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.
If it's specifically games you're after, check out our companion feature: the 31 best games for the new Apple TV.
(Note: all apps are universal, working across your iOS devices, unless otherwise stated.)
Not got one yet? Buy the Apple TV here
Brian Eno : Reflection (RM134.90, universal)
“A hundred and thirty five bucks!” you might yell, while choking on your drink and following up with a choice expletive. But hang on, because Reflection is something special – a version of Brian Eno’s latest album that never stops remixing itself, and that shifts and changes depending on the time of day, and even the season.
On the telly, you also get an Eno abstract evolving painting, transforming your gogglebox into a slice of living art.
CARROT Weather (RM19, 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 (RM15, 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.
Hyper (free, universal)
Online video for the lazy, Hyper frees you from trudging through endless feeds by hand-picking some of the best uploads every day. At least, ‘best uploads’ as decided by ‘a team of award-winning filmmakers’, who are somewhat US-oriented in nature. Even so, it’s a decent starting point, and if you can’t find anything to like, it’s probably because your idea of great online video is a cat rolling about in a not very amusing fashion, forever.