I have just updated my Downloader app to v1.4.1 and with this update I’ve added the ability to perform a Google search directly from the URL field. Most people already know the URL they want to load when using Downloader, but those who don’t tend to first load Google and search. In those cases, this update saves you a step by not needing to load google.com first. Just enter your search term into the URL field on either the Home screen or the Browser screen of the app and hit Go to directly load a Google search in the app’s built-in browser.
Of course, you can still enter URLs to load them directly. You don’t have to perform a Google search if you don’t want to. A Google search is performed if the text entered contains a space or does not contain a period. All other text is treated as a URL, just like before.
Instead of performing a standard Google search with the entered query, I’m passing it into a Google Programmable Search Engine. It still loads Google search results on google.com, as you’d expect, but by using the programable search engine, it lets me tailor the UI better for use on a TV with a remote. For example, I’ve disabled other Google search tabs, like images and news, to simplify the UI. I’ve also enabled thumbnail images in search, to give a nice big easy target to click with the remote cursor.
If you prefer to use a standard Google search, you can always still just load google.com in the app and search the same way you did prior to this update. I do also want to note that Google collects stats for these searches, which I can view, and my server is relaying these searches to Google, so there are standard server logs being created for these searches. I have no way to see an individual person’s search history, nor do I have any interest in doing so, but I think it’s important for everyone to know that using the built-in search does result in additional anonymous logging, just like when you visit aftvnews.com or any other server. If you are not comfortable with that, you are more than welcome to just load google.com directly and perform your searches there. URLs entered in Downloader are not, and have never been, logged or passed to me/my server in any way.
This update is available now for both Fire TV and Android TV devices. If you’re using Downloader on an Android TV device, you may need to uninstall and then re-install the app from the Google Play Store. This is because I recently switched my app listing on Google Play, so if you are using the old listing, it will not receive this update. Also, Android TV users need to install the Browser Plugin by entering the URL