The top Google TV tips, tricks, and features everyone should know

Google TV is hailed for bringing a much-needed facelift to Android TV. But its strengths are its new features and the ecosystem advantage it brings. With the spruced-up interface, your TV set works well with your Android smartphone for a truly connected TV experience. If you recently got one of the top streaming boxes or TVs, you’re sure to come across many changes, like the focus on the content rather than the streaming services, besides the noticeable visual upgrades. So, we put together a list of our favorite Google TV tips and tricks that you must check out to take your experience with Netflix binge sessions a notch higher.

1 Virtual remote to the rescue

There will be instances where you can’t find your Chromecast remote. Either it’s buried deep into that sofa crevice, or someone left it on the kitchen counter when they went to pick up some snacks. And if you’re anything like a regular TV watcher, you wouldn’t get up to find the remote. Your best solution is within your reach: your phone!

The new Google TV app has a handy built-in virtual remote, and it works on Android handsets and iPhones. You can get almost everything done with it, including asking Google Assistant silly questions. And the best part is that you don’t need the physical controller to set up the virtual remote (as long as your TV device is turned on). Here’s how to set it up:

  1. In the
    Google TV app
    on your phone, tap
    TV Remote
  2. Select the TV from the list.

  3. Enter the six-digit alphanumeric code displayed on the selected TV on the next screen.
  4. Tap

2 Install apps on your TV with your Android phone

Google TV and Android phones are among the best examples of the ecosystem advantage, something Apple is usually praised for. While the pair improves your TV experience in many ways, its one big benefit is that you don’t need to install apps on the big screen the conventional way. You can use your Android phone to install apps on your Chromecast device or any TV running Google’s new UI as long as both devices are logged in to the same Google account. This is the easy way to install apps on your Chromecast with Google TV with your phone:

  1. Open the
    Google Play Store
    on your phone and search for the app you want to install on your Google TV.
  2. From the app page, open the drop-down list to see more options.

  3. On the pop-up screen, you will see a list of connected devices. Select the TV you want to install the app on.
  4. Tap
    . And the app is ready to use on your TV within no time.

3 Become a power Chromecast user with Button Mapper

Google TV is nothing but a fancy-looking launcher running over Android TV. This means you get all the customization features that Android is known for. And Button Mapper is a tool that lets you assign multiple functions to the remote controller’s buttons, making them more useful.

For instance, you can program the home button to open the Play Store with a double press, besides its usual function of taking you to the homescreen. This comes in handy often, considering Google TV doesn’t have an easy way to access the Play Store. And this doesn’t mess with your existing playback controls on the remote controller. Before proceeding to the steps below, install the Button Mapper app on your TV using the previous pointer.

Button Mapper uses the device’s accessibility services to enable its features, so this will be a two-part process. First, give the app accessibility permissions.

  1. Click your
    profile icon
    in the upper-right corner.

  2. Open

  3. Scroll down and select

  4. Go to

  5. Under Services, click
    Button Mapper

  6. Click
    and then click

This allows Button Mapper to remap the buttons on the remote controller. Next, program what you want Button Mapper to do.

  1. From the app section of Google TV, open the
    Button Mapper

  2. Select
    Home Button

  3. Turn on

  4. From the list below, go to
    Double tap
    and then click the category selector.

  5. Click

  6. Find
    Play Store
    in the list and click it.

After this, double-clicking the home button opens the Play Store from any screen on Google TV. Similarly, you can set your TV to take a screenshot (like we did for this tutorial) using the Actions category when you long press the home button.

With the free app, you can only customize the home button, but paying a fee unlocks more in-app features.

4 Set up your Google Watchlist

A big perk of Google TV is a cross-platform watchlist that is synced across Google services. So, if you add a movie to your list from Google Search, it is automatically added to your Android TV. There are three ways to populate your Google Watchlist:

  • When you search for any movie title, select the
    Want to watch button

  • From the Google TV app on your phone, select
    from the movie title page.

  • On your TV set, click the
    button on the movie title page.

  • These methods add the movie or TV show to your synced watchlist. You can find it under the Library section of your TV or in the Your Stuff tab of the Google TV app on your phone.

    5 Bring your family to Google TV

    Google TV now lets everyone in your family have an individual profile, so one messes up your recommendations. This allows each of these profiles to have its own watchlist and content suggestions tailored to their viewing pattern. You can create a new profile for your family members or set up a kids’ profile with a few easy steps.

    1. Click your
      profile icon
      , then go to
      Add account

    2. From the profile manager page, select
      Add account

    3. Click
      Add an account
      , or
      Add a child
      to set up a profile for your kid.

    4. On the next page, log in with the user’s Google account details, and that’s it.

    5. You can switch accounts using the profile icon.

    6 Cut the clutter with Android TV-like app-only mode

    Not everyone likes seeing their TV packed with movies, TV shows, recommendations, and ads. If you’d like to see the simpler interface, Google TV lets you do that with its app-only mode. The option strips Google TV of all its suggestions to give you a clean homescreen showing only the apps you installed, similar to Android TV. Here is how to enable it.

    1. In the TV
      , go to
      Accounts and sign-in

    2. Select
      your profile
      on the next page.

    3. Scroll down and turn on
      Apps-only mode

    4. Give your confirmation by clicking the
      Turn on

    7 Enable HDMI-CEC

    The Chromecast with Google TV supports HDMI-CEC, which allows you to use only the Chromecast’s remote with compatible TV sets. With the option enabled, you can do basic stuff on your TV set, like turning on the Chromecast also turns on your smart TV. This is helpful, especially when casting your favorite Netflix series or Google Photos collection to your Chromecast, which automatically turns on the TV.

    1. Under
      , open
      Display and sound

    2. Go to

    3. Click
      Enable HDMI-CEC

    8 Do more with your Google TV

    Google TV is one of the nicest additions to the larger Google ecosystem. You can easily set it up with the Google Home app and use your existing Nest speakers to control many of Google TV’s functions. Conversely, Google Assistant built into Google TV can just as easily control your smart home devices. All the cross-platform features that work across Android (and even iOS) phones and other Google services, like the ambient mode powered by your Google Photos memories, are fantastic bonuses that level up and personalize your TV-watching experience. If you aren’t already on the Google TV bandwagon, these niceties will make you want to jump ship.

    Conclusion on The top Google TV tips, tricks, and features everyone should know

    If you have any query let me know in comment section.

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