10 Apps You'll Want To Download For Your New Apple TV

You just got a new toy for the living room this holiday season: The 2015 Apple TV. The redesigned remote control, improved user interface, and increased storage capacity all make it a good buy. But what makes it a great addition to your home? All the third party apps you can now download.

Unlike upgrading phones, where you've already got your favorite apps picked out, the Apple TV — the living room, really — is an entirely different experience for apps. The screen is huge. You've got a dedicated remote in lieu of a touchscreen. Will you want to use the same apps you do on your phone or tablet? Or will you want entirely new and different choices?

The short answer is a mix of both. And as for the "new and different," having spent two months with the new Apple TV, we can offer some solid recommendations that work well on your TV screen. Once you've got your Apple TV all set up — a process that only takes a few minutes as long as you've got an iPhone — head to the App Store and stock up with these titles.
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Photo: Courtesy Apple.
You could always shop on the TV by picking up your phone and dialing the number on those As Seen On TV ads. But let's face it: That's awful. The Gilt Apple TV app is the way to shop — on a TV screen or otherwise. The app is organized logically, whether you're searching for a specific clothing item or just perusing what's new. Once you select an item, you get an almost 3-D view to check out how it looks from every angle. Completing a purchase takes only a minute or two and you can pay using Apple Pay.
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Photo: Courtesy Kitchen Stories.
Kitchen Stories
Move over, Julia Child, the Apple TV offers way more variety when it comes to cooking and recipes than your usual cooking show. Kitchen Stories is great, because it not only gives you a wide variety of recipes with their expertise level and expected preparation time, it also offers video tutorials so you can learn exactly how to make each dish like a pro.
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Photo: Courtesy Yummly.
If you're more just looking to find a new recipe the whole family will like, pull up Yummly. With this app, you can browse more than a million recipes, which you can filter by cuisine, nutrition, allergies, taste, diet, cook time, or technique. You can save, organize, and pull up recipes from the app's personal recipe box.
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Photo: Courtesy Apple.
The only thing better than HBO Now on your phone or laptop is HBO Now on the TV. I mean, that is what TV is made for, right? The HBO Now app breaks its content down by type (such as movie or TV show, comedy or drama), which you can then browse. You can also look through the app's featured content or use the Apple TV's Siri remote to search for a specific title.
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Photo: Courtesy Netflix.
Your TV wouldn't be complete without Netflix. It brings your favorite TV episodes and movies to you anytime you want them. We find this app tends to crash more than any of the others, but maybe it's because we watch it the most.
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Photo: Courtesy Zova - Personal Trainer.
Zova — Personal Trainer
Zova is the modern take on your mom's old Jane Fonda tapes. There are tons of workouts to choose from — we're a fan of the core routines. The app shows you how to correctly execute each exercise, tells you how many reps to do, and has a countdown timer for each set. The videos are high quality and once you're done, you feel so accomplished. You never even had to leave your living room.
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Photo: Courtesy Sketch Party TV.
Sketch Party TV
Sketch Party TV is 21st century Pictionary. Players use their personal iPhone or iPad to draw things, which are beamed up onto the Apple TV screen for other players to guess. Up to 16 people can tune in and play. Each turn gives you five words you're supposed to illustrate, with two minutes to do it. With six people, a full game takes roughly half an hour.
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Photo: Courtesy Smule.
Sing! Karaoke
Honestly, this one is a little weird, but if you’re a die-hard karaoke fan and have no reservations about belting out your favorite song by yourself (or in front of like-minded strangers), you’ll love it. You can pick a song and the app plays the words on the screen while you sing along. If you're home alone, you can sing with someone else from across the globe, who’s pre-recorded their end. Or, you can have a group of friends over for your own private karaoke session. The app includes vocal filters, so even the most off key amongst you sounds A-okay.
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Photo: Courtesy Party Pong.
Party Pong
Whether your university days are going strong or they're a (thankfully) fading memory, you can now relive the best part about college in your living room: Beer pong. Minus the questionable hygiene and inevitable beer stains, of course. To play, swing the Apple TV remote to toss your ball into the onscreen Solo cups and watch as it bounces on cup rims and tables just like it would in real life. Another benefit of taking the actual pong play onto a screen: You can take sips of whatever drink you want, instead of a lint-filled shot of Natty Light.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
You might not use this one every day, but the next time you're planning a getaway, load up Airbnb on the Apple TV. Getting to see big, high-resolution photos of possible rentals is awesome — each listing on the TV app is filled with tons of images. You can browse listings based on destinations near you, like Tahoe if you're in California, or by theme.