What to do when the Android TV Remote just doesn’t exist (2022)
You want to remote control your Android TV device. The manufacturer of that product has written detailed instructions directing you to Google’s Android TV remote. There are sites everywhere telling you to download Android TV Remote. On the Apple side you’ve got one app that’s from 2018 and the Android side there’s nothing. At least nothing that matches that isn’t made by a third party.
TL;DR – story of a name change and two Google apps that now are Android TV remote
Story time (you can skip)
That’s what I ran into recently while attempting to get a backup to the physical remote that came with an Android TV. Now the strange thing is I had an app called Android TV or Android TV remote on my phone. Stranger is the install source claimed it was from my previous phone. There were no Play Store links for it. Huh?
I went through a few hoops of how-to articles from 2019. All directed me somewhere with old information that no longer worked. Google had apparently depreciated the original remote, folded it into Android TV, rebranded Android TV to Google TV, probably a whole lot more but since the documentation had been printed and placed on the web the names and apps had changed.
My old Android TV app/remote did not work to ever find anything. The only thing showing from Google was an Android TV Remote service, which was installed on my Android TVs but not available for any device other than the devices that would be controlled.
I went back and forth with a PR company. Following that dove down a several year hole of Google name changes, depreciated product, mirrored product functionality, before finally getting an answer.
Info / not story section
By April 2022 in the Android ecosystem, the Android TV remote functionality seems to be mirrored in at least two Google apps. The first is Google TV, and the second is in the devices section of Google Home. Each has a pretty basic remote, and neither have a straight to remote widget that I can tell, womp womp.
Google Home will pick up your Android TV device as long as it’s on your network. I believe Google TV will as well. Once you find the device it will pair and ask you for a code that the Android TV device is showing.
My guess is the Google Home app for iOS has the remote functionality as well. Documentation I can find still points to this Apple Android TV app. Last updated in 2018. 4 years old at this point.
Why do you need the remote app?
Batteries died in the real remote at 11pm and you have no replacements? Physical remote died and you are researching how to install a universal Bluetooth remote on your Android TV certified device and not sure you want to spend the $20 yet on an unknown. You have children who despite threats of bodily harm will pick up a remote, forget they still have it, and get in a car to go to school. Etc.
Also you can most likely use a universal Bluetooth Android TV remote, but you’ll need the app to pair it most likely. Also that last link gives us a commission if you buy anything from Amazon. So click or if that’s not a thing you want, just browse on your own.
Did it work, did it not? Leave a comment.
Daily blogs, especially those that write about Google, get out of date so fast that searching for things like this it’s an information sea of disinformation. When the above no longer works, please leave a comment saying that. I’ll try and update. Is it missing information, lemme know. Pocketables keeps on updating in an attempt to not be that site directing you to outdated 4 year old apps.