Today’s article is all about the sideloading of Android devices, especially the sideloading of Android TVs. We are about to discuss all the prerequisite steps and tools to do this process seamlessly, along with all the advantages and disadvantages of the sideloading of Android TVs. Also, you will get to know all the alternative methods of performing this task on your television without having much hassle or technical expertise.
You can use any supported Android operating system or installed device for sideloading; however, this article is going to give you some basic and technical information regarding only Android TV sideloading.
What is Sideloader, or What sideloading is in reality?
Sideloading is generally a process of transferring Android installation files or APKs without the help of wireless communication. However, one could also sideload anything using various online methods of data transferring.
To sideload, you would need a USB cable or Bluetooth connectivity on both the devices you want to perform and most easily, you could sideload any file using just a memory chip or even a pen drive. However, the prevalent world also uses cloud storage like Microsoft’s One Drive, Google Drive, etc as their file transferring medium for sideloading.
In simple words, sideloading is a process that allows the user of an Android device to install various Android-based applications without surfing the internet or without having any direct access to the Android store. Thus, it might be very efficient and useful in some unusual cases or might be a lifesaver feature even.
Apple also has its own kind of sideloading functionality, and we know it by ‘Jailbreaking’. Both of these processes are almost identical and don’t require much technical expertise. However, the manufacturer of both the Android and Apple devices try to prevent their users from sideloading or jailbreaking using various warranties related obligations.
How to Sideload Android TV
Above, we have already mentioned various methods of sideloading; however, now we are about to know the specific steps to sideload any Android TV. But, before that, we have to follow some specific, traditional, and universal steps to begin the sideloading of Android TV regardless of any method.
1. First, open the setting menu on the Android TV you have.
2. After opening the settings menu, go to the Personal tab and then press the Security & restriction option from there.
3. From there, enable the Unknown sources to follow further processes. However, the position of Unknown sources might vary because various versions of Android boxes have various versions of the Android Operating system installed.
4. Now install the sideload launcher – Android TV from Google Play Store on the Android TV you have. This specific step will let the user run the apps he or she will end up sideloading.
5. Lastly, install the ES File Explorer from Google’s Play Store on your Android TV box. You can use various other file managers, but EX File Explorer is highly recommended for this specific task, as it has a built-in File Transfer Protocol feature that will make things a lot simpler.
Sideloading Applications using any Flash Drive on the Android TV Box:
This process is the oldest and probably the easiest among all the mentioned processes. However, to adopt this method, you first have to check your Android TV Box, that whether it has a USB port or micro USB port or even none of them.
If you are lucky and your Android TV box is a new age, then chances of having a standard USP is pretty high, but in case if it doesn’t have any, then you might have to adopt any different approach to do this sideloading.
However, if your TV Box has micro USB ports, then you need a micro USB to USB converter or male-female cable to connect your USB flash storage with the TV box. Below, we will get to know the specific steps to sideload the Android TV Box with a flash drive.
a. The first and foremost step would be downloading the APK file from the internet. It is suggested, that use APK Mirror or APK Pure to skim unwanted malware while downloading APKs from the internet.
b. As we have instructed previously to have a file explorer on the TV Box, especially ES File Explorer, however, you can have any other file explorer to perform this task, but make sure that specific file explorer has File Transfer Protocol option.
c. Now copy the specific APK file you have downloaded from the internet or from anywhere to the flash drive.
d. Now attach the flash drive with the Android TV you have, subsequently the TV will show you a message on the TV screen asking whether you want to open the ES File Manager or not. Select Ok, to open ES File manager to perform further steps. However, you could have a different file explorer installed on the TV Box. Thus it might not get appeared onto the screen even. In this case, you have to open the file explorer manually.
e. From the file explorer interface, locate and select the APK file you want to install on the TV Box. If you haven’t done the above basic and universal steps before performing this task, then here it will ask you to enable ‘Unknown Sources’ from the settings option.
f. Now click on the ‘Install’ option to get that APK file on the TV Box.
g. Lastly, after finishing the installation procedure, use the Sideload Launcher to the sideloaded application, you have just installed on the TV Box.
Sideloading via Computer Browser
This process is perhaps the easiest among all the processes of sideloading, but we haven’t mentioned this process at the beginning because this process is a little ambiguous sometimes and not even guaranteed to run with all the APKs.
In this process, we will need a desktop platform to perform this task, or a laptop would also work. However, if you do not have any of them, then you could also use a different mobile device to perform this task. Just open the Chrome browser from the phone and go the setting option from there and select the “show desktop” version.
a. From the device you want to perform the task, just open the browser and visit Google Play Store.
b. From here, search for the application you want to sideload and click the installation option
c. Make sure you are logged into your Google account. Otherwise, it will ask for personal credentials at this point of operation.
d. From here, you will get to see all the devices attached to the Google Play Store account, and you have to select the Android TV Box from here.
e. Once you see the following message wait for some time and then return to the Android TV.
f. If the device is incapable of installing the application with this specific method, follow the next method we are about to mention next, or you can even follow the above-mentioned process.
Sideloading Applications using Cloud
This method is quite long and effort consuming, unlike both the previously mentioned processes. However, the chances of getting success are pretty good in comparison with other mentioned processes. Still, if your computer is all drivers ready to perform the next process for sideloading, then our recommendation is the next method over this process because this will require some real technical knowledge or skills.
Although, if you want to stick with this specific process, then make sure that your device has ES File Explorer installed because only this specific file explorer is capable of performing this particular task.
a. Using the desktop or the laptop, download the APK of the Android application you want to sideload.
b. Upload the APK now on your Google Drive or Dropbox account to perform further steps.
c. Now open the ES File Explorer on the Android TV you have.
d. Now open the action menu from the ES File Explorer and go to the Network option, and from there, go to Cloud.
e. On the top right corner of the window, press the new button, and from there, use the cloud storage service where you have uploaded the APK file.
f. Now log into your specific cloud account, and all the contents of your online storage will be displayed here on the TV screen through ES File Explorer.
g. Now navigate to the location where the APK is uploaded and tap onto that to start downloading the APK on the TV Box.
h. After finishing the downloading, click on the installation option.
i. Now you can sideload the application after having a successful installation.
Advantages of Sideloading
Well, there is a plethora of benefits if you are using sideloading on your TV or any Android devices you have. Like,
- In sideloading, you won’t have to take any hassle of wireless connectivity, because it could be done locally with the help of some wires only.
- You could easily install to avail any specific version of Android application on your television without affecting your primary Android account.
- This feature doesn’t have any geographical limitations regarding the sideloading of any Android app. Thus you can easily install the USA version of Netflix on your TV even if you are in Australia.
- Using this sideloading technology, one can easily install any application on to the device, like PDF books or E-books, or software, which is backdated, restricted software; it does not prevent you from installing any pornographic APK or application even.
- Many of the organizations use this sideloading feature for proximity marketing.
Disadvantages of Sideloading
- Sometimes the user could feel streaming media is more advantageous over sideloading of Android applications, because of the limitation of the non-volatile storage capacity of phones. However, modern-day smartphones have a colossal amount of storage capacity, so this problem will be automatically diminished with the progress of technology.
- Sideloading provides huge flexibility and lesser interventions. Thus the risk factor of using this feature is a little high. Anyone can sideload any software or APK without knowing the risk factors involved. Thereby there are slight chances of losing privacy and getting infected by malicious software.
- This sideloading could be done with various approaches, and some of the methods really require some technical expertise. So, sideloading is sometimes not everyone’s cup of tea.
Above, we have disclosed and discussed all the possible facts related to Android APK sideloading on the TV Box. However, this sideloading is still a process that could void the product warranty, thus go through all the company instructions, especially warranty-related instructions before using any of the steps mentioned.
The various Android device manufacturers have designed and developed all of their products, keeping in mind this specific task along with all other needful functions because, in the modern tech industry, this is one of the most prevalent methods of enhancing the utility or usefulness of the Android device you own. Thus, many third-party applications have stepped into this segment and developed many products to accomplish sideloading tasks in a better and seamless manner.
However, we can now only expect that the future tech industry will surely introduce this sideloading as a mainstream functionality of various Android devices. In fact, windows could also step into it and could introduce something less hazardous and trustworthy. Though these are all assumptions only, and nothing can be quoted at this premature stage of jailbreaking or sideloading.