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How to Add Apps to Apple TV: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this guide, we will describe the step-by-step instructions on how to add apps to Apple TV and find them easily on your device. Aside from that, we also include some additional pieces of information so you can verify whether a specific functionality or additional features are compatible with the version of your Apple TV. Without further ado, let’s get started.

 

Can You Add Apps to Apple TV in 1st-3rd Generation?

Get App to Apple TV
© Photo by Apple Support

If you currently own a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation Apple TV, unfortunately, you can no longer add apps to your Apple TV with an exception that we will describe further in this guide—i.e., jailbreaking. The primary reason is that the earlier versions of Apple TV don’t have the built-in App Store for third-party applications. However, it doesn’t mean new apps won’t be added.

Although users can’t add apps on their own to earlier versions of Apple TV, Apple will automatically add them from time to time. When the Apple TV debuted, the app offered less than a dozen channels of online content. Once Apple had permanently stopped developing older versions of Apple TV, the company offered more channels.

When new Apple TV channels become available, no notifications will alert the users. They also don’t have the option to verify if they’re installed or not. When you access Apple TV, you’ll discover that a new icon appears on the home screen, indicating that you now have new content available for streaming. The WWE Network wrestling service, for instance, appeared all of a sudden on Apple TV screens with no announcements when it was released in 2014.

Unfortunately, as of September 2020, 1st to 3rd Generation Apple TVs are no longer supported by Apple. That said, new channels will no longer be automatically added to the specified Apple TV models. To get the latest channels, options, and apps, Apple users must upgrade to one of the newer editions of Apple TV.

 

Workaround for 1st to 3rd Generation Apple TV: Jailbreaking

If you’re not content with the idea that you don’t have any control of the apps added to your Apple TV, you can resort to jailbreaking. The process of jailbreaking will authorize Apple users to change their Apple TV’s operating system, allowing them to eliminate Apple’s restrictions so they can have 100% control of their Apple TV.

Given that jailbreaking is a complex procedure, Apple users must have some technical knowledge to manipulate and accomplish crucial steps. A failed jailbroken Apple TV may result in an unusable device. Hence, if you’re planning to jailbreak your Apple TV, make sure you have the appropriate tools and technical expertise.

If you have the knowledge and are eager to jailbreak your Apple TV, you can choose the following:

Once the jailbreak process has been completed on your Apple TV, you can download and install XMBC or Plex so you can start streaming your favorite content that isn’t provided by Apple. However, jailbreaking doesn’t mean installing any app you want. Instead, you can only download and install the apps with the compatibility of the Apple TV.

Since not all tvOS versions can be jailbroken, the jailbreaking society must have the tvOS’ software version of your Apple TV to jailbreak your Apple TV. As a general rule, the older the tvOS version, the possibility of jailbreaking your Apple TV is higher.

 

Can You Add Apps to Apple TV in 4th & 5th Generation?

Apple users with 4th or 5th Generation Apple TV can add apps to their Apple TV. With Tim Cook’s vision of having apps as the future of entertainment, 4th and 5th Generation Apple TV were built around his concept.

Adding apps to your 4th or 5th generation Apple TV is extremely convenient and easier, similar to that of installing apps on your iPad or iPhone. However, slight variations will be considered since Apple TV’s operating system, tvOS, is different from the iPhone or iPad’s iOS.

Similar to your iPad or iPhone, you can also redownload apps on your Apple TV. All you have to do is navigate to your Apple TV’s App Store, go to the Purchased menu, and then click Not On This Apple TV for the comprehensive list of apps available for re-downloading on your Apple TV.

 

How to Add New Apps to Apple TV?

The process for adding apps to your Apple TV is similar to downloading and installing iOS apps on your iPhone or iPad. As mentioned, tvOS is identical to iOS, except for some slight variations. To add apps to your Apple TV, follow this step-by-step guide:

Option 1: Add Apps to Apple TV via Navigation Menu

Discover Apps
© Photo by Apple Support

1. Turn on your Apple TV and access the App Store from your device using your Apple TV remote.

2. From the top of the screen, find the specific app you want to add to your Apple TV through any of the six navigation menus:

      • Discover
      • Apps
      • Games
      • Arcade
      • Magnifying Glass Icon

3. Once you’ve found the specific app, select the app from the screen using the Apple TV remote to navigate to its page.

4. To add the app to your Apple TV, scroll to the bottom left corner of the menu and click the Get button.

NOTE

For free to download Apple TV apps, the Get button is displayed. Otherwise, paid apps will indicate the actual price.

5. A pop-up or confirmation message will appear verifying the app’s name and its price (if applicable). Click the Get button.

6. If prompted, sign in using your Apple ID.

7. Wait for the download to complete.

8. Once app installation is done, the button will change to Open.

9. Click Open to access the newly added app on your Apple TV device. Otherwise, you can also navigate to the Apple TV’s home screen and launch the app from there.

 

Option 2: Add Apps to Apple TV via Search Bar

A quicker method to add apps to your Apple TV is via the Search bar itself. It is ideal for Apple users who already know what app to download and install on their Apple TVs. To do this, follow the step-by-step instruction:

Find Apps on App Store
© Photo by Support.com

1. Turn on your Apple TV and access the App Store from your device using your Apple TV remote.

2. From the top of the screen, navigate to the Magnifying Icon using your Apple TV remote’s left or right button and click it.

how to add apps to apple tv Seach for Apps
© Photo by Support.com

3. Using your Apple TV remote, tap the letters on the on-screen keyboard to spell the app’s name on the text field. Otherwise, you can also press the microphone icon on the Siri remote and perform a voice command for searching, or using your iPhone’s keyboard.

4. Once you’ve found the specific app, select the app from the screen using the Apple TV remote to navigate to its official page.

5. To add the app to your Apple TV, scroll to the bottom left corner of the menu and click the Get button.

NOTE

For free to download Apple TV apps, the Get button is displayed. Otherwise, paid apps will indicate the actual price.

6. A pop-up or confirmation message will appear verifying the app’s name and its price (if applicable). Click the Get button.

7. Once prompted for an Apple ID credential, input your verified Apple ID.

8. Wait for the ongoing download to finish.

9. Once app installation is done, the button will change to Open.

10. Click Open to access the newly added app on your Apple TV device. Otherwise, you can also navigate to the Apple TV’s home screen and launch the app from there.

 

How to Find Apps on Apple TV?

If you want to randomly explore your Apple TV for the list of apps, you can browse freely on your device too:

how to add apps to apple tv Find Apps On Apple TV
© Photo by Apple Support

1. Turn on your Apple TV and access the App Store from your device.

2. Using your Apple TV remote, click the Apps menu and scroll down to the Categories section.

3. Browse through your favorite genres, such as Sports, Health & Fitness, Entertainment, Food & Drink, or News, to find what you feel like downloading on your Apple TV.

4. If you’re an avid gamer, you can also access the Games or Discover menu to choose from Top Paid or Top Free apps available for download.

 

Final Word

Now that you know how to install more apps to Apple TV, it’s time to try it out on your own. Good luck and we hope you are able to do free of hassle!

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