Android TV: Forget Portrait With Set Orientation


Over the last few weeks and months, we have looked at a number of apps which are available for Android TV. By available, we are talking about compatible. And by compatible, we are talking about working in degrees of functionality. This is because when it comes to Android TV, not all apps are equal. There are those which are considered 'Android TV apps' and these are the ones which have been tweaked or designed to be optimized for the big screen and for the lack of touchscreen controls. These are the apps you will find in the Play Store on an Android TV device.

Then there are the silent Android TV apps. These are the ones which are technically considered fine for Android TV but not pushed forward as Android TV apps. These are apps which are typically not displayed on your Android TV Play Store, but are listed as compatible on your desktop Play Store and therefore, can be pushed straight to your device. Then there are the apps which are not at all recognized as Android TV apps but will work fine if sideloaded. The next type of Android TV apps are those that when sideloaded, work, but have issues, namely formatting or display issues. The final type of apps, are those that once sideloaded do nothing.

So as you can see, when it comes to Android TV apps, for now, nothing is straightforward. Of all of these apps, the one group which is the biggest problem are the apps that can be sideloaded but only partially work. This is because they are so close to working. For this group of apps there is commonly two major issues, the display not being optimized and the controls not working. There is very little which can be done about the latter, but for the display, there is a solution.


Some apps like the recently covered MyBackup is an example of an app that can be sideloaded to an Android TV device and works fine, but just does not look right thanks to the permanent portrait mode that the app command. In short, they work but are not exactly visually usable.

Set Orient AH 5Well, this is where an app like Set Orientation can help. Now, Set Orientation is not a new app or from a new set of apps and instead is widely used by many people on their portable android devices. However, if you have yet to use it or yet to realize that it does work on the Nexus Player, then you can be rest assured that it does. Once the app is installed, which you can install directly from the desktop Play Store (link down below), the app is very simple to use. Open the app you will be presented with the screen below.

Open the app you will be presented with the screen below.


Set Orient AH 2Simply click on where it states disabled and you will see a list of options presented.

Set Orient AH 1Scroll down to landscape and click to set. Followed by clicking 'OK'. After this, all apps will be automatically forced to open in landscape and solving the issue of portrait based apps. It is worth noting, you only have to set the app once. It will automatically set apps that you download in the future to landscape view too.

Set Orient AH 3Of course, if you feel the need, you can always set it to be permanently on portrait mode too. Including the leanback launcher. Although, not sure why you would want to.


Set Orient AH 4

Set Orientation Play Store

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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