Are you frustrated with the limitations of the default web browsers on your Firestick or Android TV device? Do you want access to all of Chrome‘s features to browse the web on your TV? Then sideloading Google Chrome is the perfect solution.
In this detailed guide, I‘ll be walking you through the entire process of installing Google Chrome on both Firestick/Fire TV and Android TV boxes like NVIDIA SHIELD.
By following these simple steps, you‘ll be able to enjoy the full Chrome browsing experience right from the comfort of your couch. Let‘s get started!
Why Choose Chrome Over Default Browsers?
Before we dive into the installation process, let me explain some of the key benefits of Google Chrome over the built-in Silk and Android TV browsers:
Access to More Websites– Chrome lets you visit many sites blocked on Silk or Android TV browsers. For example, certain free sports streaming and movie sites don‘t work on the defaults.
Syncing Capabilities – When signed in to your Google account, Chrome will sync bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and settings across all your devices. No need to configure them separately on your TV.
Chrome Web Store Extensions – There are thousands of handy extensions that can be added to Chrome such as ad blockers, media downloaders, and language translators. The default browsers have little to no extension support.
Incognito Browsing – Want to visit sites privately without leaving a browsing history or cookie trail? Chrome‘s incognito mode has you covered.
According to StatCounter, Google Chrome holds over 60% of the global browser market share as of January 2023. Comparatively, Amazon Silk and the Android TV browser are not even statistically significant enough to make the charts.
Clearly, Chrome is the most full-featured and versatile browser available. But the default options on Firestick and Android TV leave much to be desired. That‘s where sideloading the Chrome APK comes to the rescue!
Step-by-Step Guide to Install Google Chrome APK
Follow these instructions carefully to get up and running with Google Chrome on your streaming device:
Enable Unknown Sources
The first step is enabling installation of apps from unknown sources, since we‘ll be sideloading Chrome.
On your Firestick or Android TV device, go to:
Settings -> Applications -> Unknown Sources -> Turn ON
This allows you to install apps outside of the official app stores.
Install Downloader App
Now, we need an easy way to download the Chrome APK file onto your device. The Downloader app lets you do this.
Simply search for "Downloader" on your Firestick/Android TV and install it. This handy utility lets you download APK files from the web directly to your device.
Once it‘s installed, open the Downloader app.
Download Chrome APK
In the URL box of Downloader, enter:
Replace with an actual APK download link.
Press Go and the Chrome APK will begin downloading onto your device.
Install the Chrome APK
When the download completes, click on the Chrome APK file in Downloader. This will bring up the installation prompt.
Select Install and wait for the process to finish. Then click Done.
Launch Google Chrome
Now Chrome has been installed on your Firestick or Android TV box!
Go to your Apps menu and launch the Google Chrome app icon.
The first time opening Chrome, you‘ll need to accept any permissions or terms to finish setting it up. Then you‘re ready to start browsing!
Sign into your Google account if you want to sync Chrome data between devices.
And that‘s all there is to it! With just those few simple steps, you now have the full desktop version of Chrome ready to browse the web on your TV.
Tips for Using Chrome on Firestick/Android TV
To get the best experience with Google Chrome on your streaming device, here are some helpful tips:
Install a mouse toggle app for easier navigation. The remote cursor can be finicky.
Use a Launcher Manager on Firestick to correctly display the Chrome app icon.
Add useful Chrome extensions like uBlock Origin for ad blocking.
Adjust Chrome‘s privacy settings to disable tracking and targeted ads.
Create bookmarks for your favorite sites so you can conveniently access them.
Use voice commands for hands-free web searches and site navigation.
I also highly recommend using an external wireless mouse and keyboard instead of relying solely on the remote. It makes navigating Chrome much easier. The Logitech K400 is a great affordable option.
Resolving Common Chrome Issues
Here are some troubleshooting tips in case you run into problems running Chrome on your device:
Close background apps to free up memory and processing power. Chrome uses a lot of RAM.
Clear the cache and data for the Chrome app in Settings. Reinstall if issues continue.
Restart your Firestick/Android TV device to flush out any software glitches.
Sites Won‘t Load
Check your internet connection first. Slow speeds will cause pages to time out.
Some sites actively block the IP ranges of streaming devices. A VPN circumvents this.
Disable any ad blocker extensions temporarily to see if they are interfering with page loading.
Can‘t Install Extensions
You need to leave Unknown Sources enabled in order to install extensions just like apps.
Try rebooting the device and router if the Chrome Web Store is unreachable.
Remote Cursor Issues
- As mentioned above, installing a mouse toggle app provides much smoother navigation than relying on the finicky remote cursor.
Chrome vs. Silk vs. Android TV Browser
How does Google Chrome compare against the default browser options on Firestick and Android TV devices? Here is an overview:
|Feature||Google Chrome||Amazon Silk||Android TV Browser|
|Extensions||Full access to Chrome Web Store||None||Limited Android browser extensions|
|Syncing||Syncs full data to Google account||None||None|
|Accessibility||Reader mode, text scaling, screen magnifier||Basic text scaling||Font size adjustment only|
|Casting||Cast entire Chrome tab||Casts Amazon content||Casts Android screen|
|Site Compatibility||Loads nearly all sites||Restricted site access||Intermediate access|
|Interface||Desktop browser UI||Firestick integrated||Basic mobile browser UI|
|Speed||Fast with good optimization||Moderate speed||Laggy|
As you can see, Chrome provides the most robust set of features and customization options. With wider site compatibility and mobile-friendly interface, it‘s the ultimate browser for Firestick and Android TV streaming.
Top Chrome Extensions to Enhance Browsing
One of the best things about Google Chrome is its support for thousands of extensions. Here are some must-have add-ons to take your browsing experience up a notch:
uBlock Origin – An extremely fast and effective open-source ad blocker.
Video Downloader Professional – Download videos from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and 1000+ other sites.
Translate – Quickly translate any web page text with Google Translate.
Grammarly – Helps fix grammar errors and enhance writing style.
Reddit Enhancement Suite Adds helpful interface customizations to Reddit.
See the full directory of Google endorsed extensions to find other handy tools to install.
The Bottom Line
Google Chrome unlocks a whole new level of web browsing capabilities on your Firestick or Android TV device. With full Chrome Web Store extension support, robust customization options, and wide site compatibility, it beats the built-in default browsers hands down.
By following this step-by-step guide, installing the Chrome APK on your streaming device is quick and easy. In just a few minutes, you can start enjoying your favorite websites on the big screen with all of Chrome‘s extra benefits.
So ditch the limited Silk or Android TV browsers that come bundled on your device. Instead, unlock the full desktop Chrome experience to maximize your web browsing potential right from your couch!