Anyone who has or is interested in buying an Android TV box or Android TV will find this list of the best Android TV launchers of 2017 and all time very helpful. While all devices come with a default greeting home screen, the beauty of Android is that it allows you to change it with ease, and whenever you want to. And you don’t necessarily need to have an Android TV device to use one of these launchers. You can use one of these on any compatible Android device.
So firstly, the basics. What is a launcher? In the simplest terms it’s the homescreen that you see on every Android operating system. Most people will be familiar with a simple tiled layout. It’s a clean background with app tiles and maybe some widgets. It’s just a pre-designed template that’s designed to make using the homescreen (and connected pages) quicker and easier. Now let’s take a look at the best Android TV launchers of 2017 and all time, in no particular order.
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The best Android TV launchers of 2017 and all time
1. Ugoos TV
The Ugoos launcher is one that was developed by a TV box manufacturer, and you can tell the moment it starts up. It has been designed for use with a standard remote control and air mouse remotes, like the ones that we sell here. But you will notice that the user interface is very different to the others in this list.
Ugoos uses a kind of wheeled selector that you use to toggle through different sections. It will feel foreign to begin with, but you’ll get used to it. Another unique feature of this particular build is its ease of inventory management. It creates and stores apps automatically in different categories. So if you download a game it will auto-populate the game category, and if it’s a streaming app it’ll go to the streaming category. This makes it ideal for people with a lot of apps.
2. Leanback TV
Leanback TV is the official design of Android TV. The interface is easy to use and clutter free. This makes it ideal for novice users. It includes voice search which also integrates with apps such as YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify. This is designed for simplistic and trouble-free use.
The biggest disappointment with this particular variant is that it does not allow you to install any non-official apps, as in apps not available in the Play Store. This may stop some people from installing it.
3. Mediabox TV
People who have an older model TV box may find this one familiar. It was one of the first to hit the market, and despite some opinions, it’s one of the easiest to use. It might not be as pretty as others on the market, but it’s functional and easy to use.
It features a simple tiled widget display as well as customisable shortcuts along the bottom.
4. Apex TV
Android phone users will find the display and layout of Apex TV very familiar. Of all of the other variations in this list, this is the most basic in my opinion. It has a very simple phone or tablet look with apps and widgets.
One benefit of this theme is that the user can adjust the size of app and widget tiles. You can also place live widgets on the homescreen, such as news and weather widgets.
5. HPH TV
If you’ve purchased a newer TV box recently this particular theme will look familiar. They have done a great job designing this one. It’s made with a simple and easy to use tile layout that looks clean but stylish. It’s also very easy to use. To give you an idea of how good this particular one is, most new boxes are based on it.
6. HAL TV
The Hal TV is a great version, but it won’t be for everyone. While it resembles the design and feel of the Google Leanback , it offers a lot more flexibility. For instance, unlike Leanback, you can add unofficial apps to the homescreen. This makes it a great option for people who love the look of Leanback, but not the restrictions. The major downside of this one, and the one reason it won’t be for everyone, is that you have to set it up, something that can take around 30 minutes. But if you decide to push on through the initial setup process it’s a launcher we’ll worth having.
7. Amlogic TV
If you’ve purchased a TV box from us, such as the MXQ Pro, you’ll notice this one instantly. It shows the distinctive Ironman graphic for the online videos. It’s a very nice and easy to use version with very few drawbacks. The tiles are nice and large and very well illustrated. It also has a tray along the bottom that you can add your most used apps to for a shortcut.
The only major downside with this build is the inability to change the main layout.
8. M8 TV
The M8 is an older build that was extensively used on old M8 boxes. While it’s old, it’s still good. The layout is simple, but effective. It’s age is showing however due to the fact it’s showing XBMC instead of Kodi. One downside of this particular one is that you can’t change the tiles, but that’s not something many people will want to do anyway.
9. TV Launcher 3 (old)
Ok, so this one is a little older than the rest here, as you might be able to guess by its design and the use of the old name for Kodi (XBMC). Even though the layout is basic, it allows you to change the images, a feature that most others don’t allow. It’s a nice variant with large easy to see tiles.
10. TV Launcher 3 (new)
This is the upgraded version of the first above. It looks more modern while retaining the simple and easy to use design of the original. Other improvements over the original include the ability to customise the design and the inclusion of tabs. If you’re one of the dozen or so people who use Google Plus it has a fantastic support group there where you can make suggestions and requests for new features.
11. Unica TV
Unica is a four column theme, which is different from most of the others that have three columns. It’s a simple and easy to use design that does look appealing. This one doesn’t rank as highly as others in the Play Store, but many of the complaints relate to price instead of ease of use or reliability.
12. Top TV
I’ve purposely placed this one in the middle of the post to try and avoid confusion because of its name. While it’s called Top TV, it’s not my personal choice as number one. In saying that it does have everything that most people will want, and it’s one of the few decent ones available in the Google Play Store.
13. Sunvell TV
Some of our customers will find this theme familiar. It’s a simple and very easy tiled display that closely resembles Windows 8, hence the name. While it doesn’t contain any graphics like the Amlogic version, it’s a design that simply works.
14. Mele TV
The Mele features clear lines, bright colours and large fonts. The layout is clean and easy. It’s a very easy to use, and would especially suit a family or TV for children.
15. Simple TV
Simple TV is a minimalistic design with a simple design, as the name suggests. It’s approach is to allow you to place all of your apps on the homepage, making for quick and easy access. It also allows the user to adjust the size of the apps. This launcher is ideal for large screens.
That completes our list of the 15 best Android TV Launchers of 2017 and all time. Most of these will be available for download from the Google Play Store. Some will be free, and others will come with a premium pricetag. I suggest trying free versions frst to get a taste of the full paid one. If you discover a new launcher that you think should be on this list please drop us a line and we’ll review it.
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