SmartTubeNext is an alternative YouTube app that can be used on Android TV devices. That also applies to the Chromecast with Google TV. The app offers the necessary extras compared to the standard YouTube app.
SmartTubeNext: what can you do with it?
If you watch a lot of YouTube on, for example, the Chromecast 4, then you will see that a number of functions are missing or do not run optimally. That’s why there are apps as SmartTubeNext, an unofficial YouTube app created by the community.
Additional functions are added, but it is also possible, for example, to remove advertisements. Another useful feature of SmartTubeNext is the fact that the playback speed is adjustable, a feature that has been very enthusiastically received by the community.
There are some things that it can do (and often go better than the original YouTube app), but there are also things that go less well. Before you decide to install it, it is good to take a good look at this.
What can SmartTubeNext do?
- Remove ads
- Adjust playback speed
- Stream in 4K or higher
- With 60FPS and HDR
- No Google services are required for this
What can SmartTubeNext not (yet) do?
- There is no live chat available
- Comments can be buggy
- Voice search en cast may be less good than real YouTube app
Sponsor Block: what is it and what can you do with it?
An interesting addition to this app is Sponsor Block. Sponsor Block is an open source tool that makes it possible to skip sponsored content in videos on YouTube, for example. These are ‘tagged’ by users at the correct time in the video, after which they can be automatically removed by this software.
This way you don’t have messages from sponsors in the videos you are watching. It doesn’t work perfectly, but it does ensure that you get less advertising on YouTube, for example.
The tagging of the times in the video that are sponsored is done via the browser extension and is therefore fully crowd sourced. Here, users can therefore manually indicate when these take place in the (YouTube) videos.
More information about this can be found on the Sponsor Block website, where you can also download the browser extension. This is not necessary for the correct functioning of SmartTubeNext.
SmartTubeNext APK and Install
SmartTubeNext can’t just be downloaded from the Play Store or any other app store, but luckily there is an easy method to do this.
If you are a bit more technical, you can download the SmartTubeNext APK and sideload it on your Chromecast with Google TV, but there is another way. In this case, you can visit the official Github page for the SmartTubeNext APK
The installation of SmarTubeNext can be done on multiple devices that run on Android TV. The regular Chromecast is unfortunately not suitable. However, it can be installed on the devices below.
- Android TVs & Google TVs (e.g. Philips, Sony)
- NVIDIA Shield
- Amazon FireTV stick
- Chromecast with Google TV
- TV box with Android (so many affordable Chinese Android boxes)
- Xiaomi Mi Box (With Chinese firmware, the beta unfortunately does not work)
In the explanation below I share how you can install the SmartTubeNext APK on the Chromecast 4 (also called Chromecast with Google TV. So keep in mind that it doesn’t work on the Chromecast (V3) because you simply can’t sideload apps on it/ to install.
Installing SmartTubeNext is ONLY possible on the Chromecast with Google TV, not on the regular Chromecast.
Make sure your Chromecast with Google TV is installed and connected to WiFi
Navigate to the Play Store and search for…
Activate the developer menu on the Chromecast
If you haven’t already: go to Settings > System > About. Scroll down here until you see Android TV build (or similar). Click this 7 times with your remote et voila: you are now in developer mode
Make sure you can install third-party APKs
Go to Settings > Privacy > Unknown sources. Activate this option and you can proceed to the next step.
Open the AFTVNews app you installed in step 2.
Search here for the information below:
kutt.it/stn_stable (for the stable version)
kutt.it/stn_beta (for the beta)
When in doubt, go for the stable version
Follow the steps on the screen and… Done!
The installation of the SmartTubeNext APK is one-time, the app is then automatically updated from the app, so you only have to complete this action once.
If you have chosen the stable version of the app, the app will probably continue to work after an update, via the beta channel that is of course the question, because new functions are tested there.
After following these steps, you have installed the app and can use it. Keep in mind that this is external software that can contain bugs, or in the worst case, which can cause the Chromecast to stop working.