Modern connected TVs are used for much more than just watching TV thanks to the sheer number of compatible apps. There are the streaming platforms to prove it, be it video or music. We have seen how to listen to the radio, how to turn the TV into a retro console to play and now it’s time to see How can you use TV to surf the Internet?
And yes, surely you are thinking that a Smart TV is not the most comfortable device to carry out this task and that even a mobile phone can be more practical. But there are certain circumstances in which having a browser on TV can get us out of trouble and that is why we are going to review the most interesting ones for Android TV and Google TV.
At the outset, it should be made clear that almost all brands introduce their own browser on their smart TVs. Without going any further, on the Sony TVs that I have been testing and that I have at home, I already have a browser that comes loaded from the factory. However, you may be interested in installing another and that is why we are going to review some interesting ones.
Chrome “the absent”
Despite saturating us with its services and applications, it is striking that televisions that use Google TV or Android TV do not include Chrome as one more application that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Nevertheless, it is possible to install Chrome and use it to browse the Internet.
At the time we already explained in detail how to do it. We are going to need three applications such as Chrome, File Commander and Sideload Launcher. And the truth is that although the system is not as comfortable as on a computer, it does allow us to use our own account and thus have synchronized on the television all our activity with access to bookmarks, activate desktop mode, browsing history, web passwords… and everything from the sofa at home.
One of the most recommended web browsers for Android mobiles, it can also work on Smart TV with Android TV or Google TV. It can be easily downloaded from the Play Store and is adapted to work with the remote control of the TV.
Puffin is based on Chromium and although it can sometimes present incompatibility problems with some web, allows for example the synchronization of favorites that we have associated with our account.
Another web browser for Android TV, perhaps not as well known, but very effective. We can download it from the Google Play Store as long as it is compatible with our television, because It may present some incompatibilities on some models.
For the rest, it is a browser that is adapted to work without problems with the remote control of the TV and also supports voice control hello management of favorites. As an extra, it allows you to use a function called “user agent”, for this pretend that it is another browser and deceive a web page.
Firefox for Android TV
Firefox also has a place on this list. The popular web browser has a version that can be used on Android TV, Google TV and even Fire TV devices from Amazon. A navigator adapted to work without problems with the remote control of the TV.
Firefox for Android TV or Google TV offers an experience as complete as it is simple. The problem is that you cannot download it from the Play Store as it happens with the previous two and you almost have to follow the steps that we have seen in Chrome. Download the APK file from APKMirror, an installer like File Commander to download it from Drive if you’ve uploaded it to the cloud or from a USB flash drive, and Sideload Launcher to view those apps that you’ve downloaded externally on your TV. Remember that in this case, as in Chrome, You will have to authorize the app to install applications from outside Google Play.
Vita Browser is another one of those browsers that aren’t as well known and that, however, allows a more than satisfactory use to browse the Internet from the television. Based on webview, this browser directly offers that, hassle-free web browsing and to do so avoid having unnecessary additions.
In the case of Vita Browser you also can’t use google play store to download it and you must repeat the steps that we have already seen with Chrome and with Firefox. You can download it from its link on Github and then on TV, use File Commander to download it from Drive if you have uploaded it to the cloud or from a USB memory and Sideload Launcher to see it.
Samsung Internet Browser
Samsung is present on this list with its browser, that works without problem on TVs that use Android TV or Google TV. A web browser that works correctly, although in this case it is not optimized for the remote control and the ideal is to use a mouse connected to the television or a remote control with a trackpad function.
The problem that repeats itself and we cannot download it from the Play Store, so we have to repeat what we have already seen with Chrome, Firefox or Vita Browser. The first thing is download the apk from APKMirror and then use File Commander to download it and Sideload Launcher to view it.
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