There’s a lot of really cool websites out there, but the web has not been too compatible with Android TV. One could sideload Chrome, or a browser like Puffin TV, but the web has been treated like a second class citizen. For one, you can’t add web apps to your TV’s launcher like you can on a phone. This simple barrier prevents a web app from being as accessible as a native app. But now that barrier is being removed, thanks to an update in TV App Repo being published today.
We’re continuing to explore how to make the launcher your perfect setup, giving you immediate access to all your apps, your games, your files, and your bookmarks. This update adds a new row called “Custom Shortcuts”. We’ll be talking a lot more about these in the coming weeks.
The option “Generate Web Bookmark” allows you to enter any URL to build a shortcut app. When you open this app, similar to other generated apps, this will simply launch an Intent telling a web browser to open your link. Like other shortcuts, you can give them a custom banner or select whether they’re an app or a game.
You can see two examples of websites generated using this system. This TV currently has Firefox installed, so links will open up in Firefox.
There’s plenty of neat web-based apps, art pieces, and games. By allowing them to appear on your launcher, they can be treated just like any other app and encourage web developers to make their websites compatible with DPADs. What kind of opportunities does this open up?
The app has become very popular since its launch, it’s passed over 5,000 installs, and to cover the costs of running the server which does the automatic APK generation, ads will be displayed as you wait for the shortcut to be created.