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Android TV hidden gems: The 10 best hard-to-find apps

Jared Newman | June 12, 2015
Last week, Android TV went from a platform bereft of apps to a platform lousy with them. With devices like the Nexus Player and the Nvidia Shield Android TV, you can now venture beyond Google's curated selection and browse the entire catalog of more than 600 apps.

Last week, Android TV went from a platform bereft of apps to a platform lousy with them. With devices like the Nexus Player and the Nvidia Shield Android TV, you can now venture beyond Google's curated selection and browse the entire catalog of more than 600 apps.

This newfound openness for Android TV, however, is a mixed blessing. While the full catalog has some great apps throughout, finding them involves sifting through a lot of junk. To spare you the trouble, I've dug deep into the Android TV app store to find these 10 hidden gems:

Class6ix News

The Google Play Store is lousy with news-video apps for Android TV. What sets Class6ix News apart is the way it ties in local news sources when you plug in your zip code. You can also choose which categories and news sources you're interested in, and the app will automatically generate a playlist so you can get caught up.

TWiT Pro

This free app offers a live feed of the popular online video channel This Week in Tech (TWiT), along with a full on-demand archive of shows. Spend an hour geeking out on Ham radio or home theater, or hit the main broadcast to see what TWiT's talking heads are yapping about now.

Jamjitsu

Here's a neat trick for your next party: Throw Jamjitsu on the television, and your guests can download the app and queue up songs from SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, and Deezer. You can also upload pictures to create a party slideshow on the fly.

Mediahhh

File this one under "legally dubious but enjoyable while it lasts." Mediahhh provides a live streaming of U.K. channels, including BBC networks and some channels that show American television. Many of the streams seem to come from FilmOn, which itself is on slippery footing, and the quality isn't great, but hey, it's free.

Emma for Spotify

Spotify doesn't offer an official app for Android TV, but the unofficial Emma for Spotify can fill the void. The $1.68 app lets you access all your albums, radio stations, and playlists with a Spotify Premium account. It also supports Android TV's voice commands, and will add music shortcuts to your home screen. (If you're feeling cheap, TV Player for Spotify provides free access to your entire library, though it's not as full-featured.)

Kaleidance

Android TV doesn't give you much to look at when you're playing music through the tube. With Kaleidance, your TV can provide some trippy visuals to compliment your tunes. The app is free to use, though it costs $2 to remove the nag text that floats into the visualizer.

 

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