Android TV boxes have become very popular for streaming media into homes and playing games.
While they are mainly used as entertainment units they are capable of much more.
Here we list some of our favorite tips and tricks to help keep your box running fast, and some features that can came in handy.
1… Close All Background Apps
Having apps running in the background use up unnecessary memory causing slow downs which can be freed up for better use.
Android TV does a good job at memory management, but sometimes apps don’t close right, or have an error and keep running in the background.
Some apps can still be running in the background even after powering down a unit.
It is easy enough to close out of background apps depending on the controller used.
Closing Background Apps with a Remote Control
Some boxes don’t work with this method if it doesn’t work for you read the keyboard method next.
Using a standard remote control look for the symbol with three lines.
Once the button is pressed all the background apps will pop up in minimized boxes.
Using the arrow keys go to the app you want to close and click the right arrow key.
Clicking the Right arrow key will close the app, do this for each one you want to close.
Closing Background Apps With a Keyboard
An alternative method is to use a keyboard. This method has worked on all the units I have tested.
It can be any keyboard from the small mini ones to large USB keyboards.
Press the ALT key and keep it pressed.
While holding the ALT Key press the TAB key once and the background apps will come up.
Keep holding the ALT key and press the back arrow button
Keep pressing the back arrow to close each app running in the background.
2… Edit MS Office Documents
While Android TV boxes do a great job playing videos and playing games, they can do a lot more such as edit and work with Microsoft Office documents.
Its free to do and simply requires downloading an app from the Play Store.
There are several apps available with one of the best being Smart Office 2.
To get it go to the Play Store and search for Smart Office 2 and install it.
Using Smart Office 2 you can view, edit, create, print, save as a PDF and share MS Office documents.
3… Use a Mini Keyboard Remote Control
The standard remote controls that come with Android TV boxes can be limiting at times.
A much better way is to use a mini keyboard with a touch-pad or one of the many other types of controllers.
The onscreen keyboard does work but it is much faster and easier to have a small keyboard to type with.
There are many low cost keyboards available in all shapes and sizes.
Read Here for Our Picks for Best Mini Keyboards and Remote Controls.
4… Hook Up a USB Web Cam
Android TV boxes make for great video chatting devices.
They plug in to a USB slot and stream the video on a TV, which is a nice feature if you do a lot of Skyping with friends or relatives.
Not all Web cameras work with Android but many will. I use a Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 which works very well.
If you already have a Web Cam it likely will work, be sure it has a built in Microphone to pick up audio since most android boxes will not have a built-in mic.
5… Use a Keyboard to Restart an Android TV Box
If you use a Keyboard there there is no need to physically get up to restart a unit having problems.
Like PC computers Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del will reset the box.
Most small mini keyboards will have the controls all located on one button that simply requires pressing it plus the FN Key.
Pressing each Ctrl+Alt+Del key individually also works just as well.
The above tips are just a few of the many things that can be done with an Android TV box.
There are no doubt many more good ideas such as adding a printer or USB hub.
While most will continue to use their boxes for entertainment, keep in mind they are nothing more than small computers that can do many things a standard computer can do.
Do you have any favorite tips or tricks let us know in the comments below.