Best Apple TV apps by category
Like other streaming boxes, the Apple TV lets you watch your favorite shows and movies, but it stands out due to its Siri remote (for voice searching pretty much anything) and its wide range of apps. There's everything from games and fitness apps to shopping and recipe apps.
From apps that let you binge on movies and TV shows to ones dedicated to solving puzzles, practicing yoga and shopping, these are the best Apple TV apps available.
At its Show Time event in March, Apple announced an updated, revised version of the TV app that's now available and teased its Apple TV+ shows coming later this year. Also, Apple's got a new TV Channels storefront for selling access to networks such as HBO and Showtime. Expect more changes when tvOS 13 arrives this fall with a new interface and support for multiple users.
Best Apple TV streaming service apps
Disney Plus is a very popular streaming service ideal for anyone who cares about the many Disney franchises, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Mickey Mouse, among others. It costs $6.99 per month and gives you access to the entire Disney catalog. And you can bundle Disney Plus with Hulu for just $13 per month. Needless to say, the Disney Plus app for Apple TV is a must have.
We wish the Netflix app integrated better with Apple's TV app (which is the guide). But this service still provides access to a wide variety of compelling original shows and movies, from Stranger Things and House of Cards to Luke Cage.
Amazon Prime Video
It took a long time for it to come to the Apple TV, but Amazon Prime Video offers one of the best entertainment experiences on the device. Amazon'’s Prime Video gives you access to thousands of shows and television shows, including lots of free content if you're a Prime subscriber. You can also use the service to watch Amazon's original series through the service.
Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus is one of the newer entrants into the Apple TV market, but it’s worth streaming for its $4.99 per month. With a subscription, you get access to Apple’s original programming, including The Morning Show and See, among others. Best of all, its visual quality and reliability are outstanding.
If you’ve cut the cord and want to watch some of HBO’s outstanding content, you’ll need to sign up for the company’s $15-a-month HBO Now. With it, you can watch all of HBO’s series and get access to a large library of films. You can even use HBO Now to stream sports, documentaries, and other content exclusive to the network.
Cutting the cord is never easy and finding a suitable service to consider is even more difficult. But with help from YouTube TV, you might find it to be simple. The YouTube TV service, which costs $50 per month, gives you streaming access to more than 70 channels, including local sports and news. It even features DVR support.
If you're a Hulu subscriber, download this app to your Apple TV. The stream quality is stellar, and you can watch everything from classics like Seinfeld (all nine seasons) to exclusives like The Mindy Project. Plus, Hulu integrates with Apple's TV app, so from the home screen, you can quickly access shows you've been watching.
Best Apple TV music and video apps
Pandora has long been one of the most popular streaming-music apps. The service lets you create stations and curates songs based on your tastes. As you might expect, the app includes large album artwork and easily accessible controls. You can use Pandora for free, but you can also sign up for a paid version that will eliminate ads.
Like the fourth-generation Apple TV, the Apple TV 4K is compatible with a key app that wasn't available in earlier models: YouTube. After downloading the free YouTube app, you can stream videos, movies and more. The stream quality is quite good, and the breadth of content is impressive.
Apple Music is the tech giant’s $10-a-month streaming music service. When you sign up, you can access Apple Music’s millions of songs, as well as curated playlists to listen to the music you love. Apple Music also features a For You section, so you can discover new music that are similar to the tracks you enjoy.
If you're a Discovery Channel lover, the Discovery Go app is a must-have for the Apple TV. The app lets you watch full episodes and live TV from Discovery Channel. And it's available to you for free with your TV subscription. The app includes Shark Week programming, Naked and Afraid, and other popular Discovery shows.
Showtime Anytime is a must-have if you're a Showtime subscriber through your cable or satellite provider. This app gives you access to all the latest hits, including Homeland and Ray Donovan, as well as older favorites like Dexter.
The free Comedy Central app has a surprisingly robust amount of content. It features a slew of stand-up specials and gives you access to some of the network's best series, like South Park and The Daily Show. There is also some short-form content you'll want to check out.
Best Apple TV game apps
Apple Arcade ($4.99/month)
This year, Apple launched its Apple Arcade game-streaming service. For $5 a month (or $50 a year), you can access more than 100 Apple Arcade games, ranging from simple and fun titles to more sophisticated titles that rival some console titles. Apple Arcade offers gaming fun for anyone in the family, and is one you don’t want to miss, if you enjoy casual but fun games.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap ($7.99)
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap won an award as the best Apple TV game of 2019 for good reason. It features an outstanding storyline, great-looking graphics, and an impressive soundtrack. It makes all your time searching for a cure to your half-human, half-lizard problems all the more enjoyable. Be aware, however, that the game costs $7.99.
Drawful 2 ($9.99)
Drawful 2 is a game like Pictionary that combines the touch screen on your iPhone or iPad with your Apple TV to create a really compelling video game. The app requires you to draw different clues on your device and for teammates to try to figure out what you’re drawing. It’s a fun family game you can play with anyone.
Just Dance Now
If you’re looking for a free party game that can get people off the couch and moving, consider picking up Just Dance Now. The app shows you how to dance to more than 500 songs from some of the industry’s biggest names, including Beyonce, Ariana Grande, and others.
Crossy Road is one of the more addictive free games you can download to your Apple TV. It's a top-down title with basic graphics that asks you to simply hop your way across a road. (Think Frogger.) It's simple, easy to play and incredibly fun.
Alto's Adventure ($0.99)
Alto's Adventure has been called one of the most compelling and visually stunning games on Apple devices, so it's perhaps no surprise that this app has earned a spot as one of the best-looking Apple TV 4K apps. The game places you in a village and immediately thrusts you into a fascinating adventure.
Sonic the Hedgehog ($2.99)
There's something so charming about turning on your Apple TV and launching Sonic the Hedgehog. The game delivers the full Sonic experience in all his wacky and fast-paced glory.
If you're on the lookout for a more sophisticated game, try Machinarium. Your goal is to help Josef the robot save his girlfriend in this quirky title. The graphics are beautiful, and the gameplay is stellar.
Sky Force Reloaded
One of the most interesting and fun games on Apple TV, Sky Force Reloaded offers arcade-style, shoot-'em-up action in 4K HDR. The game has 15 stages and a variety of aircraft to help you take on enemies and bring down big bosses.
Framed 2 ($4.99)
Framed 2 has some of the most interesting visuals of any game on Apple TV. In this noir puzzle game, you're tasked with modifying comic book frames to change the story. It's also pretty easy to control the action via the Siri remote's touchpad.
Riptide GP: Renegade ($2.99)
If you're looking for a game that can take advantage of the Apple TV 4K's power and that looks like a traditional console title, Riptide GP: Renegade is a good bet. The game is a hydrojet racing title that feels fast-paced and fun. And with the ability to perform nifty stunts, you'll keep coming back for more.
Best Apple TV health and fitness apps
At Home Workouts by Daily Burn
When it’s cold and you don’t want to go to the gym, consider trying out At Home Workouts by Daily Burn. The app, which is available for free, comes with more than 1,000 audio and video workouts, as well as a new group workout each day. Better yet, you can pick different workouts, based on what part of the body you’re looking to target.
There are few things more important to your health than your mental health. And with Calm, you can go a long way in helping yourself to meditate and improve your emotional well-being. Calm can also be used to soothe you after a long day and help you get to sleep. So, whether you want to meditate, sleep, or just feel better mentally, the free Calm app is for you.
Yoga Studio ($3.99)
Yoga Studio is an app aimed at getting you back into the Zen way of living. It delivers instruction on how to get into different positions, and works well for both novices and experts. It's like having your own personal yoga instructor in your living room.
White Noise ($0.99)
Sometimes, a little meditation goes a long way. And that's where the 99-cent White Noise app comes in. The app lets you pick from a slew of sounds designed to help you focus. It's a nice app to have after a long day at the office.
Alo Moves is the app formerly known as Cody. But it still comes with all of the great yoga you’d expect from the earlier version. The app features a variety of classes for you to watch, as well as practice videos, so you can work on specific poses and other techniques to improve your skills. Best of all, the app is free.
Best Apple TV sports apps
If you’re a UFC fan or you simply want more access to sports on your TV or on the go, subscribe to the $5-a-month ESPN+. The streaming service allows you to watch every UFC pay-per-view fight and gives you access to everything from basketball and baseball to cricket and rugby. If you’re a sports fan, ESPN+ is a great choice.
MLB At Bat
Major League Baseball has invested heavily in Apple TV, with the organization’s MLB At Bat app. The program allows you to stream select live games and highlights, and includes live pitch tracking so you can see how a team is pitching to a batter. Add that to its live scoreboard and team tracking, and MLB At Bat is a winner.
Wrestling fans now have more options, thanks to AEW, but in the world of wrestling, WWE is still tops. And at $10 per month for WWE Network, you can get access to all of WWE’s pay-per-views, including Wrestlemania, as well as its entire library of programming. WWE is also adding plenty of new, original content to make its service even more appealing.
If you’re a boxing fan, you might know that trying to access the latest and greatest fights isn’t so easy. But that’s where DAZN comes in. The streaming app allows you to access all the latest boxing matches, as well as a variety of mixed martial arts fights. The service costs $99 per year or $19.99 per month.
Best Apple TV science and learning apps
PBS Video offers access to the full range of PBS programming, helping you watch whatever you want when you want from the service. It includes thousands of full-length PBS series episodes, documentaries, and even programming from affiliate networks.
The NASA app is one of the most interesting and thought-provoking Apple TV apps, allowing you to see videos of spacewalks, the latest space images captured by NASA, unbelievable videos, and so much more. Best of all, the app even features live NASA TV streaming, so you don’t miss a minute of the action. It’s available for free.
If you’re someone who truly appreciates the world’s beauty, look no further than The Explorers. Not only did Apple call it the best Apple TV app of the year, but The Explorers offers beautiful and vibrant visuals that aim at helping you see the beauty of animals, landscapes, and everything else the world has to offer.
Udemy is an outstanding app if you want to educate yourself on all those things that maybe you just didn't have time to pick up. The app is essentially an online learning marketplace that features more than 80,000 courses across an impressive slate of categories, including coding, marketing and even self-defense. It'll even teach you how to play various instruments.
If you're in the mood to learn, download the free TED app. It's the continually updated repository for all the TED and TEDx talks you'll want to watch. The app's search function is stellar.
Best Apple TV kids apps
Endless Learning Academy
Parents who are looking to occupy their children but don't want to leave the kids with useless entertainment might want to check out Endless Learning Academy. The app is ideal for children from preschool to first grade ages and provides a variety of learning activities and lessons. And with a compelling design, this app should keep your kids engaged.
Apple's iBooks StoryTime is a welcome app for spending evenings with the kids. Simply turn on the free app and pick a story. The app then tells the story and delivers visual elements to make the tale more engaging.
Best Apple TV shopping and smart home apps
Getting the shopping itch? If so, Amazon has you covered. The company offers a free Apple TV app that lets you search through the site's listings and make purchases. The app has a handy search tool and simple layout, and makes it almost too easy to spend a lot of money in short order.
If you're a Nest Cam user, download the free Nest app. You'll be able to see a live stream of your security camera whenever you wish. If you're a Nest Aware subscriber, you can view your saved content, too.
Best Apple TV art and scenery apps
Those who love art should seriously consider checking out the Artsy app on Apple TV. It lists more than 270,000 pieces of art, and thanks to 4K and HDR support, does so in downright vibrant visuals. You can even contact art galleries and bid on live auctions from the app.
Cityscapes 4K by Magic Window
If you're hoping to relax and watch some gorgeous footage from around the world, Cityscapes 4K by Magic Window is for you. It features time-lapse city views from around the world shown in 4K HDR. You can travel to New York, London, Paris and Tokyo.
Best Apple TV travel and weather apps
The free Kayak app wants to help you book your next excursion without ever leaving your couch. The app lets you search for different locations, hotels, cars and other vacation must-haves ahead of your trip. It searches hundreds of travel sites to get you the best deal, and it works exceedingly well.
A slew of weather apps is available in the Apple TV App Store, but WeatherMap+ is the best. It lets you pan around the world to see different weather events in addition to the standard weather content that you'd expect.