to download the app onto a TV box. To use Chrome properly, then, you are going to want to connect a keyboard and mouse or connect your phone as a virtual keyboard and mouse.
This is a fairly easy process on the NVIDIA Shield. If you want to connect a separate keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth, head to the Settings menu and choose Remotes and Accessories. Choose to Add Bluetooth Accessories, and from here you can pair your keyboard and mouse with your device via Bluetooth. Just make sure that your mouse and keyboard are in pairing mode so that they make a connection.
If you prefer to use your smartphone as a virtual mouse and keyboard, head to the Google Play Store on your smartphone and download the NVIDIA Shield TV app. This will take you through a step by step process to get your phone working as a mouse.
Is there a Chrome browser for Android TV?
No, there is not a version of the Chrome browser for Android TV, which is why there is no Chrome app for Android TV to download from the Google Play Store. If you want Chrome you will need to sideload the desktop version of the app onto your device.
Why is there no Chrome browser for Android TV?
TV boxes aren’t designed for browsing the web, which is no doubt why no Chrome app exists, but you would think that the people at Google would have learned that users always want to do more, and made an app for TV. It is probably only a matter of time.
Are there other browsers for Android TV?
You will probably find that almost all browsers could work on your Android TV box, though you may need to sideload them as you do with Chrome. If you are looking for a browser that works with your Android TV remote, consider the Puffin TV Browser or the TVWeb Browser, both of which are designed to work with your standard smart TV remote.
If you want to browse online on your NVIDIA Shield Android TV box, you will probably want to use your favorite browser. If that browser happens to be Chrome, you might be surprised to find that the Chrome app not only doesn’t come pre-installed on Android TV boxes but that you can’t download it from the app store directly.
To get Chrome onto your Android TV box, you will either need to download it through the Aptoide store, where it is available, or download the APK using Downloader or an alternative file manager.
Don’t forget that Chrome is not designed to be used with Android TV. You need either a touchscreen or a keyboard and mouse to use it. You can connect a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth, or you can download the NVIDIA Shield TV app onto your smartphone and get it working as a virtual keyboard and mouse.
Do you use Chrome on your Android TV box? Share your advice and experience with the community in the comments section below.