TikTok arrives on Android TV, but no one’s sure why

TikTok to Android TV
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

TikTok is getting an Android TV app, despite the fact that it's not exactly clear why the mobile video sensation needs a home on TV sets. Yes, in the shadow of Quibi's short run on TVs before it died off completely, someone somewhere decided it was time to bring another vertical video service to the TV. 

That being said, people love TikTok. Nobody loved Quibi.

The only problem is that TikTok apparently isn't everywhere yet. It's unclear as to whether the app is intentionally being rolled out outside of the US. Wired UK's reporting suggests that the international divide is intentional, noting that the app was coming to "smart TVs in France, Germany and the UK."

9to5Google is having the same trouble we are — unable to download it on the Chromecast with Google TV — while Android Police was able to download it — but only in the U.K. 

TikTok hasn't announced when the Android TV version will be available around the world, but if this is just a day-one botch, we wouldn't be surprised. The Disney Plus app, if you remember, had some serious day 1 problems. 

And while TikTok has a large audience, the service looks weird in screens published by 9to5Google. If this is what it truly looks like, it seems like the Android TV version should have spent more time in the development cycle.

TikTok on Android TV - wasted space

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

The app is meant to be navigated with swipe-based gestures, so a remote seems like a poor method of moving from clip to clip. Also, all the wasted space screams for on-screen navigation buttons.

This will be the second TikTok app on a TV platform, coming about half a year after the service got an Amazon Fire TV app. And that app — More on TikTok — didn't exactly catch fire.

We'll stay tuned to see if TikTok takes off on Android TV.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.