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How to Install Apps and Games on Google TV

A Download icon over a Google TV "Apps" screen.

To get the most out of your Google TV streaming device, you’ll want to find and download some apps and games. Unfortunately, doing this on devices like the Chromecast with Google TV isn’t as easy as opening the Play Store, but we’ll walk you through it.

Devices like the Chromecast with Google TV have access to Android apps made for televisions. However, you can’t actually open the Google Play Store directly, like you can with Android TV. Instead, the store’s search functionality is built into the “Apps” tab on the Home screen.

Select "Apps."

Under the Apps tab, you’ll find new categories to explore. Selecting a category will open a list of apps or games.

"App Categories."

The “Apps” tab also has a number of other rows, with “Featured” app and game recommendations organized by category.

"Featured" apps and games.

Simply choose an app or game, and then select “Install” on the information page. You can also view screenshots of that item under the “Install” button.

Select "Install."

That’s all nice for browsing, but what if you have a specific app in mind? Since you can’t open the Play Store directly, you’ll have to search for that app or game.

In the “App Categories” row, just select “Search for Apps.”

Select "Search for Apps."

This opens an on-screen keyboard, so you can enter the name of the item. Select the Search icon when you’re done. If your remote has a Google Assistant button, you can use that to perform a voice search.

Select the Search icon.

If there are Google TV apps that match your search terms, you’ll see a list of results. Select the app or game you’re looking for.

Select the app or game you want.

Select “Install” on the information page. Again, you can view screenshots of that item under the “Install” button.

Select "Install."

Once the app is installed, select “Open” to launch it directly from the Play Store listing. You’ll find any apps or games you’ve just installed at the end of the Apps row on the Home screen. If you have more than 12, you’ll have to select “See All” to view the entire list.

Select "See All" to view all of your apps and games.

It’s a bit strange that Google doesn’t allow you to simply open the Play Store on its own set-top boxes, dongles, and televisions, but the “Apps” tab is just as good for browsing. And, of course, you can always find anything you’re looking for with the Search feature.

RELATED: What's the Difference between Google TV and Android TV?

Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has close to a decade of experience covering consumer technology and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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