While it’s common cause that Android TV Box is just another Android device there are a number of caveats you always have to bear in mind compared to the normal Android experience out there. The biggest one in my experience is the lack of a touch screen. This makes the user input a nightmare-try typing a 21 letter password using a remote if you don’t believe me.
Anyway recently I found myself struggling with this and more on my Mi Box S. I wanted to install a browser to watch an indie TV show that had caught my fancy. The show was available on a service online but for some reason the app provided by the service couldn’t cast to my TV screen. I had two options: watch on my laptop or use a browser on my TV Box. I opted for the latter.
I hadn’t done something like this in a while and it turns out things have changed since the last time I tried. Back then it was a simple matter of sideloading chrome and loading the site using the Android remote tv app on my phone which makes for much-improved user input. Despite being made by Google, Chrome absolutely sucks on TV. Navigating around it was such I nightmare I decided to go on the hunt for another browser.
Apple watch 7 45mm(imitation)
Airpods pro 4
The natural place to start was the Google Play Store on the TV Box itself I assumed. Clearly sideloading browsers made for tablets and phones wasn’t working as well as it should. Thankfully it seems there are several made for Android TV browsers out there. The following browsers stood out:
- Puffin Browser
- TV Internet Browser
- Open Browser
- WebOnTV Web Browser
Since Puffin TV-Browser was recommended, it was the first one I gave a try. It seemed to work well enough until a few minutes into one of the episodes I was watching it just stopped working. If I wanted to continue using their browser I had to pay US$20 to remove these daily limits. Imagine, paying for a browser in this day and age! I simply uninstalled it and went for the next one. Unfortunately, both TV Internet Browser and Open Browser don’t seem to support Google Account login for some reason. I always try to use my Google Account to log in to third-party sites if I can and avoid creating a new account.
So that is how I landed on JioPages and I have to say it was a pleasant accident that some of you might appreciate. Unlike all the browsers I had used including Puffin, JioPages had a pleasant input experience made with remote input in mind. They don’t show you the normal mouse icon that takes ages to scroll instead they have their own custom made pointer that knows when to accelerate and when to slow down. Even navigating the browser menu was so easy. As a bonus, the browser comes with a handy Adblock which you can quickly turn on and off using a remote depending on need.
The browser also comes with good DRM support. This meant that you could use it to play DRM content which can be handy sometimes. I meant to uninstall the browser as soon as I finished watching the show I wanted to watch but now it has been weeks and I find myself occasionally relying on it too if only to show off to my friends most of the time. I have to say, Jio Pages a browser you have probably never heard of might easily be the best TV browser out there.
P.S I am assuming you already know the Mi Box S is one of the best Android TV Boxes out there. You can buy one from our store.
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