New apps show off Apple TV’s bigger potential

New apps show off Apple TV’s bigger potential


The new Apple TV has been on the market for about six weeks, and we’re starting to get an idea as to some of the types of apps developers are building for the new tvOS platform.

Developers from the likes of TasteMade, Daily Burn, SongPop, HomeAway and QVC are all utilizing the platform in different ways. We had a chance to look at some of these new apps and experience what they represent as part of Apple’s overall vision for the future of TV.

In just six weeks, the Apple TV already has over 2,000 apps available in the App Store. And although discovery of apps isn’t perfect — it’s clear that developers are jumping to the platform in a big way.

On the older Apple TV, the only apps available (unless developers really wanted to jump through hoops) were cookie-cutter video service apps.

But with tvOS, developers have more control over what they can build and what type of content works for the app. As a result, the App Store isn’t populated with just video service apps or games ported over for iOS.

The real draw of the platform is to build stuff for the living room.

HomeAway on the TV

Take HomeAway, the vacation rental site that Expedia just purchased for a cool $3.9 billion.

The company represents more than 1 million various vacation rentals available on its website and starting today, it has an Apple TV app.

The app has two components. When you’re at home, you can use HomeAway to look up vacation rentals you might be interested in. If you’re interested in learning more — or booking the rental — you can do so directly from the app.

The big screen nature of a television set makes it easy for users to see photos and videos rental owners have put online. You can see a lot more details of a home on a 50″ TV screen than on a 5″ smartphone.

But the coolest part of the app is actually for the rental owners themselves. HomeAway gives its rental owners a platform to upload information about a property for guests. Think of it like a digital house guide where everything from the WiFi code to how to use the fireplace are included.

A special mode in the Apple TV app lets rental owners show off that content on the TV. Think of this as a similar experience to the virtual concierge you get at a hotel.

The app can also recommendations about places to visit or eat nearby, powered by Gogobot.

HomeAway told us that 84% of its mobile bookings come from iOS. For them, that was an important reason to look at the Apple TV as a platform to target.

Beyond that, many HomeAway rental owners already have Apple TV’s installed in their properties as entertainment options for guests. It will take time for those property owners to upgrade to the new Apple TV — but with the digital concierge option, it expects rental owners to jump at the chance.

The HomeAway app is available Monday.


The mobile video network TasteMade is focused on curating the best content around travel and food. Its Snapchat Discover channel is one of the best — bringing vibrant videos and recipes to the world.

With its Apple TV app, the company saw an opportunity to “reinvent TV” — especially food and travel TV.

The result is one of the best-looking Apple TV apps I’ve seen. The app is a good idea of what Food Network or the Travel Channel would look like if launched as an app in 2015 and not on cable in the 1990s.

The app gives users access to various video series and curated content. There is also a daily edition, very similar to what the company does on Snapchat, that can be played through and swiped through with the remote.

TasteMade is available on Apple TV today.

SongPop Party is a fun time

SongPop Party is a blast. Fotografia de: Image: SongPop

Of course, the Apple TV is about more than just looking at food porn or vacation rentals.

It can also be used for games. We’ve already seen a lot of existing iOS games come to the Apple TV but we’re also seeing a new crop of party games hit the platform.

SongPop Party from the makers of SongPop 2 — is an insanely addictive music trivia game.

Like SongPop 2 for mobile or Facebook, the game is all about guessing what song is playing in the fastest period of time. But unlike Facebook or mobile, now you can play head-to-head with people in your living room.

You can play using the Apple TV remote and with your iOS device. The game is the perfect party game — and I can see groups of people loving this.

Up to six people can play at once and once you get started, you want to keep on playing.


QVC’s Apple TV app was available at launch and it remains one of the more impressive from a technical standpoint.

Because the QVC customer is used to the live shopping experience of watching a QVC broadcast, the Apple TV app lets users watch live.

But not only can you buy live from the screen — if your payment information is set up you can make a purchase in just a few seconds from the TV — you can also scroll through other products that were shown earlier in a program (that you may have missed), view up-close photos of a product and get more information about what is getting sold.

It’s that live component that makes QVC really unique and shows that Apple TV can be more than just re-purposing iOS content.

Daily Burn 365

Live is a component Daily Burn will be integrating with its app, which will be launching later this month.

The app will let users have access to a variety of different streaming workouts from all kinds of exercise targets — but it’s big feature launches Jan. 1 with Daily Burn 365.

Hosted by JD Roberto, Daily Burn 365 is a 30-minute live class every morning at 9am EST. Users who can join in live from around the world can message questions or comments to trainers on the set in New York and chat with one another online.

If you can’t catch the workout live, you can watch it on-demand for 23.5 hours until the next live workout. Each workout is different each day.

If you aren’t up for the 365 workout stuff, you still access a huge catalog of existing fitness content.

Going beyond video

It’s clear Apple’s vision for the Apple TV extends beyond just video.

The fact that we’re already seeing apps in different categories that are more than just HBO Now and Netflix is exciting.

In my Apple TV review, I noted that buy-in from developers would be a big key in Apple TV’s broader living room success.

If we can see more apps form the likes of SongPop, HomeAway, Daily Burn, QVC and TasteMade — Apple TV owners should be excited about the future.

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