At its core, Android TV's software is the same as the OS running on 87% of all smartphones. But it doesn't always feel that way, with its version of the Play Store only having 5,000 apps (or 0.2% of all Android apps). To access the remaining 99.8% of apps, you will need to sideload them.
Netflix has offered its beta program officially through the Play Store for some time now. Still, the issue most of us face — the beta availability is always scarce. Without getting lucky and landing a beta spot early on when the gates were open, there wasn't much you could do about it. However, there's now a brand new method you can use to sideload the Netflix beta app and join in on the fun.
Samsung put some of the industry's most advanced camera tech in the Galaxy S20 series. However, their image processing still lags behind the Google Camera app found on Pixel phones, so the end result is good but not great. Luckily, you can install a mod to pair that beastly hardware with arguably the best camera software.
If you have an Android device that Netflix does not support, you can check the Play Store and it simply won't be there. But just because you're unable to download it through official means doesn't mean you have to live without Netflix since there's a way you can sideload it manually.
When Google introduced a new Recorder app with the Pixel 4, a lot of people were confused. There were hundreds of these apps on the Play Store that do a great job, so why did Google need to make one? Well, when you actually use it, you quickly see it's leaps and bounds better than any other option.
Most of you probably hate ads on your smartphone, but they're a part of modern digital life. As long as apps like Instagram are free to use, then we'll need to pay by dealing with posts, videos, and pop-ups trying to sell us stuff. Well, not necessarily, so long as you're OK with a few compromises.
The 2020 Chromecast is full of new features, but one glaring omission is Stadia, Google's cloud gaming platform. The search giant confirmed Stadia wouldn't officially arrive on the new streaming dongle until the first half of 2021 — but there's an unofficial way to get it now.
How To: Sideload Apps on Chromecast with Google TV — Get Virtually Any Android App on the Big Screen
At launch, Chromecast with Google TV is fairly limited in the number of compatible apps. Many of the usual suspects are there, but there are some interesting omissions, like Google Stadia (though support is coming). However, at its core, the device runs on Android 10, which means you can sideload apps, including those that don't officially support Chromecast with Google TV.
Google TV gives the new Chromecast a home screen full of curated content from your various streaming subscriptions, but it's just that — a home screen app. Underneath, Google's new dongle is running Android TV, meaning its home screen is just a launcher that can be installed on countless other TVs and set-top boxes.
Google always sets aside a few cool software features to remain exclusive to its Pixel phones. But that's the thing about Android: software features can be ported to other devices.