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App discovery on the Apple TV still isn't where it should be

App discovery on the Apple TV still isn't where it should be

tvOS App Store
November 6, 2015

Some days, I really wonder what’s going on in the development labs at Apple. The past two days, ever since Apple enabled the Categories section of the tvOS App Store on Nov. 4, have been excellent examples of this. While you can get an excellent categorical breakdown of your software in the Purchased tab, the current Categories page in the Apple TV App Store only provides two lists: Games and Entertainment.


Okay, I’ll admit, those are definitely the most important categories of apps on the Apple TV, but seriously? This addition hasn’t really helped with app discovery much at all. There still is no option to view all of the apps in a particular category, for one thing. You can see the curated list of apps that Apple recommends, but why not expand that list to show more apps, or even all of the games or entertainment options?

We also still have no way to browse Apple TV apps within iTunes, which is a downright shame. Since the Apple TV still lacks Bluetooth keyboard support, something that really should have been there from day one, the next best alternative would be to look for them in iTunes. Unfortunately, there is still no easy way of determining which titles in the iTunes App Store are available on tvOS.

App discovery on the Apple TV doesn’t have to be this way; the apps are obviously categorized, since you can see them readily sorted in your Purchased tab.


Finally, let’s go back to the existing Categories page and just be blunt. A Categories page with only two options is almost as bad as none at all. Apple certainly has the capability to more rapidly provide curated lists of apps. Just look at how quickly Cupertino was able to generate curated artists and songs for Apple Music’s multiple stations.

We most certainly need more options in the Categories page to truly make app discovery a breeze on the Apple TV. I’m simply not content with looking through my Purchased apps to find good ones for the television. I want to be able to locate new titles to spend my hard-earned money on, and Apple is totally missing the boat on that right now.

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