Top 10 Android tv tips

Navigate the Sideloaded apps

Once you install an app by sideloading that wasn’t intentionally made for Android TV, you’d face problems. For example, the Shield TV remote isn’t recognized by the apps and therefore you can’t use the apps, at least not without help. Enter Mouse Toggle; an app that simulates a mouse pointer on your TV and allows you to easily navigate the sideloaded apps with just the remote.

Browse the Internet

Most Android TVs are built for a laid back experience and therefore don’t even include a web browser. You can sideload the Puffin TV browser that’s designed specifically for Android TV and offers a remote-friendly interface. If you want to get serious, you can also install other web browsers on Android TV such as Google Chrome and use it with the Mouse Toggle app or attach a Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard.

Lock Settings

While Netflix has a PIN lock for profiles and Fire TV Stick offers parental lock, Google TV has brought a new Settings Lock feature along the same lines. You can set a PIN to lock Settings. Once done, no one can access the Settings and modify any rules or allow third-party app installation. If you have a child at home, then you should definitely lock the Settings. To do so, open Settings -> Accounts and Sign-in -> Your account -> enable the toggle for “Settings lock” and set the PIN. That’s it.

Use a Bluetooth Controller

Just like you can connect a Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard to the Shield TV to browse the Internet, you can connect a Bluetooth Gaming controller to play games. 2019 Shield TV supports Xbox, PS4, and third-party Bluetooth controllers. While Xbox works flawlessly, the PS4 controller generally has key mapping issues and third-party controllers’ accuracy vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Change Per-App Text Size

In iOS 14, users could only change the system-wide font size. That behavior is changing in iOS 15. You can keep the text size change to a specific app only. Just make sure to keep the app open while using the Text Size toggle from the Control Centre.

Enable HDMI-CEC

One of the best Google TV features is that it supports HDMI-CEC and allows you to control other CEC-compatible devices from a single remote. If you are unaware of this technology, you can go ahead and read our explainer on HDMI-CEC. To enable HDMI-CEC on your Google TV, open Settings and navigate to Display and Sound -> HDMI CEC and turn it on. In addition to this, I will also recommend you to enable HDMI-CEC on your TV’s firmware and other CEC-compatible devices.

Switch Apps

Apart from all these intuitive features on the Shield TV, one of my favorites is this; the App Switcher. Just like regular smartphones, you can switch between different apps by pressing the home button two times. Easy, right?

Edit Date and Time in Photos

Not only can you check the image details from the Photos app, but also modify their date and time in iOS 15. You can select a single photo or multiple photos and select the Share menu. Tap on the Edit Date & Time option and change the date and time for the photo.

Sync Phone Contacts With the Outlook App

By default, your phone contacts aren’t synced with the Outlook app.

  • On the Outlook home screen, select the Settings gear icon.
  • Select the account to sync with Outlook Contacts.
  • Scroll to Sync contacts and use the slider switch to turn it on. The color of the switch will change.
  • It will ask Allow Outlook to access your contacts? Select Allow. If sync ever doesn’t work, go back into Settings, scroll to the bottom, and select RESET ACCOUNT.

Game Mode

If you love playing games on the bigger screen, then you will find Google TV to be quite handy. It comes with a dedicated Game Mode where you can select the refresh rate and resolution. It does not support high refresh rates like 120Hz and 90Hz but allows you to customize up to 4K60Hz and below. Besides that, I sense Google must have optimized other key parameters on Google TV for playing games on the cloud, such as Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now. You can enable Game Mode from Settings -> Display and Sound -> Advanced Display Settings -> Allow Game Mode. So, the Game Mode is one of the best Google TV tips and tricks for enjoying gaming on your smart TV.