Google does not include any browser on Android TV nor has the installation of Google Chrome officially enabled on TVs and players; even if it is possible to use it without much problem. And there are very good apps that allow Internet browsing: Vita Browser is one of the best we’ve tested. Very light, complete, functional and, above all, it is open source.
The TV is not the device from which the World Wide Web is best accessed, we all agree on that. Managing the cursor with the crosshead of the remote control is somewhat cumbersome, it takes less time to search for the phone than to watch something through Android TV. But what if there was a web browser that, apart from offering complete navigation, hardly took up space in the internal storage of the TV? For those times when you don’t feel like getting up from the sofa, Vita Browser is perfect.
Vita Browser, the lightweight browser you were looking for
Google Chrome can be used on Android TV just by uploading the apk file to the TV. And there is no reason to carry out this step, because the Google Play store for TV has very good quality examples, such as Puffin TV Browser. However, there is better software outside of the Play Store: Vita Browser has surprised us a lot.
As an open source project, the Vita Browser web browser has its own GitHub where the developer openly lists all software components while allowing download. It is an application that weighs 2.54 MB, a ridiculous weight for an application of its kind (You’ll probably end up reserving a lot of cache space.) And this lightness makes it easy for even the most content Android TVs to have the option of comfortably browsing the web.
Vita Browser is based on webview, it limits its interface to what is strictly necessary to navigate, renders the pages adapting them to the screen resolution and ratio and offers voice search so you don’t have to type with the Android TV virtual keyboard.
The remote control’s crosshead controls the arrow of an on-screen pointer that disappears when it detects no movement; reappearing when you click on the buttons again. With the back button the navigation menu appears; with text box, button to activate voice search, reload and skip in history. Nothing more, maybe it would be nice to be able to add favorites. It is something we miss.
Vita Browser is perfect for browsing the web, we haven’t encountered any display problems even when playing streaming videos. Is a simple and light app that is not in Google Play: to install it we recommend the following steps:
- Download the installation apk file from the developer’s GitHub.
- Move the apk to your Android TV using the method you consider most appropriate.
- Open a file explorer on your Android TV, navigate to the folder where you saved the Vita Browser apk, and install it.
- Find Vita Browser among the apps installed on your TV and open it.
Vita Browser is an excellent browser to take into account for those occasions in which you want to access the web directly from the TV. It is a safe app.
More information | Vita Browser GitHub