Roku devices are considered one of the best ways to stream content on your TV. However, what if you want to use your Roku for other things, like browsing the web and classifying your photos? What you need is access to Google services on your devices, and in this article, we explain how to get Google on Roku. But, also, including Google Play Movies and TV, Google Photos and Google Search..
How to get movies and TV from Google Play on Roku
We start with one of the most direct ways to get Google on Roku. Since these devices are compatible with all the major streaming services, it shouldn't surprise you to learn that Google Play Movies and TV has an official channel on this platform that you can download and use.
Once you've installed the Google Play Movies app there, you need to link it to your Google account by visiting play.google.com/roku. You will also need to provide a payment method during the registration process, although you will not be charged unless you request something..
On the official Google help page, it states that there are some geographic restrictions. In theory, you can only use the app if you live in: Canada, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, or the United Kingdom.
It's unclear how accurate the information is, as many users in other countries can download and access the Roku service. Just keep in mind that unsupported countries may have issues..
How to get Google Play Music on this platform
Sadly, there is no official Google Play Music for Roku devices. You can draw your own conclusions about the reasons for Google, such as Chromecasts.
Although there used to be a couple of ways to listen to Google Play Music on your Roku: you could use the private Roku channel of Nowhere Music or you could use a third-party plugin for Plex. Unfortunately, development on both projects has ceased.
As such, the only remaining option is to stream Google Play Music from an Android device or Windows computer directly to your platform. Roku devices use Miracast technology, so iOS devices are not supported.
It's an inelegant solution for many reasons, but it works. Just remember that you will need to control playback directly from your smartphone or computer rather than through the Roku TV remote.
To listen to Google Play Music on a Roku, follow these instructions if you are an Android user:
- Make sure your Android device and your Roku device are on the same Wi-Fi network.
- On your Android, slide down the notification bar.
- Press on «Cast».
- Select your Roku from the list of devices.
Follow these instructions if you are using Windows
- Make sure your Windows computer and your Roku device are on the same Wi-Fi network.
- Open the settings app.
- Go to System and then to Screen.
- Scroll down to Multiple displays.
- Click Connect to a wireless display.
- Choose your Roku device from the list of available options.
As long as you are running Roku OS 7.7 or later, you do not need to take any action on the device. Duplication will start automatically.
How to get Google Photos
Again, there is no official Google Photos app for your platform. This time, you can use a third-party app from the Roku Channel Store.
The application is called PhotoView for Google Photos. It started life in late 2016 as simple software without much appeal. Today, it has an official "Partner" status with the Google Photos app and has become the best way to access your images on Roku.
PhotoView supports your Google Photos albums and has a built-in search function. The app also comes with a screen saver feature; you can play your photos in a slideshow when your device is not in use.
You should bear in mind that you will have to give PhotoView access to your Google account during the setup process. Although some people may feel uncomfortable with this.
Can you get the Google Play Store on Roku?
Although we are sure that many people wish it were possible, there is simply no way to get the Google Play Store on your device.
It is due to the underlying services that the Play Store relies on. Your Roku would need to run the Google Services Framework, Google Account Manager, and Google Play Services, none of which are available. And, unlike the Fire TV, there is no way to load those components onto your rig.
In terms of getting Google apps on your device, the result of the lack of Google Play Store is that if you want to use software like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Keep, etc, you will be out of luck.
So the only possible solution is to mirror your screen using the steps described above. In this case, it is not clear what benefit screen mirroring would have by just using the respective applications directly on your smartphone or tablet.
Can you get Google Chrome on Roku?
In what is becoming a family story, there is no Google Chrome app for Roku devices. If you really need to access Chrome on your TV screen, you need to mirror your screen from another Miracast-enabled device.
How to get Google Search
If you're wondering how to get online on Roku, we've got bad news. since your list of options is minimal. The quality of the web browsers on these devices is not as robust as the options on the Fire TV or Android TV devices.
In fact, there are only two options to choose from: Web Browser X and Poprism .
Poprism is text-only - it cannot display images, photos, or Flash content. Web Browser X is very unreliable. To use Google Search, navigate to google.com in the normal way.
If none of the browsers work for you, the only option is to mirror your Android or Windows screen to your TV one more time.
Looking beyond using Google on Roku
Of course, just because the prospects for using Google apps and services on your Roku aren't that great, it doesn't mean that there aren't tons of great Google channels to choose from yet.