Enhance the Apple TV’s range of entertainment options by installing new apps and games.
Although the Apple TV might be stocked with a bunch of useful pre-installed apps, you can expand the functionality and fun of the device by installing apps from the App Store. In this chapter, you’ll learn about:
- Finding apps and games
- Downloading and managing apps
- Playing games on the Apple TV
- Managing in-app purchases and subscriptions
- Updating apps to new versions
- Apps to check out
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you know that the built-in apps are useful, but the apps and games you get at the App Store are what make your device so powerful, indispensable, and fun. The same is true of the Apple TV: It has its own App Store that takes the device far beyond the pre-installed apps. Some of your favorite iPhone and iPad apps will probably show up in the Apple TV App Store, but there will also be some new apps that you won’t be able to live without.
Apps for the Apple TV are designed especially for use on an HDTV from across the room. They’re also made to be controlled using Siri and the Siri Remote.
Finding Apps and Games
The App Store app on the Apple TV works basically the same way as it does on the iPhone or iPad. You can search for apps or browse the store; some apps are free, some require upfront payment, others have in-app purchases.
Search the Apple TV App Store
If you know the name of the app you’re looking for, follow these steps to search for it:
Launch the App Store app.
Use the touchpad to navigate to and select Search.
- Type in what you’re searching for using the onscreen keyboard or the Remote app. Results of your search automatically populate beneath the keyboard.
When you’ve found an app you’re interested in, highlight it using the remote and click the touchpad to learn more about it and download it.
Browse the Apple TV App Store
If you don’t know what you’re looking for or just prefer to peruse what’s out there in hopes of discovering something new, you can also browse the App Store. Here’s how:
Launch the App Store app.
The main screen of the app displays Featured apps based on categories and promotional groups assembled by Apple. You can navigate to any of these using the touchpad or the Remote app; click to select them.
The Top Charts screen shows the apps that are most popular in categories like paid apps, free apps, and the apps that have generated the most money.
- Use the top navigation to select Categories.
Select one of the categories in the right-hand menu to view highlighted apps in that category.
- To view any apps you’ve purchased or downloaded in the past, select the Purchased menu in the top navigation.
- Select one of the categories on the left.
The apps in the category you chose are displayed on the right. Use the remote to navigate to and select the app you want.
All About the App Detail Screen
When you select an app to learn more about it, the screen that appears contains this information:
- Title—The name of the app.
- Developer—The person or company who created the app.
- Category—The App Store category that the app is assigned to.
- Age Rating—The minimum appropriate age for users of the app, according to the developer.
- Star Rating—The average of all the star ratings assigned to the app by other users.
- Description—The developer’s overview of what the app is, what it does, and who it’s for.
- In-App Purchases—Indicates whether you can purchase items, upgrades, or other features in the game. See “Managing In-App Purchases and Subscriptions” later in this chapter (optional, not pictured).
- Get/Buy Button—Use this button if you’re ready to download the app. For free apps, the button reads “Get.” Paid apps show the price.
Screenshots—To get a sense of what the app looks like before downloading it (especially useful for games and paid apps), check out its screenshots.
- Rate App—If you’ve used the app and want to let others know what you think of it, use this area to assign a star rating. For instructions on how to do that, see “Review Apps at the App Store” later in this chapter.
- Ratings—The ratings represent what other users think of the app. This section displays the current star rating, the number of ratings, and how many times each star rating has been assigned. You’ll see those reviews for both the current version of the app and all versions, for all time.
- Information—Basic information about the app, such as when it was last updated and whether it offers features like Game Center support (for more on Game Center, check out “Playing Games on the Apple TV” later in this chapter).
- Languages—The languages in which the game is available.
- Credits—Legal information about the developer of the app.