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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.

Santi: Instagram on Android TV

Admittedly, the television might not be the perfect place for Instagramming, but Santi is still useful for those times you want to share your photos on big screen or see what your friends are up to. You can even give a thumbs up to photos without ever touching your phone.

IGN

IGN's app is a rare example of a major media website doing television right. The app is filled with long-form videos, including features on gaming history and playthroughs of popular games, and when you finish one video, the next one queues up immediately after.

CBS News

CBS News offers a live, round-the-clock video feed with anchored coverage, and it tends to focus on actual stories instead of talking heads. It's unclear why this one doesn't appear in Google Play's curated sections, as it's easily one of the best apps Android TV has to offer.

500 Firepaper

Android TV's built-in wallpapers are pleasant enough, but 500 Firepaper is an excellent alternative if you want more customization. The free app, which draws from the photo service 500px, lets you choose from dozens of categories, with controls over how often to refresh the image. (Just be sure to set this app as the default in the Daydream section of Android TV's settings menu.)

 

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