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Home / Features / The 24 best Apple TV apps you’ll actually use

The 24 best Apple TV apps you’ll actually use

Apps on your telly? What larks! But you’ll still be using this selection when the novelty wears off

We vividly recall during the reveal of one of the Apple TV, Apple CEO Tim Cook bullishly claimed the “future of television is apps”. Which is fine – but that was the present of television at the time, if you owned a smart TV or rival streaming device.

And then it kind of fell apart. Today, there aren’t that many amazing Apple TV apps, but also there’s a lot of junk to fish through on the Apple TV App Store. Boo. But there are exceptions for your shiny new Apple TV 4K (or, er, older Apple TV ‘not 4K’). This guide lets you know how to find them – the best Apple TV apps that are actually worth using.

(Note: most of these apps are universal, meaning you can also install on your mobile Apple devices too, if you’d like to.)

The best new Apple TV apps we love right now

Well, new to this list, at any rate.

Play: Save Videos Watch Later

Play for Apple TV

You know read-later apps? Well, this is a watch-later one. You use Play on your phone to stash videos from various sources – such as YouTube and Apple Music – and tag them if you’re an organised type. And on the Apple TV, you can then sit and watch everything. Buy a sub and the app will send all your YouTube subscriptions to the Channels Inbox too. 

Buy Play: Save Videos Watch Later ($2.99/£2.99 + optional IAP)


Artcast for Apple TV

Turned your brain to mush by binging the entire MCU? Make your TV more highbrow by transforming it into a work of art. Or, more accurately, 100,000 works of art, which you can set up as a kind of slideshow while pretending you live in a posh gallery. The app’s ad-supported by default, but you can rent one-off galleries or subscribe for a monthly fee.

Buy Artcast (free + optional IAP)

The best Apple TV apps – everything else…

All of the previous entries in this round-up we still think are fit to feature.

Amazon Prime Video

In the beforetimes, there was no Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV. Finally, towards the end of 2017, Apple and Amazon had a big hug and the service finally came to Apple’s black box. And its all rather nice, especially if until then you’d been slumming it getting your Preacher and Man in the High Castle fix through a cheapo Fire TV stick.

Get Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV (free + sub)

Breathing Zone

Breathing Zone (£2.99)

You know that breathing app on your Apple Watch? This one does much the same for your Apple TV, only in big-screen fashion so it takes over your entire field of view. Just the thing when you need to calm down after an exhilarating end-of-season finale. There are plenty of options too, from colours to breathing types.

Get Breathing Zone for Apple TV (free)

Brian Eno: Reflection

Brian Eno : Reflection (£29.99)

“Thirty quid!” you might yell, and then follow up with a choice expletive. But Reflection is something special – a version of the Brian Eno album that never stops remixing itself, and that shifts and changes depending on the time of day, and even the season. On the TV, you also get an evolving Eno abstract painting, transforming your gogglebox into a slice of living art.

Get Brian Eno : Reflection for Apple TV ($30.99/£29.99)

Carrot Weather TV

CARROT Weather (£3.99, Apple TV only)

Very different from its iPhone counterpart, Carrot for Apple TV nonetheless augments forecasts and maps with plenty of snark. The malevolent AI dishes out twisted animations along with rainfall predictions. Multiple locations can be stored, and secret places await discovery; but whatever you do, don’t poke Carrot’s ocular sensor!

Get Carrot Weather TV for Apple TV ($3.99/£3.99)


Disney+ (free)

Given the rate of knots at which Disney is buying up properties, it’s only a matter of time before Disney+ is the only streaming telly service in existence. Until then, it’s fab for Marvel, Disney and Star Wars movies and series. In many countries, you also get a slew of shows bundled under Star. Just, you know, don’t mix that up with Star Wars. Because you’ll be disappointed. Or Vader will get you.

Get Disney+ for Apple TV (free)

Earthlapse 4K

Earthlapse 4K (£1.99, Apple TV only)

There’s something magical about seeing the Earth from above, and Earthlapse offers some stunning time-lapse photography. There are 20 carefully mastered views from the ISS to choose from, in all the way up to 4K quality. And you can muck about with speed, colour filters and the soundtrack as you gawk at our little blue planet zooming through space.

Get Earthlapse 4K for Apple TV ($1.99/£1.99)

FE File Explorer Pro TV

If you dump all your media on a drive and want to access it from any device, you need FE File Explorer Pro TV. It connects to local network shares and remote servers, whereupon you can stream movies and audio files, or rifle through your photos. Not sure if it’s right for you? Try the free version (‘Owlfiles’, for some reason) before plonking down your cash.

Get FE File Explorer Pro TV for Apple TV ($4.99/£4.99)


Infuse (£free or sub)

If your digital video collection is mostly knocking around hard drives or dotted about cloud services, Infuse deals with all that. Whether you grab the free or paid version, you can stream to your Apple TV, re-encoding files on-the-fly. Artwork, catalogue sorting and metadata is all automatic, making for a gorgeous browsing experience. Pro users also get trakt.tv support and can sync viewing progress and libraries across devices.

Get Infuse for Apple TV (free or sub)


Not sure what to watch? Or keen on watching something specific, but not sure where to watch it? JustWatch can help. It does a better job than Apple’s TV app of digging into a range of sources, and it also makes recommendations to feed your viewing habits, along with letting you build a service-agnostic wish list.

Get JustWatch for Apple TV (free)

Kitchen Stories

Kitchen Stories (£free)

One of our favourite cookery apps, Kitchen Stories is awash with gorgeous photography and tons of video. Unsurprisingly, Apple TV concentrates on the latter, with a selection of videos covering recipes and skills. If you’ve always wanted to know how to prepare a squid, make a hearty beef stew, or chop (rather than just eat) chocolate, this is the app for you.

Get Kitchen Stories for Apple TV (free)


Letterboxd (free)

A social networking app on Apple TV might strike you as odd, but Letterboxd is all about telly – or, more accurately, films on your telly. You log and rate favourites, flag films you’d like to see, peruse trailers, and optionally gripe to everyone about how unfair it is that new Star Wars flicks aren’t identical to the one you’ve had in your head since 1983.

Get Letterboxd for Apple TV (free)



Obsessed with daylight? A secret vampire who’ll only head out after dark? Then get Lumy on your telly, to help you track all the relevant data. It gives you all the geeky data, but does so in a manner that is visually sublime. There’s even a photo frame mode on Apple TV, transforming the progress of the sun and moon into a minimal slice of virtual art.

Get Lumy for Apple TV ($6.99/£6.99)


Netflix (£free)

With Netflix having infiltrated pretty much everything with a screen, we’re half surprised it doesn’t appear on Apple Watch – or living room thermostats. The Apple TV version’s much as you’d expect: a usable, reliable way to delve into tons of great telly like Stranger Things – before realising with a start you’ve not actually moved from the sofa in three days.

Get Netflix for Apple TV (free)

Night Sky

Night Sky (£free)

If you’re a fan of stargazing, but not of going outside, you can always peer at virtual heavens using an astronomy app on your phone. But if even that seems like too much effort, fire up Night Sky on your Apple TV. Using the Siri Remote, you can zip about constellations. For dedicated buffs, there’s a Tonight Tour that provides information about what will appear in the sky – and when.

Get Night Sky for Apple TV (free or optional sub)


PLEX (£free + IAP)

Although Infuse is in our list, it would be wrong to omit another video favourite, Plex. The app appeared way back in unofficial form on jailbroken second-generation Apple TVs, but this is the real deal. Despite being built in just five weeks, PLEX for Apple TV started out as a first-rate app for organising and streaming media collections, along with finding new things to watch; it’s carried on being great ever since.

Get Plex for Apple TV (free + IAP)

Radio – Receiver

Radio - Receiver (£3.99)

The ‘Radio’ app on the old Apple TV was dreadful, hence why we’re relieved to find Radio – Receiver. It all looks very sleek and swish – dare we say it, a bit Apple-like. You can search for stations, add them to your favourites, and then dance around the living room like a lunatic. The app also supports podcasts, for when you want Infinite Monkey Cage booming out of your telly.

Get Radio – Receiver for Apple TV ($3.99/£3.99)

Solar Walk 2

Solar Walk 2 (£2.99)

On iOS, Solar Walk 2 is a gorgeous educational tool for exploring the solar system. On Apple TV, it’s simplified, having you select a planet or moon from a menu, and then fiddle around with Siri Remote to spin it about. However, you can still crack Saturn and co. open like eggs to peer at their insides, along with bringing up infographics to discover how insignificant Earth is compared to the giants of the solar system.

Get Solar Walk 2 for Apple TV ($2.99/£2.99)

Speedtest by Ookla

Speedtest by Ookla (£free)

If you work for an ISP, you might be gnashing your teeth on seeing this entry, and so, yes, we know speed-test apps aren’t entirely accurate. However, if your Apple TV is having trouble streaming your favourite shows, Speedtest by Ookla at least provides an indication of whether your broadband’s conked out or not. It’s dead easy to use: let it rip and within a minute or so you’ll get current ping, download and uploads speed estimates.

View Speediest by Ookla for Apple TV (free)

Apple Arcade aside, games aren’t exactly flying on to Apple TV. Still, you can use Apple’s black box for your Steam collection instead, streaming from a networked PC or Mac. Caveat time: controller set-up can be a faff, and you need very good connectivity to avoid stop-motion syndrome. But when it’s properly up and running, Stream Link’s a blast.

Get Steam Link for Apple TV (free)

Streaks Workout

Streaks Workout (£3.99)

The ethos behind the Streaks apps is habit-forming and simplicity. With Streaks Workout, you only need your Apple TV, a floor, and some desire to get fit. You select exercises and how long you want to sweat for and then get going. The app tracks your streaks, encouraging you to continue burning off flab that ‘somehow’ appeared due to you spending too much time parked in front of your Apple TV doing less strenuous things.

Get Streaks Workout for Apple TV ($4.99/£4.99)


TED (free)

If you’ve been watching vacuous telly to the point your brain’s threatening to throttle your windpipe, just to end it all, check out TED. You’ll find thousands of free videos that feature smart people talking about interesting things. You can search by type, look for something specific, and stash favourites to later impress your friends that thought you only watched The Big Bang Theory on a loop.

Get TED for Apple TV (free)

White Noise

White Noise (99p)

If you can’t relax without background noise, but don’t want it to be permanently angry ‘Landahners’ in EastEnders, or whatever Spotify serves up, get White Noise on your telly. You choose from audio loops, including gentle beach waves, a tick-tocking grandfather clock, and, er, a vacuum cleaner. Probably just clean the house if that last one’s your thing.

Get White Noise for Apple TV ($0.99/99p)

Profile image of Craig Grannell Craig Grannell Contributor


I’m a regular contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv, covering apps, games, Apple kit, Android, Lego, retro gaming and other interesting oddities. I also pen opinion pieces when the editor lets me, getting all serious about accessibility and predicting when sentient AI smart cookware will take over the world, in a terrifying mix of Bake Off and Terminator.

Areas of expertise

Mobile apps and games, Macs, iOS and tvOS devices, Android, retro games, crowdfunding, design, how to fight off an enraged smart saucepan with a massive stick.