Best Apple TV Apps 2019: Personal Experience
Though initially Apple TV only requires your AppleID to get included to your ecosystem, its functionality can be enhanced with third-party apps. Just like early iPhones, or Apple Watch, this TV box grows gradually; now it’s quite a self-sufficient standalone device, sharing some features with iPhone or iPad, and introducing some that make sense on TV screen.
This Apple TV apps list is compatible with the current generation primarily, but most of the apps will run on Apple TV 3 or earlier. They can be easily found in App Store right from your device. While the official Apple TV Channels service isn’t available, there are third-party apps to the rescue.
I selected the apps I use on my Apple TV 4K, so all of those listed are now available and active. Most of them require a subscription to enjoy full access to their channels and on-demand content; on the other hand, some are free (like VLC), and some (like Keep) offer enough free content even without going premium.
When it comes to YouTube, Apple TV is still a better device to install it on. Even if your Smart TV has a YouTube client of its own, the box handles it swifter, and the performance is significantly better than on most TVs. The experience is better too because you can use Siri or your iPhone for input or interact between your YouTube apps on both devices. It makes searching or navigation incredibly easy; if you had the experience of YouTubing with your TV remote, you’ll see the difference. The app is basically free, but if you have a subscription like Premium or Music, you’ll enjoy all the extras as well.
Amazon Prime Video
One of the most popular world’s streaming services is on Apple TV. If you have an Amazon device or just consider Prime Video the best on-demand service, you can use it easily. Search videos with voice, stream them easily, access your library and pay no extras. No matter where you created your account and completed your subscription, it will be valid on your Apple TV as well.
After I bought an Apple TV 4K, some of my friends followed. And the primary reason they did it for was Netflix after they saw the app work on my device. Indeed, the app lets you access the whole enormous library, with personal recommendations to any user, supporting multiple profiles and parental control. The experience is seamless if you watch movies on Netflix from various devices: you can start an episode on your iPad, while bored at work, and then finish it at home, on your big screen. All the plans are available too, but, if you have an Apple TV and a 4K TV, I’d recommend the most premium: 4K is always 4K.
It’s a great TV service, with lots of shows and movies, live broadcasts and personalized recommendations, taking the best of both worlds: air TV and on-demand technologies. Even if your Smart TV has a Hulu app of its own, controlling it with Apple remote or iPhone feels much better. Alas, the newest Hulu app, with all its features and better streaming quality, is only available on the newest versions of Apple TV.
And again, this TV box can do Vudu; you just need to install it from App Store and enter your login and password (or create a new account). The entire library of videos and shows you selected to watch is available on Apple TV, and it can be controlled with Siri. This is one more enhancement to your TV experience that new technologies bring. In fact, you can have all of these apps on your device, but I’d recommend you compare their contents before paying for subscription; maybe two or even one of them will suffice.
Apple TV’s own memory isn’t sufficient to store all the movies and series you like, and streaming isn’t always comfortable. But if you have a rich collection of videos stored locally on your NAS or PC, VLC Player is the solution. This software is popular on most platforms, and on Apple TV it has the same interface as, say, on iPad. Scan the local network with VLC, enter the credentials, and you’ll enjoy access to your local video library.
Plex client does the same work as VLC, and it’s compatible with most platforms, including PC’s, NAS, and USB drives supported by routers. If you have a Plex server at your home, you can access if from your Apple TV with Plex client. It’s a little tricky to install on Apple TV 3 or earlier, but the current generation is perfectly compatible with it. Maybe you will have to install Plex server on your PC additionally, but with large video library, it’s worth this. In addition, Plex lets you access the server remotely, from anywhere, only requiring a fast and stable connection.
If you’re into cooking, Kitchen Stories is a must for you. Browse through recipes on the TV, mark them as favorites, watch video instructions on your large screen, and then take it to your actual kitchen with your iPad to follow the steps. It brings new recipes daily, lets you review them and read reviews by other users. Of course, the real test is cooking by yourself; but when your guests ask you to reveal the trick of your magical cuisine, you can just turn on the TV and show them what’s behind your sorcery.
It’s one of the oldest traditions since TV was introduced: turn it on and watch until they forecast the weather. Now you can have your forecast at any time, with CARROT Weather app. Run it, and you’ll get the latest reports for any location you select. Well, you can even go back in time and see what weather was at any given day at any given spot, up to 70 years back! The app requires no subscription; it only takes a single payment for the license, and you can enjoy it on any of your Apple devices.
Keep is certainly one of the best Apple TV apps for fitness. As you install it, you get access to lots of video courses that lead you through workouts. Each workout takes certain displayed time and helps you develop certain muscles or burn a certain number of calories. Any workout contains a number of exercises to do, with thoroughly calculated time to work and to rest. In pauses, it displays motivating quotes. The app is basically free, but paid subscription offers you more videos to follow and more personalized experience.
It’s another free app for home workouts in front of your TV. It lists thousands of workouts, including power trainings, cardio workouts, yoga, meditations, dancing sessions, and so on. The app can be used across your entire ecosystem; one subscription covers all your devices with the same account. Unlike Keep, forming the atmosphere of a personal training, with Daily Burn you join a virtual sports club, seeing groups on your TV screen. In addition, it features audio-only workouts, so you can just have your AirPods on and follow the instructions.
There will be probably more useful apps as Apple introduces the new version of tvOS. And we didn’t mention games; it looks like the history of Apple TV gaming will only start after launching controller support and Arcade service. But even now there are many worthy apps to get big benefit out of this little box.