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A Complete Guide to Downloading Apps on Apple TV

Have you ever wanted to expand what you can do on your Apple TV beyond streaming shows and movies? Well downloading additional apps opens up all sorts of possibilities!

In this friendly guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through how to download apps on an Apple TV. We‘ll also explore some of the best apps across categories like streaming, games, fitness, education, and productivity.

Let‘s get started!

An Overview of Apple TV App Capabilities

The Apple TV 4th gen and later models feature a full-fledged App Store, allowing you to customize your device with thousands of apps.

This is a big upgrade from earlier Apple TVs that only offered a handful of pre-installed apps. Now you have an entire world of streaming services, games, educational tools, fitness trainers, productivity apps, and more at your fingertips!

But what can you actually do with Apple TV apps? Here‘s a quick overview:

  • Streaming – Access subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, and many others.
  • Gaming – Play casual, family, and indie games ranging from platformers to shooters to racers.
  • Workouts – Turn your TV into a personal trainer with yoga, strength training, cycling, and other workout apps featuring on-demand classes.
  • Education – Supplement school lessons with educational games, videos, and courses covering everything from coding to languages.
  • Productivity – View, edit, and manage documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos, and other files.
  • Web Browsing – Pull up websites and online tools not otherwise accessible directly on Apple TV.
  • Smart Home – Control lights, locks, cameras, thermostats and more with compatible smart home apps.
  • Photos – View photos and albums from your iPhone right on the big screen.
  • Music – Stream songs from Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and other music services.

That‘s just a taste – read on to explore your Apple TV app options in more detail!

Step-by-Step Guide to Downloading Apple TV Apps

Let‘s walk through how to find and download apps from the App Store onto your Apple TV.

1. Open the App Store

From the Home Screen, select the App Store icon. This app comes pre-installed and is usually one of the first icons in the top row.

App Store Icon

The App Store will have this distinctive icon.

Selecting it will launch the App Store where you can browse and download apps.

2. Search or Browse for Apps

Upon opening the App Store, you have a few options to find apps:

  • Search – Use the Search bar at the top to find a specific app by name. Simply say or type the name.
  • Categories – Select Categories to browse apps sorted by type like Games, Entertainment, Education, Lifestyle and more.
  • Charts – View top paid, top free, and top grossing apps. Helps discover popular new apps.

Let‘s say you want to download the Netflix app. Type "Netflix" into the Search bar and select the Netflix app from the results.

3. Download the App

On the app‘s page, select the ‘Get‘ button to download it. If you already downloaded it, you will see the option to open it instead.

Netflix App Store Download

Press "Get" to download an app.

The app will download and install automatically. Once finished, open it up and enjoy!

And that‘s really all there is to it. Rinse and repeat to build a custom collection of apps on your Apple TV tailored to your interests.

Next let‘s explore some of the best apps to download across categories…

Top Apple TV Apps to Download

The App Store offers over 20,000 apps compatible with Apple TV. Let‘s dive into some of the best apps across popular categories:

Streaming Apps

One of the main uses for Apple TV is streaming shows, movies, news, sports, and more. Access top streaming services through their Apple TV apps:

App Details
Netflix Download to watch Netflix originals plus movies and shows. Create user profiles.
Hulu Access original series like Handmaid‘s Tale plus next day streaming of network shows. Ad-free option.
Prime Video View Amazon originals like The Boys plus movies available to Prime members.
Disney+ Stream Disney classics, Pixar faves, Star Wars, Marvel and more.
HBO Max Original programming and blockbuster movies from HBO Max.
Paramount+ Shows and movies from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures. Ad-free option.

According to AppFigures, Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu and HBO Max are the most downloaded streaming video apps on Apple TV as of November 2022.

With all the top services covered, Apple TV acts as the perfect hub for all your streaming content.

Gaming Apps

Transform game night with friends by downloading multiplayer games on your Apple TV. Some top options:

App Details
Apple Arcade Subscription service with 100+ high-quality, ad-free games. New titles added monthly. Play across Apple devices.
Jackbox Party Packs Party classics like Quiplash, Trivia Murder Party, and Fibbage. Up to 8 players using smartphones as controllers.
Heads Up! Act out cards on your head while friends guess in this charades-style game.
Mario Kart Race as favorite Nintendo characters across Mushroom Kingdom maps.
Sonic Racing Fast-paced, colorful arcade racing game featuring Sonic the Hedgehog characters.

According to AppFigures, some of the other most downloaded games in 2022 include Minecraft, Roblox, NBA 2K23, FIFA Soccer, and Among Us.

For solo play, Apple Arcade provides a huge catalog of premium games across all genres from platformers to RPGs to adventure. Avoid free-to-play games loaded with ads and microtransactions.

Fitness and Workout Apps

Looking to get in shape? Try these top exercise apps that turn Apple TV into your personal trainer:

App Details
FitOn Library of free workout videos. Covers strength, HIIT, yoga, kickboxing, dance, pilates, stretching, and more.
Nike Training Club Video workouts designed by Nike Master Trainers. Focuses on strength, cardio, yoga, and core.
Asana Rebel Yoga app with sequences, flows, and poses for flexibility and strength. Beginner to advanced classes.
Peloton Sweat-inducing cycling, strength, yoga, bootcamp, and other classes. Requires Peloton subscription.
Daily Burn Huge on-demand library of full body and targeted workout videos across disciplines.

Fitness apps allow you to workout alongside the motivation and guidance of professional trainers right from your living room. No expensive equipment required!

Education Apps

Supplement learning with these top educational picks:

App Details
Khan Academy Free courses on math, science, economics, and more for all ages.
Duolingo Learn new languages like Spanish, French, German, and others through bite-sized lessons.
TED Watch enlightening talks on technology, education, design, business, and global issues.
Grasshopper Fun, beginner-friendly coding lessons using mini-games.
Busuu Self-paced lessons on vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and more for 12 languages.

Game-like apps that reward progress help kids and adults alike master new skills and topics. Pick up a new language, code your first app, or gain a deeper understanding of the world from the comfort of your couch.

Productivity Apps

Boost productivity with these useful Apple TV apps:

App Details
Microsoft Office Create, edit, and view Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents.
Dropbox Access all your cloud content from Dropbox. View docs, photos, videos, and more.
Google Drive View and manage files stored in Google Drive. Integrates with Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Adobe Acrobat Reader Read, annotate, sign, fill, and share PDFs.
Unclack Use your iPhone as a trackpad and keyboard to control Apple TV.

While not a full workstation, opening up documents on the big screen and accessing cloud storage helps make Apple TV a more capable productivity device.

Customizing Your Apple TV with Apps

As you can see, the App Store opens up all kinds of possibilities beyond just watching shows and movies on Apple TV.

The key is customizing your device with apps tailored specifically to your interests and needs.

I recommend starting with essential apps like your favorite streaming services and games for party night.

Then explore some less mainstream apps like interactive fitness trainers, educational courses, smart home controllers, web browsers, and productivity tools.

With so many options, you‘re sure to find hidden gems that enhance how you use Apple TV as your central media hub.

The Apple TV platform will only grow stronger as more developers add apps. Stay on the lookout for new launches, and don‘t be afraid to experiment with apps outside your usual wheelhouse.

Tips for Managing Your Apple TV Apps

Here are some handy tips for managing apps:

  • Delete apps you no longer use to free up storage space. To delete, hold the touchpad on the app icon until they all start jiggling. Then select the "x".
  • Use the App Switcher (double click the TV button) to force quit any frozen apps.
  • Check for app updates regularly under App Store > Updates. Keeping apps updated improves stability.
  • Use the App Store > Purchased section to redownload apps you previously downloaded. Helpful if you accidentally delete one.
  • Rearrange apps for convenience by pushing frequently used ones to the top row. Keep less used apps on the bottom row.
  • Use parental controls to restrict certain rating levels and categories of apps if needed.

And that covers the basics of managing your app collection!

Are Third-Party Apps Safe to Download?

You may wonder if it‘s risky downloading apps from third-party developers on Apple TV, much like on iOS devices.

The good news is Apple TV maintains a closed ecosystem with tight control over the App Store approval process. Apps must adhere to Apple‘s strict privacy and security standards before getting published.

This helps weed out any malware concerns and other sneaky behavior, especially compared to downloading apps from unregulated sources.

That said, it‘s still smart practice to only download apps from reputable developers. And avoid entering any sensitive login credentials when possible. Rely on app-specific accounts if you can.

With just a little common sense, third-party apps are generally safe to download worry-free on Apple TV.

Get More Out of Your Apple TV with Apps

Hopefully this guide gave you a good overview of how to download apps on your Apple TV to expand its capabilities tenfold.

It only takes a few taps to open up a whole new world of streaming services, games, fitness trainers, educational tools, productivity apps, and more.

Build your perfect collection of apps tailored to how you want to use your Apple TV. Access all your favorite entertainment in one place, game with friends, get fit without the gym, learn new skills, and boost productivity.

The Apple TV App Store opens up endless possibilities far beyond just passive watching. Download apps today to make your Apple TV smarter and customize it to your needs!

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