In 2015, Cupertino finally updated the Apple TV, and now the device has its own App Store. Some apps were created exclusively for the set-top box, while others came over from existing iPhone and iPad hit titles. Which Apple TV apps were the best of 2015? Let’s have a look at our first-ever listing of the Best Apple TV apps of the year.
The AppAdvice Apple TV app of 2015
Rayman Adventures, free, Universal (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV)
At first released solely for the Apple TV and then unleashed on the iPhone and iPad, Rayman Adventures lets you journey through legendary worlds on a quest to rescue the Incrediballs. The ancient eggs sustaining the sacred tree have been stolen, and it’s up to Rayman and his trusty companions to travel around the world seeking them out.
Rayman Adventures features stellar graphics and console-like gameplay. While it’s definitely easier to play the game with a gamepad controller, Rayman Adventures makes great use of the capabilities of the Siri Remote to provide awesome control over your hero.
Lumino City, $4.99, Universal (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV)
Lumino City is a gorgeous puzzle adventure game crafted entirely by hand out of paper, card, miniature lights, and motors. Your challenge is to help Lumi rescue her grandfather, the caretaker of Lumino City, exploring the city and unearthing the mysteries behind all of the fascinating mechanisms that power the unique world.
The handmade nature of Lumino City makes it unique, and the puzzles are challenging without becoming overbearing. This game is gorgeous on the big screen, and is a terrific choice for your new Apple TV.
HBO Now, free (subscription required), Universal (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV)
The new standalone streaming service from HBO, this app requires only your Internet connection to give you full access to all of the premium network’s programming. In a gorgeous interface, you can watch hit movies along with exclusive series like Game of Thrones, the Sopranos, True Detective, and more. The big premieres are available on HBO Now at the same time they air on TV, so you don’t have to miss a thing.
HBO Now provides you with more than 2,000 titles to watch, including highly-anticipated new, upcoming original programs and the latest hit movies. You’ll also get HBO Sports documentaries and World Championship Boxing events, helping you turn your Apple TV into a first-rate entertainment center.
Seasonality TV, $9.99, Apple TV only
Cord cutters need a way to keep up with the weather, too, and Seasonality TV offers all of the best features of television weather channels without the fluff. The app provides you with current weather conditions and astronomical data like sunrise/sunset times and moon phase for more than 65,000 predefined locations in over 200 countries. You can access an animated map with infrared satellite imagery, along with a Particle Mode to see the worldwide wind field. Of course, you can also access a six-day forecast.
Seasonality TV is described as “the last weather app you’ll ever need,” and it’s definitely close to that. The developers continue to improve the app, and it should soon offer hourly forecasts and more.
Alto’s Adventure, $0.99, Universal (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV)
Alto’s Adventure is an endless snowboarding odyssey in which you journey across beautiful alpine hills of native wilderness and through sleepy villages, ancient woodlands, and long-abandoned ruins. Your task is to rescue runaway llamas, but the fun comes in as you grind rooftops, leap horrifying chasms, and outwit the mountain elders.
Alto’s Adventure features beautiful graphics along with fluid, graceful, exhilarating physics-based gameplay. The game is based on real-world snowboarding, but the controls are much simpler than that extreme sport. It’s pure, unadulterated fun on the slopes.
Unleash your inner rock star with this amp-fueled musical experience. Guitar Hero Live was a hit on consoles, and now it’s available on your Apple TV. You’ll enjoy two ways to play, with Guitar Hero Live mode putting you on stage rocking a reactive live-action crowd, living the dream of becoming a rock star. For even more fun, join in on GHTV to play along to official music videos and more.
Guitar Hero Live requires the guitar controller to play on your Apple TV, but it’s well worth the cost.
Airbnb, free, Universal (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV)
When planning your next vacation, enjoy the endless possibilities that Airbnb has to offer. You can browse properties on your television using your Apple TV, and mark your favorites to book on your computer or iOS device. Each listing provides you with multiple high-resolution photographs of the property, along with custom descriptions of what the room or home has to offer.
Airbnb includes properties ranging from Airstream trailers in Austin to the most modern treehouses the world has to offer, along with everything in between. It’s a great way to plan your next vacation.
Netflix, free (subscription required), Universal (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV)
No set-top box would be complete without a Netflix app, and the Apple TV version is gorgeous. The interface is smooth and easy to navigate, and all of the best features of Netflix shine right through. You get access to the latest shows and movies, along with award-winning Netflix original content. There are no commercials or hidden fees, and new titles are added all the time.
Netflix is the cord cutter’s best opportunity to watch television and movies, so it’s right at home on the Apple TV. The experience is very good, so this app is a must-have for your entertainment needs.
Kitchen Stories, free, Universal (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV)
Of course, no television experience would be complete without cooking shows, and Kitchen Stories brings plenty of that to you. The app provides you with delicious recipes with beautiful pictures and videos, and you get to learn how to cook with executive chefs by trying out new, mouth-watering dishes every week.
For fresh dinner ideas, Kitchen Stories has you covered. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran in the kitchen or just starting out, this app has something for you.
Zova – Personal Trainer, free, Universal (iPhone, iPad and Apple TV)
Last, but certainly not least, you will definitely want a way to turn your television into a workout partner after all of those amazing dishes in Kitchen Stories. Some of the best trainers from around the world have joined forces with Zova, bringing you the best workouts with motivational, high quality videos. You can enjoy a variety of styles, including circuit training, strength conditioning, tabata, HIIT, and yoga.
Zova is truly a personal trainer on your Apple TV, and is great for helping you keep fit and conditioned.
We’ve already published the Best Apple Watch apps of 2015.
On Monday, Dec. 28, we’ll present the best free iPad apps for the year, followed by the best paid iPad apps on Dec. 30. On Tuesday, Dec. 29, and Thursday, Dec. 31, we’ll take a look at our favorite free and paid iPhone titles, respectively. Until then, happy holidays.