Does Google Play work on Android TV?

Android TV is Google’s smart TV operating system based on Android. It provides an intuitive interface and unified experience for streaming content, apps, and games on TVs. Key features of Android TV include Google Cast built-in, voice controls, personalized recommendations, and access to the Google Play Store.

The Google Play Store is Google’s official app store for the Android ecosystem. It provides access to millions of apps, games, movies, TV shows, books, music and more. The Google Play Store comes pre-installed on most Android devices, including phones, tablets and Android TVs.

In this article, we will explore whether the Google Play Store works on Android TV devices. We will provide an overview of Android TV and the Google Play Store, discuss their compatibility, and outline the process for accessing and using the Play Store on an Android TV. We will also touch on the benefits and limitations, and compare the Google Play Store to third party app stores available for Android TV.

Android TV Overview

Android TV is Google’s smart TV platform that was first announced in 2014 as a successor to Google TV. It is built on top of the Android operating system that is optimized for large screens like televisions. Some of the key features of Android TV include:

  • Access to the Google Play Store for apps like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.
  • Chromecast built-in for casting content from mobile devices to the TV
  • Voice controls with Google Assistant integration
  • Personalized recommendations for content based on your viewing habits and preferences

Some of the most popular Android TV models are made by Sony, Hisense, TCL, and Xiaomi. According to Android Central, the Hisense U8H, Sony X80K, and TCL 5-Series are among the best Android TVs as of 2023.

In terms of user demographics, Android TV tends to appeal more to a younger, tech-savvy audience compared to some other smart TV platforms. Given its ties to Android smartphones and tablets, Android TV users tend to be familiar with Android OS and Google services already when adopting an Android TV.

Google Play Store Overview

The Google Play Store is the official app store for Android devices. It was launched in 2008 as the Android Market and rebranded in 2012 as the Google Play Store 1. The Play Store allows users to browse, download, and update apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, ebooks, and more. It currently offers over 3.7 million apps as of early 20231.

The Google Play Store provides access to both free and paid apps. Some of the major categories include games, entertainment, social media, news, health & fitness, music & audio, photography, productivity, and more. Developers from around the world publish apps on the Play Store. Google claims over 1 billion active Android device users visit the Play Store each month.

The Play Store has strict content policies and app review guidelines. Developers must comply with Google’s terms and conditions to publish apps. While not as restrictive as Apple’s App Store, Google does enforce standards around security, privacy, illegal content, and harmful practices.

Compatibility Between Android TV and Google Play

Yes, the Google Play Store is fully compatible and integrated with Android TV. The Google Play Store has been supported on Android TV since the launch of the platform in 2014 (1). This makes the Google Play Store available for downloading apps, games, movies, TV shows, and more on Android TV devices.

The Google Play Store comes pre-installed on most Android TV models from major brands like Sony, Sharp, Philips, Xiaomi, and more. So users generally have access to the Google Play Store right out of the box without needing to install or sideload it.

Having the Google Play Store integrated directly into Android TV gives users simple access to over 3 million apps optimized for the TV experience. This level of compatibility between Android TV and Google Play provides a robust ecosystem of entertainment options.

Using the Google Play Store on Android TV

Accessing the Google Play Store app on Android TV is easy on devices where it comes pre-installed. Simply go to the app drawer/home screen and select the Google Play Store icon to open the app.

On Android TV devices without the Play Store pre-installed, you may need to sideload the Play Store APK. Once installed, using the Play Store is the same as on other Android devices. You can browse apps and games across various categories or search for specific apps using the search bar.

When you find an app you want, select it and tap the “Install” button. The app will download and install directly on your Android TV just like on smartphones and tablets. Many apps are free but some require payment, in which case you need to sign in with your Google Account and pay using your saved payment method.

To manage your installed apps and purchases, open the Play Store app and tap the menu icon in the top left corner. Go to “My apps & games” to see all your downloaded apps in one place. You can also go to “Library” and manage individual app subscriptions or other paid content. From the “Account” section you can manage your entire Google Account and Play Store preferences.

Benefits of Google Play Integration

One of the biggest benefits of Google Play integration on Android TV is the access to a massive app ecosystem with over 3 million apps as of 2023. [1] This brings the Android TV platform to life with a plethora of streaming services, games, utilities, and other apps. Popular apps like Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, Spotify and thousands more are available for download.

The Google Play Store also provides access to hundreds of thousands of Android games that can be played directly on an Android TV with a game controller. Genres like arcade, action, adventure, puzzle, and more are represented. This makes Android TV much more versatile for gaming than competing smart TV platforms.

For Android smartphone users, having Google Play integration leads to a seamless experience between devices. Apps, purchases, and data can be synced across Android TV and Android phones thanks to the shared Google ecosystem. This provides convenience that iPhone users lack with the Apple/Android TV mismatch.

Limitations and Considerations

While the Google Play Store is integrated into Android TV and many popular apps work seamlessly, there are some limitations to consider:

Not all Google Play apps work properly on Android TV. Apps designed mainly for touchscreens and mobile interfaces may be difficult to use with a television remote. According to an article on Reddit, users will be “limited to the Android TV apps rather than any Android app, unless I cast” (source).

Some apps are not optimized for larger screens which can negatively impact the user experience. As explained on, “some apps are difficult to read and navigate on TVs” (source). The interface controls tend to be better suited for mobile touchscreens rather than television remotes.

There may also be some content restrictions in place, as Android TV handles parental controls and filters at the system level. According to an article on, this can limit access to certain movies, shows, games, and apps (source).

Google Play Store vs Third Party App Stores

The default app store on Android TV devices is the Google Play Store. Google Play offers over 3 million apps, games, movies, TV shows, books, and more (source). It features robust app security and moderation. However, there are pros and cons to consider for third party app stores as well:

Pros of third party app stores:

  • Access to apps not available on Google Play like emulators or region locked services (source)
  • Often support older Android versions than Google Play
  • May offer better curation and recommendations for niche interests

Cons of third party app stores:

  • Less security, moderation and potential for malware
  • Fewer quality assurances around apps
  • Downloading and sideloading apps requires more technical steps

Ultimately there are good reasons to use both the Google Play Store as well as explore reputable third party stores like Aptoide or Amazon Appstore. Having multiple sources expands the availability of apps. But it’s wise to be cautious and have security protections when venturing outside of Google Play.

The Future of Google Play on Android TV

With Google’s commitment to improving the Android TV platform (, we can expect continued improvement in Google Play integration and app compatibility on Android TV devices. The latest Android 13 release for TVs ( demonstrates Google’s focus on refining and optimizing the user experience.

As more users adopt Android TVs, developers will likely prioritize optimization and support for the platform. Over time, we should see more Android apps designed specifically for TV interfaces, taking advantage of unique capabilities like voice controls and Leanback layouts. Integrated Google Play Services also provide opportunities for casting, recommendations, and simplified billing on TV apps.

While some limitations around touch-based apps will remain, Android TVs and Google Play will continue converging towards feature parity with smartphones. Google seems committed to making Android a seamless cross-device media ecosystem spanning phones, tablets, TVs, and more. The future looks bright for Google Play on Android TV!


To summarize, Google Play does work on Android TV, bringing over a million apps and games to the platform, enabling easier content discovery as well as a cohesive Android ecosystem across devices.

In terms of benefits, Android TV users now have access to the rich Google Play store, including offerings like Movies & TV, Books, Games and other key apps that bring extra value to the living room entertainment. At the same time, the integration is relatively new and still missing some key features, like voice search and support for Play Pass.

Looking forward, we can expect improvements as the integration strengthens. The unified Android ecosystem and access to the Google Play store enhances the value proposition for Android TVs, and brings in standard upgrades and support across devices. The availability of Google Play further cements Android TV as a top choice for smart TV platforms.

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