Best apps available on Apple TV
The best thing about Apple’s iOS platform for its iPhone and iPad is the app library that comes with it. While the devices themselves are slick and easy to use, it’s the ability to download content, play games and do a huge host of other things — and do them easily, that makes those devices so sought after among the public.
Apple took the same mentality it uses for its iPad to Apple TV, its set-top box that can stream content from Apple’s iTunes ecosystem straight to your living room. While there aren’t quite the same app capabilities as what you see on tablets and smartphones right now, Apple has been adding more and more content providers to its list of backers – most recently, WatchESPN and HBO Go, which are some of the best apps available on the platform. HBO Go brings instant access to shows, movies and more to HBO subscribers, and WatchESPN provides both live programming like sporting events and the network’s recorded shows.
Among the other great apps on Apple TV are some obvious ones: Netflix, for example, is a phenomenal streaming resource of movies and TV shows, and getting better every day with original programming like Arrested Development and House of Cards. YouTube has an Apple TV app that gives users access to the site’s entire massive video library, and the recently added Sky News gives access to the UK network’s news programming.
Hook up the iPad
While there are some solid apps for Apple TV itself, it’s Apple’s AirPlay feature that really opens up the platform. AirPlay allows iPad and iPhone owners to stream content from their devices (and apps) to Apple TV, basically putting small-screen content on the biggest screen in your house.
Among the coolest apps that support the feature are Crackle, Sony’s free video streaming app that’s packed full of movies, and Al Jazeera, another international news alternative. You can watch lectures from TED across AirPlay with the TED Talks app, and many of the best games, such as Asphalt 6 and N.O.V.A. 3, support AirPlay mirroring.
The best way to get content for your Apple TV, whether it be downloading apps, streaming TV shows from iTunes or mirroring your iPad apps, is with gift cards through retailers, where you can take advantage of cash back. You can find iTunes gift cards at Walmart, Target and Best Buy (all offering 2 percent Cash Back), as well as retailers such as K-Mart (3 percent Cash Back) and Sears (5 percent Cash Back), to keep your content prices down.