Android TV is Google’s Android OS specially optimized for TV sets. What makes it all the more unique is the plethora of features baked into it. For example, you could download and install all your preferred apps from the Play Store or even sideload them from third-party sites.
Then it even has a built-in Voice Assistant that negates the need for a remote for switching between apps, lowering the volume, among others.
Well, it even comes with a built-in Chromecast to allow for direct casting of your Android device over to your TV.
But, there’s one domain that’s left untouched- it doesn’t come with a pre-installed browser. While it’s not that we would browse the web on our TV daily, it might come in handy in some instances.
Recently, I was about to start a new series, but before that, I wanted to get hold of its IMDB rating. So I directly launched the browser on my TV, read the reviews, and then switched back to the show, all in just a few taps.
Well, this is just one of the many instances where a browser installed on our TV could prove to be useful; there could be countless other such scenarios.
So all this begs one important question- which browser to go for?
Well, this is what this guide is going to answer. Here are the best browsers for your Android TV that deserves your attention.
While Puffin is yet to establish itself in the smartphone segment, there is no better player than this when it comes to Android TVs. There are quite a few ‘firsts’ that this browser beholds, making it the go-to choice for many users.
One of its biggest perks includes its full compatibility with your Android TV’s remote. While it might sound quite a basic feature on paper, but in this domain, it proves to be a rarity.
Some of Puffin other specialties include:
- It has its own standalone app that could be easily downloaded from the Play Store.
- You could create a QR code for a URL and send it directly to your TV. This way, you wouldn’t have to type in the website link in the address bar manually.
However, the browser has put a cap on free usage. After a designated time period for each day, free users wouldn’t be able to use it. The only way out is to purchase its Pro plan.
Moreover, Puffin’s servers are US-based, so you might see the US version of various sites.
Samsung Internet Browser
This could well be categorized as the most underrated browser in this list. While it has made its presence felt in Samsung devices, the same cannot be said for Android TVs, at least for now.
One of its most impressive features came out to be Tracking Blocking. These trackers are responsible for keeping a check on your everyday browsing activity. This could end up posing a great online security risk. To counter it, you need to enable its Tracker Block toggle, and the rest would be taken care of by it.
That’s not it. Here are some other features that could easily complement the aforementioned one.
- You could easily adjust the font size so that it is best suited for the screen size.
- Likewise, it also comes with its own ad-blocker that does its job quite well.
- Then there’s also a high contrast mode that would give you the sharpest picture.
As far as its cons are concerned, there’s not much to complain about. It’s just that the absence of its app from the Play Store might not be welcomed by one and all.
This offering from Mozilla is upscaling the popularity charts in no time whatsoever. Apart from its known USP of taking a privacy-first approach, there are quite a few other nifty benefits that it has in store.
Like Chrome, you could easily sync your bookmarks and saved passwords across all the devices signed in with the same ID, including your Android TV.
Talking about its features, it boasts of a plentitude of extension support. Nearly all the add-ons that work on its PC build are supported on the TV as well. This is something that not many browsers could claim.
However, it also lacks a standalone version for Android TVs. As a result, you would have to be on the lookout for a website from where you could sideload it.
It definitely came as a surprise for many users (myself included) when they knew that Android TVs don’t ship with the Chrome browser. So should you really go the extra mile and download it onto your TV?
One of the biggest reasons we could reply in affirmative to our above statement is its cross-device support.
However, that is perhaps the only good thing about this browser. There are quite a few downs that could repel the users from trying out Chrome on their TV.
For example, you cannot download this app from Play Store and would rather have to sideload it. Moreover, it doesn’t work with your Android TV remote either.
Taking a strict approach towards respecting user privacy, this browser has firmly established itself in the smartphone domain. And since it has carried forward most of these features over to the Android TV version, it is only a matter of time before it makes its presence felt here as well.
It has already made some decent progress in this regard, with the provision of anonymous online browsing directly via your Android TV earning it a few praises.
Apart from that, some of its other striking features include:
- The automated history clearing feature deletes your browsing history after a stipulated time period.
- Even manual deletion could be executed with the press of a single button.
- Moreover, it has enabled dark mode by default throughout its app- something that the retinas are definitely going to appreciate!
But it also suffers from a similar drawback- the absence of a native TV app. You would have to sideload it from outside of the Play Store.
Kiwi Browser has already been able to carve out a niche segment for itself. The reason for the same could be attributed, in parts, to its built-in adblocker.
The ability to block all the intrusive and disruptive ads definitely makes it the preferred choice for browsing the web. Then its clean user interface makes it quite easy to operate.
Besides, the addition of these features adds more to its arsenal:
- A built-in translator app that translates the pages on the go.
- The ability to turn on dark mode would save your eyes from those glaring lights.
On the flip side, though, it isn’t optimized for Android TV, so you might witness a few rough edges during its everyday usage.
TV Web Browser
Its name clearly spells out its functionality- a decent browser specially crafted for your Android TV. The browser is simple and easy to operate with just the right amount of features.
All this gives it a clean and fresh UI with easily navigable menus, all of which are accessible directly from the left menu bar.
Apart from that, some of its other noteworthy features include:
- The ability to switch to your desired search engine.
- Easily access all your bookmarks and browsing history.
- An integrated voice search
- Its compatibility with the Android TV remote.
This lightweight browser only comes with the necessities, without any additional features set. So some users might end up wanting more out of it.
It might well be the least popular entry in this list, but it could brag about one thing that others cannot- it is completely open-source.
So if you ever have any doubts regarding the browser’s functioning or how much data it collects, head over to GitHub and check out its source code.
Then the presence of the below-mentioned features makes it a handy option to settle for:
- To begin with, it is compatible with your Android TV Remote.
- The incorporation of smooth scrolling makes it easier to read your preferred blogs on a large screen.
- Another interesting feature is its ability to preserve the opened tabs when you close the browser. As a result, the next time you open TV Bro, you could directly start from the last point.
However, you cannot get hold of this browser directly from Play Store. Rather it calls for sideloading from a third-party website.
Bottom Line: Best Browser for AndroidTV
So this is all from this guide on the list of some of the best browsers for your Android TV. We have mentioned a total of eight different browsers; however, out of them, Puffin came out with flying colors.
Its compatibility with Android TV Remote and the fact that the remote could directly download it from the Play Store is worthy of appreciation. Moreover, typing in URLs via a remote has always been a cumbersome task. But, with Puffin, you could easily do so by sharing and scanning a QR Code.
However, Chrome seems to have felt short of expectations. Its lack of support for Android TV remote and, more surprisingly, its absence from the Play Store are two of the most important aspects that Google needs to address at the earliest.
On that note, we round off this guide. Do let us know your preferred Android TV browser.