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Apple TV 4: Using the App Store

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Apple TV 4 Using the App Store

Apple TV 4 brings a new operating system and the App Store to your television. This article examines how to use the App Store, update apps, delete apps and avoid “lemon” apps.

At the Apple TV 4 product launch, Tim Cook stated “the future of TV is apps.” When he uttered those words, the present of television was already about apps. Both Roku and Amazon already offered TV appliances capable of running apps. They both hosted virtual markets for apps. But for Apple customers, the new TV appliance is a huge leap forward compared to previous models. Apple fans may contend that this is a more refined experience than competitors can offer. If you are vested in the Apple ecosystem, it’s the only way to play purchased iTunes movies and TV shows.

Unlike other vendors, Apple’s ecosystem is a strong selling point for Apple TV. With Universal apps, your purchases will run on your Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Although Apple TV may be pricier than the competition, this is a huge advantage. I am enjoying the fruits of this ecosystem, as my Asphalt 8 in-app purchases also work on my iPhone. That Star Wars movie bundle I bought on iTunes is conveniently available on my Apple TV, without any fiddling. The new, fourth generation Apple TV is far from perfect, but it is a slam dunk for customers owning multiple Apple products.

The App Store for Apple TV 4 is one of the most useful new features. It is a portal for extending your television experience. Beyond content providers, the App Store offers games, shopping, information services and even utilities. Let’s take a look at how to use the App Store, update apps, delete apps, avoid “lemon” apps and the future of Apple TV.

How to Use the App Store

If you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, Apple TV’s App Store will feel familiar. This article assumes that you have already set up your Apple TV. If not, please read “Getting Started with Apple TV 4”.

Starting on the home screen, use the touchpad to select and click on the App Store icon. The main App Store screen displays a scrolling marqee with featured apps. You can use the touchpad to scroll through and select featured apps in the marquee. If you are unsure of which app is selected, gently rotate your thumb on the touchpad. You’ll see the selected app rotate with a cool 3D effect. Click on the touchpad to select the app. The app’s detail screen is displayed.

The app detail screen displays information about the app, including price, ratings, description, age rating, game controller compatibility, video previews (if available), screenshots, in-app purchases and the privacy policy. Use the touchpad to navigate the screen. If you are unsure of which element has the focus, rotate your thumb on the touchpad to “wiggle” the item. You can drill down into any selected element, such as the description, by clicking the touchpad. Press the menu button to return back to the app detail screen.

Installing an app on Apple TV 4 is a simple process. Use the touchpad to select the on-screen Get button and click on it to start the installation. You’ll see a radial download indicator replace the Get button.

If the app is not free, you’ll see a price tag button instead of the Get button. You will be prompted to confirm purchase of the app and may be asked to provide the password for your Apple ID. You can use the touchpad to enter your on screen password. Apple also offers a Remote app which enables control of your Apple TV using an iOS device, such as an iPhone. The Remote app offers a touch-based keyboard, which may prove convenient if you do a lot of text entry in Apple TV. (continue…)

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