If you’ve picked up the new Apple TV, here are some of the apps you need to download first.
Apple’s latest attempt to take over the living room is here. The 4th generation Apple TV is a big step forward, with a Siri enabled remote, much improved performance and a slick new interface.
But, arguably the biggest addition is the App Store. A surprising omission from previous Apple TV boxes, this storefront is home to a bevy of streaming apps and useful downloads.
It’s still early days and a lot of big players are M.I.A – iPlayer, Now TV, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify – but that doesn’t mean your recently purchased Apple TV need be a barren wasteland.
Here are seven of our favourite Apple TV apps you should download now.
Related: Apple TV review
Unlike the Xbox One, Apple TV doesn’t have any fancy features like support for TV tuners, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used to gorge on live television.
TV Player is a free app that’ll give you access to a load of freeview channels – BBC, ITV, Channel 4 etc – and there’s a premium option that’ll unlock extra services like Eurosport.
The app is slick and simple, though streaming quality can vary massively. Sometimes it’s crispy, others a blurry mess. Still, it’s a must download if you’re looking to base your TV watching completely around Apple’s latest little black box.
Related: Plex review
There’s an official Plex client available on Apple TV, but it can’t really compete with the gorgeous Simplex.
Matching Apple’s frosty white aesthetic to perfection, Simplex connects to your Plex servers and pulls down all your media. Poster art is displayed prominently and there’s support for additional Plex features like movie trailers.
Our only complaint is the lack of support for universal search – though we assume Apple hasn’t been freely handing out that API quite yet – but aside from this it is certainly worth the £2.99 asking price.
Yes, yes we know – including Netflix in a best apps roundup seems incredibly lazy. Surely there’s not a person who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past few years who hasn’t heard of the superb streaming service.
But the Apple TV Netflix app has a few extra tricks up its sleeve that sets it apart. First off it uses the universal search feature, so performing a Siri search for ‘House of Cards’ will bring up both iTunes and Netflix results.
You can also ask Siri to ‘find all comedies starring Ricky Gervais on Netflix’ and the results will pop-up on screen. You don’t even need to open the app.
We would have liked to see a bit more thought go into the app design – it’s pretty much the exact same app we’ve seen on a load of platforms before – but it’s a must download if you’re a subscriber.
Related: Netflix vs Amazon Instant Video
Super simple. This puts a big, retro looking
analogue clock right on your television. There are a couple of colour
options, but it’s pretty basic at the minute. It’s a nice idea though,
and it’s good to see developers thinking of interesting ways to make use
of Apple TV. Even it is just a big clock.
Another smartphone staple, the user-reviews site makes a surprising amount of sense on the television.
Searching through recommended places is a breeze on the big screen, and the large picture lead approach works. It could do with a couple more options and a bit of integration with the app on the phone, but it’s still worth a look even if it’s just to gaze at picturesque beaches or the streets of Vietnam.
Perfect for food lovers, Kitchen Stories combines sharp imagery, plenty of recipes and some handy cooking hints in one sleek app. The transition from phone to big screen makes sense and any saved recipes will sync over. Now, where’s my Quinoa?
Fancy either saving or making a tidy sum by simply shunning hotels in favour of houses and flats? You’ve long been able to do make Airbnb bookings through our phones and computers, but now you can do it through your TV.
Got a favourite Apple TV app? Let us know in the comments box below