There is no shortage of great third-party launcher apps for Android. We got Nova, Niagara, Microsoft launcher and much more. However, the Native App launcher for Android TV is very restrictive, the UI is cluttered and hides sideloaded apps by default. This is where third-party app launchers for Android TV really make a difference. We’ve found some great app launchers that are not only easy to use but also lets you access the sideloaded app directly from home screen. Let’s check them out. Shall we?
Best Android TV Launcher
1. Sideload Launcher
You can easily sideload any Android app on your TV but native Android launcher won’t let you view them. Why? Well, it does so to make sure your experience does not deteriorate on a bigger screen, and it makes sense, I mean who likes a stretched out version of Instagram or Chrome. But, there are times, when you want to sideload Android apps on your TV. For example, I can simply install the Smart DNS proxy VPN on my Nvidia Shield using a thumb drive and accessing it is easy once I have the Sideload Launcher installed.
To get started, open the Google Play Store on your Android TV, search for Sideload Launcher and install it. Once the installation is complete, go back to your Android TV home screen, you’ll find Sideload Launcher icon there. Open the app, and you will find shortcuts to every sideloaded app on your device.
Alternatively, you can go to Settings > Device > Apps > Downloaded apps and scroll through the list of apps to see your sideloaded apps.
Download Sideload Launcher (Free)
2. ATV launcher
ATV launcher is yet another very powerful launcher for your Android TV. Unlike the Sideload Launcher, this one is a complete home screen replacement app and can be set as the default launcher. Once set default, you can view all your TV apps as well as sideloaded apps under one home screen with 5 apps in a row.
ATV launcher is one of the few launchers that support widget such as Calendar, Weather, Email, etc.
The best part about ATV is that it lets you access those sideloaded apps and games. ATV also supports Hidden app although to activate that you have to update to pro. ATV can be downloaded free of cost from the Play Store.
Download ATV launcher (Free)
3. Simple TV Launcher
The next launcher is a minimalistic launcher that offers a fast and a simple layout which looks awesome on the TV. It does not include any extra options which you would never use and focuses on the user experience and aesthetics instead. You can select a custom background or let the app choose a random background for you after every interval. It is developed specifically for Android TV and hence can be used with your remote. All the apps are on the bottom half of the home screen so that you can easily navigate and still retain most of the aesthetics of the background.
Simple Box Launcher is a must for all the people who want a launcher that is beautiful, aesthetic, and clutter free. You can get it for your Android TV from the Play Store for $1.99.
Download Simple TV Launcher ($1.99)
4. TV launcher
Next up, we have a TV launcher. This is one of those apps which requires a bit of effort, to set everything up, but once you do, it has the potential to run everything smoothly. Like other launchers in this video, TV launcher is available on the Play Store for free. Once you install it and set it as default launcher you get “Nothing” on the home screen. You have to choose the apps that you want to see in the given lists such as “ Favourites”, Media, Games and utilize. Use the plus icon on the home screen to add apps under these categories. You can also change the grid size starting from 3 to 6.
Another interesting thing about this launcher is that this has Dark themes support which can be enabled by going to Settings > Theme and switching the base theme to dark. The launcher is ad supported, although while testing it, I didn’t saw any ad appear. If you are a fan of customizing your launcher yet keeping it simple then TV launcher will suit you.
Download TV launcher (Free)
HAL stands for handheld Android launcher which is quite true for its name, all the other launchers in this list allowed you to view the sideloaded apps but if you forget them after installing, there is no way to find out which app is native Android-based and which is sideloaded, HAL removes this confusion with the category Handheld present on the home screen once you install it. Handheld tab lets you see only handheld apps which were designed for mobile devices and being emulated on the TV interface.
There are other categories as well like “for Handheld and TV” which lets you view apps for both handheld and TV and “for tv” which shows only those apps which are made for TV only. There is even a Streaming tab to let the viewer choose apps for streaming only.
Download HALauncher (free)
Best Android TV Launcher
So these were some of the best Launcher apps for Android TV you can find on the Play Store. The list has a healthy mix of simple, elegant, and functional Launcher apps. Sideload Launcher is a great app to have on your Android TV because most devices don’t show the sideloaded apps. HALauncher is the obvious choice when you want to categorize the apps. TV Launcher which gives you features like Dark theme and complete customization of the home screen. So Which app launcher do you use for your Android TV, let us know in the comments?