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Apple TV Devices

How To Add Apps To Apple TV & What To Know Before

Popular live TV and video apps can be added to an Apple TV player from the App Store. Here’s what you should know before downloading any.

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An Apple TV player has access to a wide selection of apps that can be downloaded through the App Store. Each device does actually come with a number of preinstalled apps, but these are Apple’s own apps. For those wanting access to popular live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, or on-demand services like HBO Max, the apps will need to be downloaded and added to an Apple TV player.

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For reference, apps can only be downloaded and installed on the Apple TV 4K and fourth-generation Apple TV HD. If using an older model, including the Apple TV (3rd generation), users are unable to access the App Store or download new apps on the device. Instead, they are only able to update the apps that are already installed on the Apple TV player.

Before actually downloading any apps, the user will need to actually locate the App Store on the device. This App Store app can be found on the Apple TV Home screen and is identified by the same “A” icon that’s used on other Apple devices, such as an iPhone or iPad. If the Apps section cannot be found, make sure the Apple TV player is actually displaying the Home screen by pressing the Home button on the remote.

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How to download Apple TV apps

All of the apps available to download on an Apple TV player will need to be downloaded from the App Store.

  1. Open the App Store app
  2. Navigate to and click on the Search icon
  3. Enter the name of the app
  4. Click on the app
  5. Click the download (gray) button

Instead of actually searching by name for an app, users can also simply browse the various apps available on the Apple TV player. The App Store conveniently shows different categories which can make the process of searching for new apps easier, including filtering by Entertainment, News, and Sports. If an app cannot be found by browsing the various categories (or searching by name), then it is likely that the app is not yet available to download on Apple TV.

Like on other platforms, Apple TV players have access to free and paid apps. If the app is free then the user will see a “Get” download button when viewing the App Store listing. In some cases, the user will see an “Open” button and this simply means the app does not need to be downloaded as it is already installed on the device. If a price is listed instead of “Get” or “Open”, the user will need to pay for the app before they are able to download it. Once paid for, the price will be replaced with a “Get” button.

After downloading Apple TV apps

Once downloaded, the user will be able to open the app from the same App Store page they used to download it. Instead of showing “Get” or the price, there will be an “Open” button which can be clicked on to launch the app.

Alternatively, the app can also be accessed directly from the Home screen. Simply navigate back by pressing the Home button on the remote and then search through the various apps shown. The user will see a new icon is added each time a new app is downloaded on the player. Once on the right app icon, click the enter button on the remote to open the app.

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Of course, downloading an app is only one of the steps involved. When it comes to many of the most popular video streaming apps on an Apple TV player, the user will most likely have to sign in to the app to watch any of the content. For many live TV and on-demand video apps, this will also include signing up for a subscription if one hasn’t been created already. How much a service charges can vary from a few dollar per month to much more, and especially for apps that provide access to live TV.

Download Apple TV apps summary

Apple TV users can download a wide selection of apps on their player, but they will need to be downloaded through the App Store, with the App Store’s own app found on the Home screen. If an app is not listed in the App Store, then it is not yet available on Apple TV. In these cases, individuals or households will need to consider using a different device to access the app.

Once an app has been downloaded, it can be opened directly from the same App Store page used to download the app or from the Home screen. After downloading, most streaming apps will require the user to sign in or sign up for an account. In many cases, this can also mean paying a subscription price each month to use the app.

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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