When revealing the revamped Apple TV, Apple CEO Tim Cook bullishly claimed the “future of television is apps”. Which is fine, but that was also the present of television at the time, if you owned a smart TV or rival telly box.
Yet Apple has always been different. Its smartphones and tablets have far more properly good apps than rival systems. Our hope was Apple’s future for the telly would at least involve some we actually wanted to use.
As it turns out, there’s a lot of junk to fish through on the Apple TV App Store, but plenty of gems, too. Here are our favourites.
(Note: all apps are universal, working across your iOS devices, unless otherwise stated.)
CARROT Weather (Apple TV only)
Many weather apps will give you forecasts and maps, but only CARROT gives you snark. A 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!
Earthlapse TV (Apple TV only)
There’s something magical about seeing the Earth from above, and Earthlapse offers some stunning time-lapse photography. There are 18 carefully mastered views from the ISS to choose from, and you can muck about with speed, colour filters and the soundtrack as you gawk at our little blue planet zooming through space.
With its 1TB of free storage and optional automatic back-up of your photos, Flickr for iPhone is a must-have download. On Apple TV, it’s more of a sit-back experience, enabling you to enjoy your photos on the big screen, and to browse uploads by other users.
FireCore’s gone all-in with Apple TV, releasing its latest Infuse update for Apple’s black box months before iOS. Whether you grab the free or paid version, you’ll be able to stream video from network storage, re-encoded on-the-fly. Artwork, catalogue sorting and metadata is all automatic, making for a gorgeous browsing experience. Pro users also get trakt.tv support, syncing progress across devices.
Our favourite cookery app, 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. So 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.