How Do I Install Third-Party Apps On My Smart TV?

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How Do I Install Third-Party Apps On My Smart TV?

Technology has evolved so much that things that seemed impossible just a decade ago are now commonplace. A very good example is the Smart TV, at the start of the 21st-century televisions were meant for watching our favorite programs nothing more.

Fast forward to 2021 and you can send and receive emails, stream live events, participate in video conferences with your smart TV.

You can even download your various applications on your Smart TV. When you purchase a smart TV, some default apps come with it.

You usually get free on-demand apps like BBC iPlayer, subscription streaming apps like Disney+ or Netflix, and social media apps like YouTube and Facebook.Smart TVs for your home

It is also possible to download and install third-party apps that don’t come with a smart TV.

To be clear, third-party apps are not illegal applications, they are simply applications made by other developers apart from the Smart TV developers or the operating system developers.

First, you need to download and install ES File Explorer from Google Play Store on your smartphone, then you send the app to your Smart TV. At this point, it is important to note that both devices (your smartphone and Smart TV) must be connected to the Wi-Fi network.

To install the ES File Explorer on your Smart TV, open the app on your smartphone, then tap on the menu icon on the left top corner of your screen. Scroll down the menu options and tap on Network. from the options tap on Android TV, then tap on the Scan Button.

The app scans for available devices around, if all goes well your Smart TV will show up. Most often your TV is the only device on the menu. Tap on the icon of your Smart TV and the ES File Explorer automatically installs on it.

Now that that is done, it is time to install third-party apps on your smart TV. The first method is downloading the app through your smartphone, you download and install the app on your smartphone then you open the ES File Explorer.

Go to Menu, scroll, and click on the App Icon, a list of the apps on your phone will show up. Press the app you intend to send for a few seconds and options will appear. Tap on the More option and select install to TV, the app will automatically install on your smart TV after a short while.

You can also use removable storage devices like an SD card, flash drive, external HDD, etc. Download the apk file for the app you want on your smart TV, copy the file on your removable storage device and insert it in the Smart TV.

Open the ES File Explorer on your Smart TV and search for the apk file, install it on your Smart TV.

The third way to install it via Google Play Store is on the condition that the app you want on your Smart TV is available on Google Play Store. Then install Google Play Store on your Smart TV through either of the methods mentioned above, when that is done, search for the app you want to be installed on your Smart TV and install.

It is important to note that some Smart TV brands like Samsung will not accept third-party apps until you turn on the Unknown Sources setting. To do this, turn on Smart TV, scroll to Settings, from the options click on Personal Tab.

Scroll until you find Security, click on it. There is the Unknown Sources option, switch it on. When this is on you can download and install third-party apps on your Samsung Smart TV.

Can You Download Apps On a Non-Smart TV?

If you have a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) TV without smart features, it is possible to download some apps on it. The TV has to have USB and HDMI ports to receive applications.

If it does, then all you need is to buy devices that will allow it to download apps like, the Amazon Fire TV stick, or Google Chromecast, or Airtel Xstream Box, etc. These devices usually called Smart Set-up Boxes (STB) allow you to convert your nonsmart TVs into Smart TVs.

You can also use your game consoles like Xbox or Play Station or your PCs to stream movies and connect them to the TV using an HDMI cable.

Which Smart TV Apps Are Best for Me?

There are various things to consider before deciding to buy a Smart TV, the most important are size, resolution, display technology, and budget. The best TV for you is the one that ticks all the boxes you want from the above criteria.


The most important factor when deciding what Smart TV to buy is your budget. Since most of us don’t have an infinite supply of cash, buying the best Smart TV within your budget is essential. The larger, the more expensive it is. The more technology, the more expensive it is.

Find that balance between the price and what the brand is offering, to do that you have to consider the features of the Smart TV and how important it is to you. If you think you can do without it, choose a less expensive option.


It is important to consider the size of the Smart TV you want to purchase relative to your budget and available space. To get the optimum TV size, measure the dimensions of the room where it will be, measure the distance between where your seat is and where the TV will be.

The farther the distance the bigger the screen size, it is also possible to visit an electronic store to compare sizes and how you think it will fit in your room.

Screen Resolution

Screen resolution is the number of pixels or dots that are available on a screen. The more pixels available, the clearer and sharper the screen display. Note though, a 55-inch TV with the same number of pixels as a 40-inch screen will have a poorer screen display because size also matters when it comes to the sharp screen display.

In the market now, there are 8K, 4K, and Ultra High Definition (UHD) as the best screen resolutions. 8K is the best but it is also expensive, there is also no need for it as there are currently no 8K movies or TV shows.

4K or UHD are the same thing used interchangeably by different brands, they are available and offer wonderful picture quality. For smaller TVs under 40 inches, a 1080-pixel screen (also known as Full HD) works perfectly.

Display Technology

The highest display technology in the market right now is the Quantum dot Light Emitting Diode(QLED), followed by the Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) then there are generic LEDs and LCDs.

The QLED is an advanced form of the LED LCD combination that was the rave a few years ago, while OLED technology has each pixel emit its light. The QLED like its LED LCD predecessor requires an LED backlight for its pixels to transmit.

OLED is more expensive than the QLED but both give excellent pictures, the 4K LED TV isn’t bad either.

Also to enjoy your Smart TV ensure it is compatible with High Dynamic Range Devices, and improved HDMI. HDR improves the audio and visual quality of your Smart TV. Also, consider your TV’s refresher rate, a higher refresher rate means the picture is smoother.

Another thing to put in mind is to buy your Smart TV only from reputable dealers that carry the manufacturer’s warranty.

How Do I Know If My TV Has Apps?

The easiest way to know is to navigate to the TV menu, search for the apps option. If it’s there, then there are applications on your TV. You can click on the option to check what apps are installed on your TV.

What Free Apps Can I Get On My Smart TV?

There are various free apps you can download and install on your Smart TV, depending on what you want to watch or do with your Smart TV, here are some free apps you can install.

Sony Crackle

Sony’s Crackle is an app that allows you to stream movies and TV programs for free, there downside to Crackle as its library isn’t extensive enough. On the upside though, they update their movies and programs often enough so you have access to fresh, popular content.


This video streaming giant is a well of free unlimited content. The great thing about YouTube is there is something for everybody; from how-to and motivational videos to product reviews and epic fails. Whatever catches your fancy you will find a video that matches your taste on the app.


Vudu is an app that allows you to buy, rent or watch movies and TV shows to stream on Vudu, the app also has free movies and TV programs. Like Crackle, Vudu uploads its library often giving its subscribers and free users access to fresh content.


I can hear you ask, aren’t you supposed to pay for Spotify? You are not wrong, but Spotify also has a free option. You can stream music from your favorite artistes’ songs, albums, and even make your playlists for free. The snag is the free option that contains ads.

TV Networks Apps

TV networks like CNN, ABC, Fox, NBC, BBC, and many more have apps that allow you to stream full-length videos for free without having a TV log-in. Note that not all their content is free, but you have access to most of the network’s programs even entire seasons of popular programs.

Pluto TV

The app gives you access to a plethora of TV channels and thousands of movies for free. The downside to the app is the presence of ads, the app also has 17 stations for various genres like horror, romance, and comedy.


This is another free video streaming app for movies, the app has around seven hundred movies and also boasts of new movies that it adds frequently. There have been complaints that the app has issues with buffering but you have access to new free movies, so I guess that’s a plus.


Crunchyroll is an anime streaming app; it has subtitled anime shows. There are two parts, the free and paid. Free streaming like the majority of other free streaming services is the presence of apps. If you are an anime lover, Crunchyroll, VRV and Funimation are ideal apps to stream them.

How Do I Delete Pre-Installed Apps On My Smart TV?

It is possible that for whatever reason you need to delete apps that came installed on your Smart TV when you bought it.

It might be you want to have clear up storage space, or you don’t find the app useful to you. To delete these apps, click on the Home icon scroll to the options, and click on APPS. Click on it and scroll to Settings, click on the app you want to delete, and click on the delete.

When you are asked to confirm if you want to delete click on yes and the app is deleted. Some Smart TVs like Samsung don’t allow you to delete pre-installed apps like Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video.


Downloading third-party apps isn’t as difficult as it seems, also turning your non-smart TV into a smart TV is also very possible.

Also considering the factors listed before buying your Smart TV saves you a lot of time and stress.

Having prior knowledge of what exactly you are looking for, guides you in making pre-informed decisions that help you in the long run.

Their loads of free apps that turn your Smart TV into a source of viewing pleasure, streaming the latest news, movies, self-help videos are just at a touch of the remote.

Download, install, delete different apps and customize your Smart TV into something that is a reflection of you.

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