There's a lot of crap out there...but there are also some gems for the Apple TV. Here's our pick of the best...
Apple finally began talking its Apple TV device seriously back in 2012 when it realised it had shifted millions of them. Quietly selling in the background, the Apple TV, for the most part, wasn't a big deal. It did some cool stuff, but most people, at the time, circa 2010-2013, had ZERO idea about Apple's awesome media streaming puck. After Chromecast, interest in media streamers increased and so too did Apple TV sales by proxy. Noticing how popular Chromecast had become, and how people's TV viewing habits had changed, Apple decided to redesign and completely retool its Apple TV platform and in 2015 we saw the fruits of its labour — the new Apple TV.
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The new Apple TV is the best digital media player I've ever tried. That being said, it's hindered by a lack of quality apps and games, and some frustrating search capabilities. However, all these problems are easily resolvable–and quickly. As the weeks go on more quality apps and games will be released as developers become more familiar with the new platform. Once that happens, the Apple TV is going to rule the market."
The Apple TV has only been out for a few weeks, which means there's aren't a lot of quality apps for it yet, but there are a few standouts. Like any new platform, it's going to take developers a while to get a feel for the device and it's going to take users a while to get to know what kind of apps and games they want on the device. Once those two things come together, it's likely the Apple TV will be the greatest computing platform for the living room you've ever seen.
There's currently over 1,000 apps and games on the Apple TV Apple Store, and truthfully, most of them lurch between being pointless and outright sucking. However, there are some really great apps and games that do a great job of taking advantage of the TV-as-software-platform. Here are our favorites so far.
Cityscapes 4K by Magic Window (£2.99)
This beautiful screensaver app takes advantage of the new Apple TV's higher resolution. It shows you video of sunrises and sunsets, as well as day and night, in over 40 cities across the world including New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, and Madrid. The footage is gorgeous and it's a great way to show off your new Apple TV.
TasteIt TV (free)
TasteIt TV is a dedicated streaming app that focuses on cooking shows. With it you can stream clips from culinary shows around the world for free. It features content from Saveur, Epic Meal Time, Epicurious and more and adds new videos daily.
Throttle TV (free)
Throttle TV lets you watch your favorite automotive and motorcycle shows on your Apple TV. With content from AutoMotoTV, Motorcyclist, GT Channel, On Two Wheels and more you'll never be at a loss for something to watch. The app currently features thousands of premium shows and clips about cars, trucks, bikes with more content added daily.
Amazon Prime Video (free)
My gosh, it's finally here! After a years-long wait, Amazon Prime Video is FINALLY on Apple TV! That being said, the app could use some improvements. It's missing common UX elements like audio feedback when flicking through menu commands–and its layout is a bit unintuitive. However, at least Prime members can finally find the video portion of their subscriptions useful.
Stingrays Live (free)
This captivating app is brought to you by the California Academy of Sciences. I'll let their description take it away: "Switch between two high-definition webcams and spot every detail on 10+ species of fish. Watch as cownose and honeycomb rays circle our mangrove lagoon exhibit in search of their next meal—and it's not far away. Stop by Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 pm PT to see the next feeding. Our cams are live both day and night. Seeing a dark screen? It's likely nighttime. Please tune back in during daylight hours for more action."
Met Opera On Demand (free)
Stingrays not your thing? Try the opera. The official app of the Metropolitan Opera Association brings you unlimited streaming of more than 600 full-length Metropolitan Opera performances. The app is a free download and everyone gets a free 7 days of content. After that you'll need to join to continue taking advantage of the performances.
Wonderful Winter HD (free)
Now that it's officially December, virtually everyone is in the holiday mood. This simple app turns your TV into a display for beautiful winter landscapes. The nice thing is that the content isn't images, it's video which loops over, so it makes you feel like you've got your own personal window into winter wonderlands.
Shark Pool (free)
"Those pesky humans built a swimming pool above your cave – and now they spend their days sunbathing on rafts, tossing around a beach ball, and drinking warm soda. But you'll get your revenge: Play as a menacing killer shark and defend your cave from those uninvited, fleshy invaders!" says the app's description. "In Shark Pool, use strategy to precisely choose your path of attack and experience shark bouncing and chomping on a whole new level. The humans won't know what hit them! Along the way, earn multiplying power-ups to create the ultimate shark army. Time for a good ol' feeding frenzy."
Tinsel & Tunes Yule Log (free)
Tinsel & Tunes is a Christmas music radio station that broadcasts Christmas songs from November 1st to January 1st every year. This app gives you access to their music streams while displaying a beautiful virtual yule log on your television.
Winter Fireplaces (free)
It's the time of the year again where it's getting cold outside. Stay (virtually) warm inside with this free fireplace screensaver for your Apple TV. It gives you the options of displaying five different kinds of fireplaces–and that's about it. But what do you want? It's free.
Catalan Television (free)
There's a lot going on politically and socially in Catalan right now. Keep up with all the latest–plus popular Catalan television with this free app. It includes live access to Catalonian channels TV3, 3/24, Canal Super3, El 33, Esport3 and TV3CAT.
The Jackbox Party Pack 4 (£24.99)
Yes, this game is a bit expensive, but it's worth it. The Jackbox Party Pack 4 actually includes five games including Fibbage 3, Survive the Internet, Monster Seeking Monster, Bracketeering, and Civic Doodle. Each game allows between 2 or 3 to 8 players to play and players can play with their phones, tablets, computers, or, of course, 4th generation Apple TV.
How many times have you been sitting in front of your TV and said "I wish I could turn it into a giant calculator?" Yeah, I haven't either. But with Kalculator you can! Seriously. This is not a joke. But we guess it's kind cool as a utility…kinda. The devs have also built in some cool features like the to "store your operations history and resolve complex calculations." And hey, it's free. What do you want?
There are a lot of workout app for the Apple TV, but we like this one because of its unique take on living room exercises. The app teaches you "how to enhance your workouts by adding mental and spiritual health in your movement for a more holistic experience." It features all types of exercise routines, including their popular 60-second dance interval videos.
Christmas Ambience HD (free)
Yes, it's not even Halloween–but that will be gone before you know it. And then November goes quickly and pretty soon you hear Christmas music everywhere and discover how much of a festive mood you're in. Get your Apple TV read for the holiday season with this app. It features beautiful animated backgrounds with SFX and music. You can also adjust audio and set a sleep timer so the app winds down automatically.
Halloween Video Wallpapers (free)
October is here and Halloween is almost upon us. Is you want to use your Apple TV in your Halloween decorations setup, download this app that gives you 5 Halloween themed video wallpapers on your TV!
Momento - GIF Maker (free)
The developer says that using a smart detection algorithm Momento automatically creates beautiful moments using your already on the device photos. It's a terrific way to see your pictures spring to live on your Apple TV.
The British Trivia Challenge (£0.99)
A great app for a night in with the fam. From the description: "How well do you know your British Trivia? Test your knowledge in The British Trivia Challenge! British Trivia has never been so much fun. Challenge yourself or have a trivia night with friends and family in Party Mode! Choose from the most popular British trivia categories including Films, Literature, Music, Places, Sitcoms and Soap Operas. If that's not enough, go ahead and give the wheel challenge a spin! The British Trivia Challenge includes high quality graphics and covers your 6 favourite categories: Films, Literature, Music, Places, Sitcoms, Soap Operas."
Galaxy HD TV (£1.99)
Galaxy HD TV will turn your display into a beautiful view from space. You can enjoy amazing high-quality galaxy views from your Apple TV. Galaxy HD TV will not only allow you to customize your screen but also give you a relaxing atmosphere. Just open this app, decorate your TV screen and impress your guests. Perfect for relaxation, entertainment or to simply leave on your TV while you go about your day or have a conversation with friends and family. The download of this app will give you access to 12 different HD quality views from space which all are in high definition resolution (1920x1080).
Coloring Book - Children (free)
CHILDREN is a funny drawing and coloring app for all ages, according to the apps developers You can enjoy high-quality pictures to color and a blank paper page in which you can draw whatever you like, they say. In reality, it probably is a perfect app for those of you with children. Plop them down in front of the TV, give them the Siri Remote, and let an Apple device raise them.
Audio Books by Audiobooks (free)
This free audiobook app has a library of 2500+ free audiobooks, and more than 100,000 premium audiobooks in every genre including fiction, romance, business, sci-fi, mystery and more. Access thousands of best sellers and hundreds of new releases added every week. Download or stream an audio book to your Apple TV and start listening to a great story instantly, no need to sync to your computer! Read more books and get more done with our most stable, feature-filled app ever.
It's rare that I call an app brilliant, but this, well, you're either going to love it or not, depending on your political point of view. So I'm going to let the app's description talk for itself:
"Try to get as far away from Donald Trump as you can! He has an army of Steve Bannon Bots, Trump Clones and Putinators! Save as many prisoners as you can while dodging his grabby hands. Satirical Endless Runner. Compare your highscores to players around the world."
But seriously, the graphics are great, the concept timely, and it's anything but "Sad!"
Can an app be art? I'll let you all decide that. But this app thinks it can. As per the description:
"Inspired by the summer sky, Sky conveys our aspiration to be surrounded with positive energy, joy and beauty. Sky is the latest generative artwork by NightEnLight. It unfolds differently every time it is played creating an ever-changing, captivating piece of art.
In his art and music, NightEnLight drives his inspiration from Nature's endless changes of shapes and hues. Sky's multiple layers of blue patterns moving at varying speeds and unfolding differently all the time, captures perfectly the rhythm of the breezy summer atmosphere.
The ambient, captivating music composed by NightEnLight follows the screen dance of the airy shapes. To express the fluidity and dynamic of the constantly evolving soundscape, NightEnLight created his own unique instrument and played it live into the AniMOOG synthesizer."
All I can say is this game is really addictive. You use the Apple TV remote to collect specific shapes. As the description states: "In this world the Platonic shapes rule. How many points can you collect before they get to you? Use the touchpad to navigate, and take advantage of the power ups that will help you avoid the regular polygons who have their largest army in two dimensions." Simple but fun. Oh, and also the music by by some dude with the best name ever: Badass Wolf Shirt.
Vudu - Movies & TV (free)
Many times when you buy a DVD or Blu Ray it will have a code for a free digital download of the same movie. Sometimes these codes will work in iTunes or the Play Store, but sometimes they will only work via a service called Vudu. This official Vudu app allows you to access all your movies saved in your Vudu account right on the Apple TV.
Halloween Fireplace Video Wallpaper (free)
Halloween is going to be here sooner than you think. Get your Apple TV in the mood with this holiday themed video wallpaper. It turns your TV into a Halloween fireplace and offers 4 different video loops with realistic fire sound effects.
Radiation City (£4.99)
Radiation City is the kinda-sequel to Radiation Island, an open world game I loved a lot for its atmospheric creepiness. The game is a first person shooter where you play someone who ventures to the city of Pripyat near where the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster happened. Its open world environment is breathtaking for an Apple TV game and the ability to craft weapons and the necessity to hunt for food while fighting off sub-human creatures and predators gives it a real console feel.
Swim Out (£1.99)
This excellent puzzler game is perfect for those who want to escape the heat of summer–virtually anyway. The object of the game uses turn-based gameplay to move your swimmer from one of of the pool, lake, or sea to the next without hitting the other swimmers in the pool. The game features 100 levels set in beautiful landscapes, with excellent audio effects.
IFI Player (free)
This is a must have app if you're a fan of Irish cinema. The app gives you access to the Irish Film Institute's moving images collection. Contemporary short films, newsreels, travelogues, animation, public information films, home movies and documentaries have been included from the past 100 years with new content added on a regular basis.
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - TV Edition (£9.99)
The popular Oddworld series comes to the Apple TV! The setup: "In the dusty, undeveloped wastelands of Western Mudos, cantankerous townsfolk find their settlements besieged by belligerent outlaws. Along comes Stranger, a drifter turned bounty hunter, with a unique double-barreled critter-firing crossbow." Intrigued? Go grab it right now. It's a terrific port.
ChefsFeed is a great app for foodies. It offers dozens of exclusive videos that take you inside some of the best kitchens in the world as well as the lives of chefs. The app also gives you restaurant reviews and recommends places to eat based on any city you are browsing. You can even save or share lists of favorite dishes, restaurants, chefs, stories, or videos.
Agent A (£4.99)
This stylish puzzle and adventure game harkens back to the art styles of the 1960s. You play Agent A who is tasked with infiltrating the secret hideout of Ruby La Rouge and apprehend or neutralize her. The game is full of wonderful puzzles that get you closer to Ruby La Rouge as you solve each one. It's a fantastic game with hours worth of gameplay–and one which you'll quickly get addicted to. Plus it looks great on a big television screen.
Batman Unlimited (£2.99)
The great DC puzzle adventure app combines decision-making, problem-solving and fast-paced action in the Batman universe. The game features a host of DC heroes including Flash, Green Arrow, Batgirl, Red Robin, Nightwing, and Cyborg as well as villains Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy and Silver Banshee. With 40 interactive story pages and 10 immersive interactive experiences, this is a great way to explore the cartoon realization of Gotham City.
This Disney app is a subscription service that gives you instant access to over 400 Disney movies and 4000 Disney TV shows on demand. Think of this as Netflix for Disney. It's a terrific addition to your Apple TV if you love the company…or just have young kids. While the app is free, a subscription will cost you £5 a month—but everyone can try it out for free for one month.
Runtastic Results (free)
Runtastic Results is the home exercise app for Apple TV that allows you to get fit in just 12 weeks. The app allows you to set your goals and workout plans and then shows you all the body weight and other exercises you need to do to reach your goals. It's one of the best fitness apps we've seen for the Apple TV.
Magic Fireplace (£0.99)
Magic Fireplace is the best fireplace app I've seen for the Apple TV. It includes 26 professionally captured fireplaces including slow motion 60fps fire and all videos are professionally mastered at 4K sampled to 1920x1080 for the Apple TV. You also have the option of adding 4 color filters, including an awesome black & white one, to any fireplace, and can toggle music or an on-screen clock on or off.
Shadowmatic is an excellent puzzle game based on light and shapes. The object of the game is to rotate seemingly abstract objects around in front of a light source. Physically the objects look like they have no discernible shape, yet when their shadows are cast on the wall behind them their abstract forms are shown to be anything but.
BADLAND 2 (£2.99)
Badland was one of the most beautiful side scrollers we've seen on iOS, so it was great to see when it came to the big screen via Apple TV. In this sequel you play the inhabitant of again what on the surface looks like a beautiful fairytale forest, but you soon know there's some, quite frankly, creepy stuff going on in the background. The aim of the game is to explore this side-scrollers levels to find out what's going on, but this sequel has all new elements including liquids, flamethrowers, frost, magma, water and volumetric burning light. And the still game uses some of the best physics gameplay we've encountered.
Corridor Z (free)
This inverted runner will have you jumping off your couch. An alternate take on most endless runners, this one sees the main character running towards your screen—being chased by zombies of course. The story follows three high school kids who have been locked in their school after zombies have overrun their small town. It's a terrific game perfectly suited for the Apple TV.
FRAMED 2 (£4.99)
The prequel to the hit noir puzzle game, this game is a stand alone entry with a brand new story into the Framed world. Years ago, a mysterious ship smuggled precious cargo into an exotic land…and we won't tell you more than that lest we ruin the surprises. However, the story isn't set, as the object of this game is to change the comic book panes' order—and thus change the outcome of the game. It's a fantastic puzzler.
AnimeCons TV (free)
If you're into anime, you'll want to download AnimeCons TV for your Apple TV. It keeps track of all the various anime conventions around the world. The app features the latest anime con news, convention reports, helpful information about attending conventions, lists of upcoming conventions, and answers to your questions about anime conventions.
The WWDC app for the Apple TV allows you to watch live streamed videos from this year's developer's conference as they happen. You'll also be able to browse Apple's entire back catalog of recorded events and sessions to learn from Apple's top developers on how to make your apps the best they can be.
The most popular web-only newspaper comes to the Apple TV. Use the HuffPost app to view all the video content from the website. The app features five curated playlists including Top 5, News, Politics, Entertainment and Lifestyle. It also has powerful search features and categories so you can easily find the video content you are looking for.
Instant NOAA Weather Forecast (free)
This beautiful weather app for the Apple TV allows you to see the weather forecast for 500 cities. Check out the five day forecast, view weather maps, and never be caught out in the rain again—provided you check the app before you leave the house.
Haystack TV News (free)
This is an awesome app that turns your Apple TV into the ultimate video streamer. The app allows you to stream video from a wide range of sources including national broadcasters and niche apps. You choose your favorite topics and channels and the app learns what you like serving up more relevant content as time goes on. I've been using it for a week and it's already evident this is on the the best Apple TV apps I've found. If Apple wants to do television right, they should seriously think about acquiring this app.
Speaking of great news apps, the new and completely redesigned Bloomberg Apple TV app is another great example of how streaming news can be done. This is the app to get if you care about global business and finance news. It allows you to livestream Bloomberg shows live as they happen and also gives you a massive library of past shows and segments to stream.
The ultimate online travel destination, TripAdvisor is a staple for travelers. Now they've brought their app to the Apple TV so you can browse destinations and see reviews of the best places to visit. Complete with a brilliant layout and gorgeous images, TripAdvisor for Apple TV is a terrific app.
Instant Currency Converter (free)
If you're a fan of currency markets or just want to see what the exchange rate is for an upcoming trip, download the free Instant Currency Converter for Apple TV. The simple app turns your Apple TV into a giant currency calculator you can easily navigate with the Apple Site Remote.
Zombies Chasing My Cat (free)
This hilarious arcade shoot/runner's premise is based on that stupid thing someone in every group in a zombie movie does: risk their life to go searching for their pet after the undead have overrun the world. The tongue-in-cheep app is lot of fun, with levels including deserted towns, abandoned farms, military bases, woods, graveyards, deserts, and coastlines. Sweep a prison, a disease control center, and even a UFO crash site.
What is my IP Address? (free)
This simple utility app allows you to easily see the IP address of your Apple TV. The stakes it easy to configure your Apple TV with other networking equipment and software like routers and firewalls. The app shows you your external IPv4 Address.
Hitman GO (£2.99)
If you're a fan of the first-person shooter Hitman video game series, Hitman GO...is nothing like that--it's even better. Instead of FPS action Hitman Go is a highly visualized turn-based puzzle game not that different than chess if the object of chess were to assassinate people. But forget about the style of play. This game needs to be downloaded by everyone because it is jaw droppingly beautiful. Every level is a diorama-style set piece that looks like a stunning scale model you might see in an architecture firm's lobby. Everything from the design to the lighting to the music and sound effects is styled to perfect.
Dark Echo (£1.99)
Dark Echo is one of the greatest puzzle games to come out in years. The game's description explains this unique experience best: "Trapped in darkness, you must use visualized sound to guide your way through threatening environments. The sounds you create will bounce off obstacles, revealing the shape of the surrounding world. It won't be long before your only way of sensing the world attracts a horrifying evil that devours both sound and souls." Just beware of those red lines…
Universal Zoom: All About Sizes and Distances (£3.99)
This is one of my favorite reference apps for the Apple TV. Universal Zoom shows you the relative size of various things in the universe, from human beings to dinosaurs to planets and solar systems (and far larger things). It also shows things of smaller sizes, such as atoms and subatomic particles. The user interface is brilliantly designed and scrolling along the size charts will put in perspective just how big and small things really are.
CheapCharts is hands down my most favorite app I've found in months. The app allows you to quickly see price changes for all the media offered in the iTunes and App stores - movies, tv shows, apps, books, and more. See the price history for each media and get alerted to when a particular media goes on sale. In the last week alone I've saved over £20 buying two movies that are normally $14.99, but CheapCharts alerted me when there prices both fell to $4.99 for one day only.
ESPN totally redid its app for Apple TV and the result is more feature than ever. New features include Live Streaming Auto-Play; ESPN Video On Demand: A new collection of curated on-demand videos including hundreds of hours of additional content from 30 for 30, E:60, Outside the Lines, SC Featured, World Series of Poker, X Games and more; and best of all a sleeker, simpler user interface in addition to visual graphic enhancements to Featured content, users can also browse videos by Sports & Events or Channels.
Comet TV (free)
If you're a sci-fi lover you'll want to download this free channel app. COMET is a free television channel dedicated to sci-fi entertainment offering popular favorites, cult classics, and undiscovered gems, every day. Shows include fan favorites like Stargate SG 1.
Movie of the Day (free)
This app from Fox Digital offers a discounted movie every day on iTunes. Whereas most iTunes movies cost $12-20USD on iTunes, movies through Movie of the Day typically cost less than half–and just $8. Past movies of the day have included Deadpool, Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and Epic.
Consumer Reports Video (free)
Consumer Reports has long been one of the most respected, non-biased review sites on the web. This app for the Apple TV brings all the best of Consumer Reports' video reviews to your television. Watch reviews of everything from cars to electronics to appliances. You can also watch videos that show you just how Consumer Reports tests and rates the things they review.
AFV animals (free)
If animals are your thing, you'll want to download this Apple TV app from America's Funniest Home videos. As the app states, "AFV Animals delivers your daily fix of LOL pet clips and premium original shows for animal lovers of all ages. Come visit us to see all of your favorite animal moments from America's Funniest Home Videos both old and new."
As the game's description says: FRAMED is a multi-award winning noir-puzzle game where you re-arrange panels of animated comic book to change the outcome of the story. And it is one hell of a beautiful game: the design is simply astounding. Combine that with rich animation and a killer jazz soundtrack and Framed is one of the best games you'll play this year. And now on the Apple TV.
Facebook Video (free)
Yes, Facebook finally comes to the Apple TV. But this isn't an app for reading fake news stories and stalking your exes. No, this app is all about video. The app allows you to watch videos from friends, liked pages, top live videos and more. It serves up videos across six categories including Shared by Friends, Following, Recommended for You, Top Live Videos, Saved Videos and Recently Watched.
Aquarium TV Edition (free)
You can have the beautiful aquarium you always wanted thanks to this app. It transforms your television into the aquarium of your dreams. The app features four video wallpapers that include angel fish, sharks, cardinal fishes, and anemone fish.
One of the world's most popular travel apps comes to the Apple TV! KAYAK on Apple TV is everything you love about the mobile app, from the comfort of your couch. Fight flights or hotels, see the best deals and trending flights, and plan your next trip by saving potential flights and hotels to your Kayak account.
Moodica is a great app that provides videos to help you relax, sleep better or bring color and mood to any room–right on your Apple TV. Want to wake up with the sunrise, watch an adorable kitten sleep, or perk up your party with cool visuals? Just download Moodica and watch away. I particularly recommend the Japanese lanterns video.
The award-winning independent adventure game comes to the Apple TV. In Machinarium you help Josef the robot to save his girlfriend Berta kidnapped by the Black Cap Brotherhood gang. While the story is solid, it's the art direction of this game that makes it so captivating. You'll spend hours exploring the Tim Burton-esque worlds of the game.
Lego Batman Movie Game (free)
This game based on the new Lego Batman Movie is as fun as the movie itself. Firmly young in cheek, you get to play the billionaire playboy by day, vigilante by night in all his blocky glory. It's the little things in the game that make it great, like all the various outfits Batman can wear and the DJ mini game, where the Bat can get his groove on.
Stock Wall Live (free)
Stock Wall Live is a great app for anyone who loves following the financial markets. It allows you to easily view the latest quotes on over 25,000 stocks, ETFs, indices and traded commodities. What's really clever about the app i it allows you to use voice input to customize your list of symbols. You can also customize the stock dashboard so it looks just how you want it to.
Solid Soccer (free)
Despite the game, this is football through and through. It's a fantastic real-time multiplayer that has transitioned perfectly from the touchscreen to your Apple TV. Build, train, and organize your teams as they play against other teams from around the world. Keep winning to improve your ratings and get promoted to higher leagues.
Leo's Fortune (£4.99)
The platform adventure game that became a smash hit on iOS comes to the Apple TV. Play the lovable creature as you hunt down the cunning and mysterious thief that stole your gold. The game features beautifully hand-crafted levels. If you enjoyed this game on your smartphone, you'll love seeing it on your big screen TV.
The Film Detective (free)
If you are a fan of classic films, you'll want to download The Film Detective for your Apple TV. The organization searches the world for classic films, restores them, and then streams them for your enjoyment. It does require a monthly subscription to view the films, but it's well worth it if you're a cinema lover.
Reuters TV (free)
Reuters TV: Video News is a great app for the Apple TV that delivers video news right to your screen. But it has a twist: the app asks you how much time you have–10, 15 or 30 minutes? It then curates enough news to fill the time you specify. With its beautiful interface, powerful reporting, and high level of customization, this is one of the best news apps we've seen on the Apple TV.
This app is terrific for developers who work with Beacons–small Bluetooth emitters that allow you to track people's phones and send them real-time updates based on their location. Beacons are used in many industries, including retail, where stores use them to push coupons to people shopping inside. tvProximity turns your Apple TV as a proximity iBeacon emitter so you can mimic an actual beacon for app testing.
Real Kick Soccer Pro (£1.79)
Real Kick Soccer Pro is a fun casual app that allows you to practice your penalty shootouts and freekick skills in tournaments against football teams from around the world. You use your Siri Remote and swing towards the goal to shoot hard, high, low, curve balls and chip shots. It's not FIFA 17, mind you, but it's fun enough.
Bitcoin Monitor (£2.49)
Obsessed with Bitcoin, this simple buy useful app shows you the average USD market price across all major bitcoin exchanges right on your Apple TV. A large number shows the current rate, which is visible even from the other side of the living room. The graph shows the average day price of bitcoin for the last 30 days. Both current and average rates get updated every couple of seconds.
Lara Croft GO (£0.79)
A few years ago game maker Square Enix Montréal decided to take a unique angle on the development of the Hitman franchise. They turned what was a first-person shooter and stealth console game into an amazing turn-based puzzler. The game was one of the biggest hits on iOS that year. Square Enix followed that up with Lara Croft GO–and now it (and Hitman Go) are available on the Apple TV. In the game you play the Tomb Raider as she explores lost and forgotten worlds in an addictive turn-based puzzler.
Fast Company Network (free)
The massively popular American magazine has launched an Apple TV app to showcase its video assets. This new Apple TV channel features all the best videos covering innovations in tech, entertainment, and business. New videos are added weekly. And best of all the app and its content are totally free.
Minecraft: Apple TV Edition (£15.99)
The global sensation has come to the Apple TV. In Minecraft: Apple TV Edition, everything you love about the property is here–explore randomly generated worlds and build amazing things from the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles. Play in creative mode with unlimited resources or mine deep into the world in survival mode, crafting weapons and armor to fend off the dangerous mobs. Sure, it's a bit pricey, but this is more a console game than generic Apple TV app/game.
Yeah, you can now finally use Tinder on your Apple TV. Not only do you no longer need to go out to meet people, now you don't even need to leave the couch. Jokes aside, the app is a fantastic transition from mobile to TV. It takes advantage of the Apple TV's remote's touch surface to allow users to easily swipe through profiles. Admittedly, it does kind of turn dating into a spectator sport if others are in the room, but it's still a cool app.
FilmStruck is the streaming service from Turner Classic Movies that caters to film lovers. Unlike Netflix, which has a lot of crap, FilmStruck concentrates on classics, foreign, and art-house movies. It's also the exclusive streaming home of the Criterion Collection. Now with its Apple TV app, subscribers will be able to access all the content FilmStruck offers from the comfort of their couch.
The Shopping Channel better watch out–Amazon is on the Apple TV and their app allows users to not only browse their entire selection of products using Siri voice search, but to also buy them with the click of a button. However, since the app doesn't support manual entry of payment details, if you want to enable one-touch purchasing you'll need to log in with your Prime membership details. If you don't have Prime, you won't be able to buy products but can still use the app to browse.
iBooks StoryTime (free)
iBooks StoryTime from Apple brings iBooks to the big screen. No, you won't be reading books on your TV, instead the app takes advantage of Read-Aloud books to gives your family a different way to experience classic kids' books and discover new favorites. With Read-Aloud narration and beautiful illustrations, every handpicked title in the app transforms Apple TV into an engaging place for young readers to enjoy the stories they love.
Tiny Wings TV (£1.99)
One of the most popular iOS games of all time comes to the Apple TV. Tiny Wings TV has gameplay that is identical to the iOS counterpart, but it adds some Apple TV-only features such as split-screen multiplayer and 25 hand-designed levels in the new "Flight School" mode. Best of all you can sync your progress across the Apple TV and iOS apps thanks to iCloud.
The world's largest ticket marketplace has brought their app to the Apple TV. Why, you might ask? Yeah, a TV isn't the most likely place people want to buy tickets to concerts and sporting events, but the StubHub TV app acts more as a second screen to their smartphone apps. You can of course browse different events to show for tickets–but on the Apple TV app you can also see pictures of the venue–be it a concert hall or a football stadium–from the point of view of your chosen seat. This allows you to see what your view of the event would be based on your selected ticket choice. It's a great feature and one which is sure to help people make better seat choices in the future.
It's that time of the year where we all tend to gain a few pounds. Yes, the holidays are upon us so we all need to be extra careful we're getting enough exercise to burn off all those sweet treats we eat. Enter Zova, the customizable personal trainer for your Apple TV. What's great about this app is that it tailors workouts to your goals and fitness levels and only suggest workouts that you can do in your living room right in front of your television.
Hallmark Channel Everywhere (free)
Speaking of the holidays…they wouldn't be complete without those cheesy Christmas movies from Hallmark Channel. Using the official Hallmark Channel app you can now binge watch as many of the cringe worthy stories as you desire–and in the process perhaps find a little love to warm your cold heart. Bah' humbug!
PlayStation Vue (free)
PlayStation Vue is the official streaming app from Sony that allows you to stream the latest films, TV shows, and even live television right to your Apple TV. The best thing is that there's no annual contract or subscription required. Pay as you go, month-to-month. Another big plus is its built-in DVR capabilities so you can access content when you want to.
CARROT Weather: Talking Forecast Robot (£2.99)
Carrot Weather is the sarcastic weather app for your Apple TV. It gives you accurate weather forecasts, but with attitude thanks to quips from a robotic voice. The app also features a beautiful, minimalist interface, short-term, 24-hour, and 7-day forecasts; support for celsius and metric measurements; and data point comprising everything from temperature to humidity to moon phases.
The Flickr app for Apple TV is a must for any Flickr user. It allows you to browse the billions of photos Flickr hosts right on your Apple TV. But more than just a browsing tool, the app allows you favorite photos and photographers and make any album into a slideshow or screensaver ready to share with friends, or customize in real-time with over fifteen different slideshow and screensaver modes.
iTunes Movie Trailers (free)
This is one of the best Apple TV apps. It's Apple's gateway to all the movie trailers you could ever want. Access hundreds of the latest trailers as well as exclusive clips to upcoming movies. Save your favorites so you can remember which flicks you want to see in the theater, and browse showtimes of local theaters. The only rub is right now the app only supports US and Canada.
Animal Cameras (£1.79)
Animal Cameras is a terrific app for the Apple TV. It's a webcam portal from cameras a zoos around the world. Select what animal you want to view and the app will show you the live video feed of those animals from various zoos. Animal categories include wolves, elephants, giraffes, bears, monkeys, and more.
RelaxMyDog - Relaxing Music for Dogs (free)
For an app related to an animal in your home, try out RelaxMyDog. I kid you not, this app is literally made to relax fido. It plays music and video scenes that are supposed to calm your dog down during grooming, training, thunderstorms, and fireworks. Does it really work? I don't know, my dog died this year, but the app is free so give it a try.
Late Shift – Your Decisions Are You (£4.99)
Late Shift - Your Decisions Are You shows you just how powerful the Apple TV can be as a gaming platform. It eschews graphics-based gaming for actually movie footage-based gaming. The game is essentially a four hour movie that lets you make certain decisions for Matt, the main character, along the way. Your decisions alter and affect the plot–and the film's ending. And after you finish the movie for the first time you can go back and start at various chapters to see what would have happened had you made different decisions.
The CW (free)
By now it's not strange for television networks to have their own apps. However, much of their content is locked behind a subscription wall–this is especially true of US television networks. The CW's new app throws this out the window by providing full television shows for viewing just a day after they air–absolutely free, now subscription or account needed. Now you can catch hits like Supergirl, The Flash, and Arrow any time you want.
Halloween Video Wallpaper (free)
It's one of the best time of the years–autumn and one of the best holidays is coming up–Halloween! This simple app gives you a plethora of Halloween-themed wallpaper for your Apple TV that you can display in the background of a ghoulishly fun kids Halloween party. And of course, there's a scary good Halloween soundtrack to go along with it.
The Home Depot DIY Projects (free)
An excellent app for DIY folks, Home Depot's DIY Projects gives you an unending supply of DIY ideas for around the home. The Apple TV is a natural fit for the type of content Home Depot DIY Projects presents, with full screen video and step by step instructions from everything from fixing the sync to repairing a leaky roof. The app also offers projects categorized by room and even seasons.
You can't exactly access your entire Twitter feed on your Apple TV with this official Twitter app, but those who like the service will be sure to find it useful anyway. That's because the Twitter Apple TV app focuses on video (a 'natch for the Apple TV) and will show live streams of content from MLB Advanced Media, the NBA, Pac 12 Networks, Campus Insiders, Cheddar and Bloomberg News, as well as the NFL. Twitter says the app allows you to "consume the best of Twitter" right on your television.
GIF GIF GIF (free)
Who doesn't love GIFs? This app brings millions of GIFs right to your Apple TV. Whether you want to view the latest GIFs in a dark room by yourself and laugh like a lunatic or keep the app's slideshow feature on during a party to provide giggles, the app is a great tonic for the GIF-obsessed. Oh, and it's FREE.
3D Comics by Ray Zone (£1.79)
Ray Zone was a comic book artist and publisher who made 3D comics back in the 1950s. This app brings one of his comics, "Jungle Adventures" right to your Apple TV screen. You'll need to find an old pair of red and blue 3D glasses yourself, but once you have those you can then read the entire 28 page comic on your Apple TV–with other comics hopefully being added in the future.
Duet Game (£2.29)
The beautiful, minimalist puzzler iOS game comes to the Apple TV! It's big screen transition is as smooth as its gameplay, in which you navigate two dots around an obstacle course of walls and other obstacles. With over 140 levels, Duet Game will keep you entertained for hours.
Reuters TV: Video News (free)
Reuters TV: Video News is a great app for the Apple TV that delivers video news right to your screen. But it has a twist: the app asks you how much time you have–10, 15 or 30 minutes? It then curates enough news to fill the time you specify. With its beautiful interface, powerful reporting, and high level of customization, this is one of the best news apps we've seen on the Apple TV.
Pocket Boxing TV (free)
Pocket Boxing TV is a great homage to classic NES boxing games. In this one you put on the gloves to fight massive opponents dodging, ducking, and punching your way to victory. The graphics are retro-ly terrific and the names of your opponents are equally old-school cool: Jersey Joe, Moose McGee, Super Ivan, Mean Bean, Kimber Slash, Palooka Pete, Rasta King, and Kid Turbo! What are you waiting for? Put on those gloves, get out there, and fight!
Nightgate is a beautiful puzzler set in the year 2398, after a great war. All that exists on Earth are a network of intelligent computers known as Nightgate. In the game, which features beautiful geometric graphics, you interact in the gorgeous computer world, traversing 50 levels as you try to discover what lies beyond the futuristic landscapes of Nightgate. Download the game today–it's a perfect fit for the Apple TV.
Papa John's (free)
Love the Apple TV? Love pizza? They you'll love the new Papa John's Apple TV app. The app allows you to order Papa John's pizza directly from your TV right to your door…where you can then sit down in front of your TV again and gorge yourself. The app features Papa John's full menu of pizzas, sides, drinks, and desserts, including a fully customizable pizza topping creator available. Users will also get 25% off of each order placed through the Apple TV app.
Locate with Google Maps (free)
If you like the look of Apple Maps with the point of interest database of Google Maps, then Locate with Google Maps is for you. The free app uses Google's POI database and overlays results on Apple's MapKit on the Apple TV to give you the most precise mapping tools available on Apple's digital media player. And it's free; what more can you ask for?
Mazecraft 3D (free)
Mazecraft 3D is a fun puzzle game that sees you trying to navigate a maze full of zombies and other dangers. It's casual gaming format and retro #D graphics is perfect for the Apple TV. Best of all the mazes are auto generated by an algorithm so you'll never play the same level twice!
Historical Maps of Europe Details (£2.99)
Historical Maps of Europe Details is a great reference and educational app that lets you view the changing maps of Europe through the centuries. See what the continent looked like a thousand years ago or today and even compare maps to see how things change.
HeadlineTV is a slideshow app that shows beautiful illustrations overlaid with the current news. This is the kind of app that's great to have running in the background whether you're at home or at work. News sources include the New York Times, United Press International Headlines, TechCrunch, and CNN Top Stories.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (free)
No, you can't edit your pictures on the Apple TV, but Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom for Apple TV does allow you to view all your pics and collections right on your big screen; simply log into your Adobe Creative Cloud account and all your images will appear! As Adobe notes: All your photos, are always available with your latest edits. In Lightroom for Apple TV, you can view and share all of your synced Lightroom photos including photos you've uploaded via Lightroom CC on your desktop, Lightroom on mobile, or Lightroom on the web.
Spideo Movie Discovery (free)
Spideo Movie Discovery is a great discovery tool for the iTunes Movie Store. This is an app that should just be built into the Apple TV to begin with, but at least if Apple is dropping the ball, other companies are picking up the slack. Use the app to let it know your preferred genre and categories and Spideo Movie Discovery will keep track of new releases on the iTunes Movie store that fit your tastes and tell you when new matches are available.
Forex TV (£1.49)
If you are into personal finance–or just do a lot of international traveling, Forex TV is a great app for you. The app streams video of the latest forex news, the latest updated information, and forecasts of leading analysts so you can always be in the know for the current currency markets.
Professor Astro Cat's Solar System (£2.29)
Professor Astro Cat's Solar System is a great educational app for those Apple TV owners who have children. They can explore the solar system with Astro the cat in a wonderfully animated interactive experience. In addition to discovering the planets, moons, suns, and spacecraft, the app also includes mini games and quizzes that are sure to keep your little astronauts entertained.
RISK: TV Edition (£1.79)
The classic world domination game comes to the Apple TV! Yet this version is more than a digital board game. It offers several multiple game modes including: Play Friends online, Single Player, and Pass & Play. It also allows you to play with 6 real people against intelligent AI. The graphics are great too, with animated avatars and beautiful maps. As the game says: Defend your territories, draft troops, and launch attacks for the ultimate conquest against friends, family, and foes!
Suicide Squad: Special Ops (free)
This is the official game of the upcoming DC Comics movie (which we hope is better than Batman Vs Superman). It's a first person shooter that sees you in charge of a squad of super villains who need to defeat enemies intent on ruin. Play as Harley Quinn, Deadshot, or Diablo, as you explore the city to locate health packs, ammo and upgrades in order to survive against your enemies.
Dungeon Tiles (free)
Looking for a fun strategic puzzle game for the Apple TV? Dungeon Tiles is just that: a strategic puzzle game combined with minimalist graphics and RPG elements where players swipe the screen to collect swords, dragons, lives, and gold. It's a great time waster in the living room and—best of all—has a two-player option for competing against friends.
Cheddar is a new news platform that broadcasts from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It covers the technology, media, and entertainment industries and features exclusive CEO and founder interviews, company profiles, and business advice straight from the experts.
Perfect Storm HD (£0.79)
Perfect Storm HD is a screensaver app that allows you to display various nature images on your TV as interactive rain falls down on the screen. The sound effects of the rain are great and you can even control how often it thunders and how loud the thunder and rain gets. It's perfect for those that like a little background noise in their room.
YogaGlo is a great app for the Apple TV that teaches you yoga and provides workouts you follow along with on your television screen. The app features over 3,000 different classes, which are available to subscribing members. Best of all the classes vary in length so you can choose the one best for the amount of time you have available to exercise.
Sling TV (free)
The popular internet-based streaming TV service finally comes to the Apple TV. This app gives cord cutters full access to Sling's offerings including MTV, MTV2, LOGO, TV Land, Spike, Nick Jr., NickToons, and TeenNick, ESPN, and more. Do note that channel packages available to you depend on your subscription. Despite the monthly cost, this is one of the best apps available to watch live tv on your Apple TV…until Apple gets around to providing a live streaming service, that is.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (£2.99)
The classic adventure game comes to the Apple TV in all its retro glory. Of course, fans of the 90s will remember that Sonic 2 is when Sonic got his sidekick Miles "Tails" Prower. This game allows you to play as either as you progress through beautifully pixelated worlds fighting the minions of Dr. Eggman.
Horror Hop (free)
Horror Hop is a beautiful game where you play one of fifteen different emoticons as they traverse their way through a horrible landscape. Traverse obstacles, save characters from traps, and most of all just sit back and enjoy the atmospheric and engaging game play.
Subway Simulator 3D - Underground Drive (free)
Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to be a tube driver? Me neither, yet here we are. Subway Simulator 3D puts you in the driving seat of the subway—and you literally need to do almost everything a real tube driver does: open and close doors so passengers can get on and off, track your speed so you don't go to slow or fast, and even use the warning horn when necessary. Complete missions to unlock new trains and routes. It's a fun game when you have 10 minutes to kill.
Classix is yet another app for the Apple TV that allows you to view public domain movies for free . Yet Classix has a cool feature: it learns what you like to watch based on your watch history and uses your tastes to recommend more classic movies you might enjoy. New movies and TV shows are added all the time too.
BitTorrent Live (free)
BitTorrent Live is brought to you by BitTorrent, Inc and features live streaming OTT programming free on your Apple TV. Channels include alternative voices in news, action sports, live events, entertainment and cultural programming all curated by BitTorrent. Plus the app adds new channels each day.
Over The Net 3D (free)
Over The Net 3D is a fun Apple TV version of the iOS updated with 3D graphics. It features realistic graphics and 12 different volleyball teams. Best of all it support gamepads to give the game a more console-like experience!
Don't Be Sushi! (free)
In this fun game you play a young squid trying to not become sushi. Jump around the screen from plate to plate avoid the knife of the sushi chef and collect coins and new characters along the way. Mmmm….now I want sushi….
Slide the Shakes (free)
Slide the Shakes is a fun physics puzzler that sees you making shakes and then sliding them across the counter to get them to your customer. The game translates well to the Apple TV and it's got great art direction that harkens back to the style of the 60s (when shakes were the in thing). Great time waster.
The summer is here and it's time for holidays! GuidePal is a great free Apple TV app that allows you to browse city guides right on your TV. Guides include everything from London to Honolulu to Taipei.
Kitchen Stories (free)
Want to learn how to cook better? Give the free Kitchen Stories a download. It'll let you browse photo and video receipts of your soon to be favorite new dishes. It offers various thematic packages including "All-time classics", "Pasta variations" or "20 Minute Dishes". And if you're vegan or vegetarian you'll love that there are plenty of either recipes included among meat dishes as well.
Strange Rain (£2.29)
Strange Rain is a game that has been around on iOS for a while, and now it's come to the Apple TV. It's actually hard to call it a "game". Instead I think of it as a hypnotic journey with many different possible paths—or none at all. It starts by turning your TV into a skylight that points up at rain falling from the sky. Depending on how you interact with the Apple TV remote, things can get … strange…very very strange. I don't want to ruin the experience, but it can be as relaxing as unnerving. Definitely worth the download.
Hungry Shark Evolution (free)
The Hungry Shark series has existed on iOS for years now, so it's great to finally see the best of the series--Hungry Shark Evolution--on Apple TV. In the game you play a shark that swims around the ocean eating anything in its path (from fish to oil drums to humans). As you eat and explore the beautiful undersea landscapes you'll grow in size from a shark pup to a massive great white. Along the way you'll battle increasingly powerful opponents including shark fishermen and huge undersea crabs. The graphics are stunning and the gameplay as fun as is exploring the huge undersea worlds in the game.
If you wish your Apple TV was more like Nintendo's Wii, well now it can be. Happy Swordplay is a fun new app that allows you to battle your friends in a virtual sword fight. You use the Apple TV remote and your friend uses their iPhone as virtual swords. As you swing them, the charming characters onscreen react to your moves. May the best swords person win!
Atomic Hangman (free)
Atomic Hangman is a great example of an Apple TV game done right. The genre is casual gaming and the game fits the canvas of the television screen perfectly. Atomic Hangman is a funny take on the old hangman game. Guess the right words and letters to keep your puppet safe. Each wrong letter brings you puppet one string break closer to a comedic demise.
Police Chase Race (free)
Police Chase Race is a fun car chase game with retro graphics that sees you controlling two cars at once. Along the way pick up extras to unlock new vehicles. What's really nice about the game is the developers have implemented local multiplayer on the Apple TV so you can play with up to 8 other friends in your living room. The game also supports global multiplay and also Replay Kit, so you can relive your greatest chases.
Sonic CD (£2.29)
This immensely fun Sega CD game makes a comeback on the Apple TV and it's just as captivating as the original. The graphics and score have been faithfully translated to the windscreen and the game even features both the original English and the original Japanese soundtracks.
ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 (free)
If you're a cricket fan you're going to want to download the free International Cricket Council official app for the ICC World Twenty20, India 2016. The app gives you full tournament coverage including warm-ups, videos, photos, breaking news, match highlights, statistics, and much more, including " the fastest ball-by-ball scores & commentary" and breaking news notifications.
Jump & Rush - Jungle Fever (free)
Miss Pitfall? Me too. But fear not, a pretty good clone has come to the Apple TV! Jump & Rush harkens back to the best of the early 80s games with its retro graphics and gameplay. Jump over snakes, avoid spiders, and climb ladders while you explore 8-bit jungles.
Night Sky (£2.99)
The popular stargazing app comes to the Apple TV! Explore the sky in the most relaxing environment, while you interact with beautiful 3D models of the Solar System in Sky View mode. The app also features 3D interactive models of our solar system, weather forecasts, and the latest sky gazing news.
Angry Birds Go! (free)
Angry Birds comes to the Apple TV…but not as we hoped. By that I mean we all want the Angry Birds catapult cambs we've come to love on our iPhone. Instead we get the so-so racing go kart game. Yeah, it's a fun game…and at "free" you can't really argue. Here's hoping Rovio ports more of their Angry Birds series to the Apple TV soon.
Speedtest.net Speed Test (free)
Speedtest.net's app is a great utility if you want to check the speed of your Internet connection right from the comfort of your couch. It's a terrific app if you want to make sure you have enough bandwidth to stream those high def videos from Netflix or play those online games on your Apple TV.
Every wish you could turn your TV into the flight boards you see hanging from their ceiling at airports? Well now you can! The official FlightBoard app for Apple TV allows you to view the arrivals and departures of 1,400 airlines worldwide at over 3,000 airports. Plus you can track individual flights so you can see if you have time to finish that episode of Game of Thrones before you need to get off the couch to go pick your significant other up at the airport.
iMovie Theater (free)
If you're an iMovie user you'll love the new iMovie Theater app for Apple TV. This is actually an old channel from the previous Apple TV that's been brought to the new one as a standalone downloadable app. With it you can easily search and watch any movies you've created in iMovie on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad and uploaded to your iCloud library. It's a great app because there is zero setup. I installed it on my Apple TV and when I opened it up all my high def iMovie films I've created were right there waiting for me.
PAC-MAN 256 - Endless Arcade Maze (free)
If you're a fan of the 80s, there's probably no better time waster than Pac Man. With PAC-MAN 256 the classic arcade game comes to the Apple TV in the format of an endless runner. It's brought to you buy the same people who created Crossy Road. The game features retro graphics, ghosts galore, and power ups as you play Pac Man navigating mazes that never end. It's a blast to play on the big screen.
Mickey Video (free)
This is a great free app for those who have children or just love classic animation. The app, from Disney, features classic Mickey Mouse (and friends) cartoons that you can watch for free. It also features a selection of new cartoons as well as cartoons that change based on the season.
This is the one people have been waiting for. The popular open source media player finally comes to the Apple TV. VLC will allow you to play virtually any type of media file right on your Apple TV—all without any conversion needed. Stream your media files natively from local or remote servers; play MKV, multiple audio tracks, and subtitles tracks; and use the playback speed manipulation and fine seeking features to hone in on the part of the video file you want.
The popular snowboarding game for iOS comes to the Apple TV. Snowboard Party 2 improves on the original by adding 150 new levels for your to slide and grind through. You have access to 16 different characters you can design and build up and can even customize the game controls so you can choose a layout that best suites you.
Strike! Ten Pin Bowling (free)
For an awesome at-home bowling experience be sure to download the free Strike! Ten Pin Bowling. It's a real Wii-like experience as you use the Siri Remote and its built-in motion sensors to swing the virtual bowling ball down the lane. The game also has multiple modes including a Mega Lane mini game and Ten Pin Taster and allows you to play with three other friends.
Channel 4 News (free)
Hot on the heels of the BBC iPlayer app for Apple TV comes the official Channel 4 News app. The app offers viewers live and prerecorded news feeds from Channel 4. Normally, of course, this is something you'd need a terrestrial box for, but with the addition of the Apple TV app, it makes cutting the cord easier than ever.
Back To Bed (£2.49)
Back to Bed has been around on the iPhone for a while now and I'm glad to see it's also now available on the Apple TV. It's one of those games that are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Its art direction reminds me of another hit--Monument Valley. Back To Bed is a 3D puzzle game where you play Bob's subconscious, which takes the form of a dog with a human face. Your goal is to navigate Bob safely through surreal landscapes, avoiding pitfalls along the way.
Into the Dead (free)
Into the Dead is a great take on endless runner games. You play a human who has survived a helicopter crash and landed right in the middle of a field overrun by the living dead. Your aim is to keep running as fast as you can so you're not eaten–avoiding obstacles and the living dead along the way. It's a terrifically creepy and atmospheric runner. Don't play it in the dark!
BBC iPlayer (free)
At long, long, long last, the wait for BBC iPlayer on the Apple TV is finally over. The BBC has released its official BBC iPlayer app for the Apple TV. This is the first time ever BBC iPlayer has been available as a channel on any Apple TV device. The app includes a Top Picks sections, the ability to live stream BBC One, BBC Two, and BBC News, and categories and content from across all the BBC channels. For many in the UK, the addition of the BBC iPlayer app will mean the Apple TV can be their default digital media player.
Magic Fireplace (£0.79)
An early joke about the Apple TV App Store was that there wasn't a shortage of fireplace apps. The thing is, most of them weren't good. But after testing almost a dozen fireplace apps now, I've found one that lives up to its name. Magic Fireplace contains high-quality video recordings of 14 professionally shot fireplaces from around the world. Some of your options include an Alps fireplace, a British one, a New York one, and more. All have their own individual look and sounds. Magic Fireplace is the best fireplace app on the Apple TV and everyone should give it a download if they want a roaring digital fire in their living room.
Nono Islands TV Edition (£3.99)
Nono Islands TV Edition is the Apple TV version of the Nono Islands iOS app – and it's brought to you from the same company that created the popular Mr Crab iOS and Apple TV app. In the game you play an Indiana Jones-type adventurer as you move around tropical islands in search for treasures. Along the way you hop from one rock or patch of land to another, avoiding obstacles and traps you can trigger along the way. Nono Islands TV Edition is a great casual game for the living room with some beautiful graphics. It's perfect for the Apple TV.
Fit Brains (free)
Fit Brains is a great casual game for your Apple TV – and one that has real-world benefits. Fit Brains offers mini games that train your brain in six areas: memory, logic, focus, language, speed of thinking and visual-spatial recognition. It's often too easy to veg out in front of the TV. This game literally does just the opposite.
This is my Food - Nutrition for Kids (£2.29)
This is my Food is a great educational app for children that helps them learn about proper nutrition. Via the app kids can explore their favorite fruits and vegetables and learn not only about why they are healthy, but also how to cultivate the food in their own gardens. To go along with the stunning animation is voiceovers narrated by children–that's right, this app doesn't make the mistake so many other Apple TV educational apps by making people read large amounts of small text on a big screen half way across the room.
Not On The High Street (free)
Not On The High Street is an online shopping site that showcases products with amazing designs and uses that aren't sold by major corporations–and thus can't be found on your average high street. The site is incredibly popular with people who want to find unique gifts to give to friends–of themselves. The company has now launched their first Apple TV app, which allows users to browse all of the products found on Not On The High Street. When a user finds one they want to buy they can tell their Apple TV app to push the product listing to any iOS device nearby so they can view it in the mobile app and purchase it there.
If you're a fan of GIFs you'll want to download GIFtv. It displays random GIFs for seven seconds each before moving on to the next one. Most are hilarious and all feature background music streamed from iTunes Radio. Sure, there's not a lot to do here, but if you need a laugh–or just something on in the background, give GIFtv a shot.
The hit iOS Galaxy on Fire series comes to the Apple TV with Galaxy on Fire - Manticore Rising. The game is a 3D space combat and trading simulation with adventure and RPG elements. It's actually a prequel to the upcoming Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore title for iOS. The developers boasted that "the app depicts the events prior to the conflict of the new GOF game and offers intense space fights on the big screen with innovative motion 'n touch controls" and after playing it for a week I can agree: it's one hell of a fun space shooter.
Badland is one of the most beautiful side scrollers we've seen on iOS, so it's great to see it on the big screen via Apple TV. In it you play the inhabitant of what on the surface looks like a beautiful fairytale forest, but you soon know there's some, quite frankly, creepy stuff going on in the background. The aim of the game is to explore this side-scrollers levels to find out what's going on. The game uses some of the best physics gameplay we've encountered.
Alto's Adventure is probably the game that is the most well translated from iOS. By that I mean its nature as an endless runner with a hypnotic score and excellent gameplay makes it a natural for the perfect casual gaming experience the Apple TV demands. In the game you play Alto and his friends as they ski down majestic slopes trying to recapture llamas along the way. The gameplay physics are outstanding and the game strikes the perfect balance between challenges and fun. It gets extra points for being a pay once, play forever game–yes, that's right…no annoying in-app purchases.
YouTube has long been a staple on the Apple TV so it's no surprise it's been available on the new Apple TV from Day 1. It's still one of the best apps for the Apple TV because its nature of a video content app makes it a perfect program for your living room television. There's nothing too new in this version of the YouTube app–it's just one of the best content apps available on the Apple TV today.
Peaceful Snowfall HD
Peaceful Snowfall HD is a great app for those that just like something on their TV in the background. It turns your Apple TV into a living wallpaper of cascading snowfall over various winter wonderland scenes. The app is perfect for the holiday time of year and it even lets you adjust the speed, amount, and size of the snowfall. Turn on the accompanying music and it's a perfect app to put you in the holiday mood.
I know the Fidelity for Apple TV app seems like a weird choice as one of the best apps, but Fidelity has hit on the perfect blend between a content and an interactive app. The Fidelity app streams live Bloomberg TV alongside current market data and real time quotes on interactive charts. It's a great app for stock market junkies and also a great example of the kind of quality content possible on the Apple TV.
Free Classic Movies
Free Classic Movies is an excellent content app for the new Apple TV. It gives you unlimited access to great, public domain classic films, including Night of The Living Dead, Charlie Chaplin movies, and more. It's also got a terrific UI and layout that makes navigating its offerings a snap.
The new Apple TV actually has weather forecasting support built in (you just have to ask Siri what the weather is like). But Carrot Weather is a better weather app. It's a port of the popular Carrot Weather iOS app and it's known for its attitude, giving you the weather forecast with a side dish of snark. It's also got fun hidden features like weather forecasts for fantasy locations you can unlock. So far I've unlocked Judgment Day and Mordor.
Plex is the media streamer that lets you share your content on any device you want. The old Apple TV didn't officially support Plex (only through a hack), but now the new Apple TV has an official Plex app. It's got a very slick, clean interface that makes browsing your Plex libraries easy. Of course, for the more advanced features you'll need to pay for a Plex Pass subscription, but fans of the service will find that well worth it.
Zova is an example of a type of app that I think is going to be extremely popular on the Apple TV – fitness apps. The app works as your personal trainer, offering guided workouts in the comfort of your living room. These workouts encompass anything from yoga and stretching, to cardio and bodyweight exercises–anything you can do in your home. It's a great app with a beautiful design to boot.
TVPlayer is probably the best Apple TV app if you're in the UK. It allows you to watch over 80 free to view channels in the UK, including BBC channels, ITV, Dave, Channel 4 and more. It really add a whole new layer to the Apple TV and makes it likely that cord cutting is much more feasible in the future. If you're in the UK and own a new Apple TV, download this app today.