The best Apple TV apps and games in 2021

best apple tv apps

Your Apple TV does more than just stream movies and shows, as anyone who’s tried out the best Apple TV apps can tell you. The same apps that bring more to your iPhone and iPad also work the same magic on your TV — only redesigned to take advantage of the ample screen space.

Like other streaming boxes, Apple TV lets you watch your favorite shows and movies. But Apple’s device stands out, thanks to its voice-powered Siri remote — especially the new version that debuted with this year’s Apple TV — and the wide range of Apple TV apps.

If you subscribe to Apple Arcade, you can play premium games on the Apple TV for just $4.99 a month and pick up where you left off on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. Apple Fitness Plus subscribers can stream workout classes. And speaking of streaming, Apple TV also gives you access to all the best streaming services, from Disney Plus and Netflix to Sling TV.

To make it easier to for you to find the best Apple TV apps, we’ve broken it all down into several categories, including streaming services, music and video, games, health and fitness and more.

From apps that let you binge on movies and TV shows to ones dedicated to solving puzzles, practicing yoga and shopping, these are the best Apple TV apps available.

Best Apple TV streaming service apps

Disney Plus

Disney Plus is one of the best Apple TV apps for anyone who cares about the many Disney franchises, including Star Wars and Marvel. You also get access to original shows, The Simpsons and more. It costs $7.99 per month and gives you access to the entire Disney catalog. And you can bundle Disney Plus with Hulu for just $13.99 per month. The Disney Plus app for Apple TV is a must have.


We wish the Netflix app integrated better with Apple’s TV app — the Netflix shows you’re streaming are MIA from the Now Playing section of the Apple TV interface. But this service still provides access to a wide variety of compelling original shows and movies, from Stranger Things and House of Cards to Luke Cage.

Amazon Prime Video

It took longer than other streaming services to arrive on Apple TV, but Amazon Prime Video has emerged as one of the best Apple TV apps for entertainment. Amazon’’s Prime Video gives you access to thousands of shows and television shows, including lots of free content if you’re a Prime subscriber. You can also use the service to watch Amazon’s original series through the service.

Apple TV Plus

Apple TV Plus is one of the newer entrants into the Apple TV market, but it’s worth streaming for its $4.99 per month. (And if you’ve buy an Apple device, you get three months of the service for free.)

With a subscription, you get access to Apple’s original programming, including Ted Lasso and The Morning Show, among others. Best of all, its visual quality and reliability are outstanding.


HBO finally seems to have found a winning formula with HBO Max, its $14.99/month streaming service. Your HBO favorites are there, but you also get an extensive library of movies and shows offering a wide variety of viewing options. It’s one of the pricier streaming services out there, but HBO is betting the giant library of shows and occasional theatrical releases will make it worth your while.

YouTube TV

Cutting the cord is never easy and finding a suitable service to consider is even more difficult. But with help from YouTube TV, you might find it to be simple. The YouTube TV service, which has climbed to $64.99 per month, gives you streaming access to more than 70 channels, including local sports and news. It even features DVR support. This is the best Apple TV app for anyone thinking about ditching cable who still craves live programming.


If you’re a Hulu subscriber, download this app to your Apple TV. The stream quality is stellar, and you can watch everything from classics like Seinfeld (all nine seasons) to exclusives like The Mindy Project. Plus, Hulu integrates with Apple’s TV app, so from the home screen, you can quickly access shows you’ve been watching. Oh, and check out our best Hulu movies guide when you’re trying to decide what to watch.

Best Apple TV music and video apps


Pandora has long been one of the most popular streaming-music apps and its easily one of the best Apple TV apps for music. The service lets you create stations and curates songs based on your tastes. As you might expect, the app includes large album artwork and easily accessible controls. You can use Pandora for free, but you can also sign up for a paid version that will eliminate ads.


Like the fourth-generation Apple TV, the Apple TV 4K is compatible with a key app that wasn’t available in earlier models: YouTube. After downloading the free YouTube app, you can stream videos, movies and more. The stream quality is quite good, and the breadth of content is impressive.

Apple Music

Apple Music is the tech giant’s $10-a-month streaming music service. When you sign up, you can access Apple Music’s millions of songs, as well as curated playlists to listen to the music you love. Apple Music also features a For You section, so you can discover new music that are similar to the tracks you enjoy.

Discovery Go

If you’re a Discovery Channel lover, the Discovery Go app is a must-have for the Apple TV. The app lets you watch full episodes and live TV from Discovery Channel. And it’s available to you for free with your cable TV subscription. The app includes Shark Week programming, Naked and Afraid, and other popular Discovery shows.

Showtime Anytime

Showtime Anytime is a must-have if you’re a Showtime subscriber through your cable or satellite provider. This app gives you access to all the latest hits, including Homeland and Ray Donovan, as well as older favorites like Dexter.

Comedy Central

The free Comedy Central app has a surprisingly robust amount of content, making it one of the best Apple TV apps. It features a slew of stand-up specials and gives you access to some of the network’s best series, like South Park and The Daily Show. There is also some short-form content you’ll want to check out.

Best Apple TV game apps

Apple Arcade ($4.99/month)

Apple launched its Apple Arcade game-streaming service in 2020, letting you access more than 100 games for $5 a month. Titles range from simple and fun offering to more sophisticated titles that rival what you’d find on a console. Apple Arcade offers gaming fun for anyone in the family, and is one you don’t want to miss, especially if you enjoy casual but fun games.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap ($7.99)

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap won an award in 2019 as the best Apple TV game for good reason. It features an outstanding storyline, great-looking graphics, and an impressive soundtrack. Even two years later, this game makes all your time searching for a cure to your half-human, half-lizard problems all the more enjoyable. Wonder Boy costs $7,99 but overall it’s one of the best Apple TV games.

Drawful 2 ($9.99)

Drawful 2 is a game like Pictionary that combines the touch screen on your iPhone or iPad with your Apple TV to create a really compelling video game. The app requires you to draw different clues on your device and for teammates to try to figure out what you’re drawing. It’s a fun family game you can play with anyone.

Just Dance Now

If you’re looking for a free party game that can get people off the couch and moving, consider picking up Just Dance Now. The app shows you how to dance to more than 500 songs from some of the industry’s biggest names, including Beyonce, Ariana Grande, and others.

Crossy Road

Crossy Road is one of the more addictive free games you can download to your Apple TV. It’s a top-down title with basic graphics that asks you to simply hop your way across a road. (Think Frogger.) It’s simple, easy to play and incredibly fun.

Dandara Trials of Fear Edition ($5.99)

Apple’s pick for the Apple TV game of the year in 2020 is the perfect platform game for your TV screen. You jump everywhere — floors, windows, even ceilings — as you discover the mysteries of a world on the brink of collapse. Combat and movement is particularly well suited for a gamepad controller.

Alto’s Adventure ($0.99)

Alto’s Adventure deservedly won raves as one of the most compelling and visually stunning games on Apple devices. It’s no surprise, then, that this app has earned a spot on our best Apple TV apps list. The game places you in a village and immediately thrusts you into a fascinating adventure.

Sonic the Hedgehog Classic ($2.99)

There’s something so charming about turning on your Apple TV and launching Sonic the Hedgehog Classic, just like you would on the Sega Genesis of old. The game delivers the full Sonic experience you remember in all his wacky and fast-paced glory.

Machinarium ($4.99)

If you’re on the lookout for a more sophisticated game to play through your Apple tV, try Machinarium. Your goal is to help Josef the robot save his girlfriend in this quirky title. The graphics are beautiful, and the gameplay is stellar.

Sky Force Reloaded

One of the most interesting and fun games on Apple TV, Sky Force Reloaded offers arcade-style, shoot-’em-up action in 4K HDR. The game has 15 stages and a variety of aircraft to help you take on enemies and bring down big bosses.

Framed 2 ($4.99)

Framed 2 has some of the most interesting visuals of any game on Apple TV. In this noir puzzle game, you’re tasked with modifying comic book frames to change the story. It’s also pretty easy to control the action via the Siri remote’s touchpad.

Riptide GP: Renegade ($2.99)

If you’re looking for a game that can take advantage of the Apple TV 4K’s power and that looks like a traditional console title, Riptide GP: Renegade is a good bet. The game is a hydrojet racing title that feels fast-paced and fun. And with the ability to perform nifty stunts, you’ll keep coming back for more.

Best Apple TV health and fitness apps

Apple Fitness Plus

Apple Fitness Plus may be designed with the Apple Watch in mind — Apple’s subscription fitness service pairs seamlessly with the fitness tracking activity of its smartwatch. But there’s something in the $9.99/month service for Apple TV owners, too. You can stream your workouts through the Apple TV, turning your living room into a your own personal gym.

At Home Workouts by Daily Burn

When it’s cold and you don’t want to go to the gym, consider trying out At Home Workouts by Daily Burn. One of the best Apple TV apps, this free app comes with more than 1,000 audio and video workouts, as well as a new group workout each day. Better yet, you can pick different workouts, based on what part of the body you’re looking to target.


There are few things more important to your health than your mental health. And with Calm, you can go a long way in helping yourself to meditate and improve your emotional well-being. Calm can also be used to soothe you after a long day and help you get to sleep. So, whether you want to meditate, sleep, or just feel better mentally, the free Calm app is for you.

Yoga Studio ($3.99)

Yoga Studio is an app aimed at getting you back into the Zen way of living. It delivers instruction on how to get into different positions, and works well for both novices and experts. This is one of the best Apple TV apps for fitness because it’s like having your own personal yoga instructor in your living room.

White Noise ($0.99)

Sometimes, a little meditation goes a long way. And that’s where the 99-cent White Noise app comes in. The app lets you pick from a slew of sounds designed to help you focus. It’s a nice app to have after a long day at the office.

Alo Moves

Alo Moves is the app formerly known as Cody. But it still comes with all of the great yoga you’d expect from the earlier version. The app features a variety of classes for you to watch, as well as practice videos, so you can work on specific poses and other techniques to improve your skills. Best of all, the app is free.

Best Apple TV sports apps


If you’re a UFC fan or you simply want more access to sports on your TV or on the go, you’ll want to subscribe to the $6.99-a-month ESPN Plus. The best Apple TV app for sports fan, this streaming service allows you to watch every UFC pay-per-view fight and gives you access to everything from basketball and baseball to cricket and rugby. Overall, ESPN Plus is a great choice.

MLB At Bat

Major League Baseball has invested heavily in Apple TV, with the organization’s MLB At Bat app. The program allows you to stream select live games and highlights, and includes live pitch tracking so you can see how a team is pitching to a batter. Add that to its live scoreboard and team tracking, and MLB At Bat is a winner.


If you’re a boxing fan, you might know that trying to access the latest and greatest fights isn’t so easy. But that’s where DAZN comes in. The streaming app allows you to access all the latest boxing matches, as well as a variety of mixed martial arts fights. The service costs $99 per year or $19.99 per month.

Best Apple TV science and learning apps

PBS Video

One of the best Apple TV apps, PBS Video offers access to the full range of PBS programming, helping you watch whatever you want when you want from the service. It includes thousands of full-length PBS series episodes, documentaries, and even programming from affiliate networks. 


The NASA app is one of the most interesting and thought-provoking Apple TV apps, allowing you to see videos of spacewalks, the latest space images captured by NASA, unbelievable videos, and so much more. Best of all, the app even features live NASA TV streaming, so you don’t miss a minute of the action. It’s available for free.

The Explorers

If you’re someone who truly appreciates the world’s beauty, look no further than The Explorers. Not only did Apple call it the best Apple TV app of the year, but The Explorers offers beautiful and vibrant visuals that aim at helping you see the beauty of animals, landscapes, and everything else the world has to offer.


Udemy is an outstanding app if you want to educate yourself on all those things that maybe you just didn’t have time to pick up. The app is essentially an online learning marketplace that features more than 80,000 courses across an impressive slate of categories, including coding, marketing and even self-defense. It’ll even teach you how to play various instruments.


If you’re in the mood to learn, download the free TED app. The best Apple TV app for anyone who wants to earn, it has a continually updated repository for all the TED and TEDx talks you’ll want to watch. The app’s search function is stellar, too.

Best Apple TV kids apps

Endless Learning Academy

Parents who are looking to occupy their children but don’t want to leave the kids with useless entertainment might want to check out Endless Learning Academy. The app is ideal for children from preschool to first grade ages and provides a variety of learning activities and lessons. And with a compelling design, this app should keep your kids engaged.

iBooks StoryTime

Apple’s iBooks StoryTime is a welcome app for spending evenings with the kids. Simply turn on the free app and pick a story. The app then tells the story and delivers visual elements to make the tale more engaging.

Best Apple TV shopping and smart home apps


If you’re a Nest Cam user, download the free Nest app. You’ll be able to see a live stream of your security camera whenever you wish. If you’re a Nest Aware subscriber, you can view your saved content, too.

Best Apple TV art and scenery apps

Cityscapes 4K by Magic Window

If you’re hoping to relax and watch some gorgeous footage from around the world, Cityscapes 4K by Magic Window is for you. It features time-lapse city views from around the world shown in 4K HDR. You can travel to New York, London, Paris and Tokyo.

Best Apple TV travel and weather apps


Kayak is one of the best Apple TV apps because it can help you book your next vacation without ever leaving your couch. The app lets you search for different locations, hotels, cars and other vacation must-haves ahead of your trip. It searches hundreds of travel sites to get you the best deal, and it works exceedingly well.

WeatherMap+ ($2.99)

A slew of weather apps is available in the Apple TV App Store, but WeatherMap+ is the best. It lets you pan around the world to see different weather events in addition to the standard weather content that you’d expect.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom’s Guide.