The year was 2016 when the Apple TV app was first released in the United States of America and if you thought it couldn’t get any better than that then think again. Since then, the Apple TV app has been rolled out to over 100 countries providing millions of people with undiluted streaming content at a premium.
The Apple TV app is a line of media player software programs by Apple Inc. for viewing television shows and films delivered by Apple to consumer electronic devices.
It can stream content from the iTunes store, the Apple TV channels, and the Apple TV original content subscription service.
While these are all good, some of its channels come at a premium and require a paid subscription with some subscriptions going for as high as $5.99 per month since Apple TV subscriptions are monthly.
We don’t have to pay that much per channel just to have a good time. While others need to be activated with a cable or satellite provider, many Apple TV channels offer completely free content, with no strings attached.
In this post, we would provide you with 15 of the best free Apple TV apps in the year 2022.
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What is an Apple TV App?
The Apple TV app is meant to be your central hub for movie and TV show content. It shows content from iTunes, your library, and your subscription services and apps. In the US it’s supported by services such as Hulu, Starz, HBO Now, or CBS, while in the UK partners include Amazon Prime Video, ITV, BBC, and Channel 5.
Apple’s TV app, which appears on iOS devices and Apple TV, is meant to help users discover and watch shows across an increasingly expanding lineup of television channels, as well as iTunes movies and shows, in one central app.
Simply put, Apple has a TV and the TV comes with an app that allows you access to stream content from subscription services. It is the tool Apple uses to provide content to its customers.
What Does Apple TV Apps Do?
The Apple TV app is a way to access the Apple TV+ streaming service but it can do a lot more than just that.
The TV app is designed to be your central hub for movie and TV show content. It shows content from iTunes, your library, connected streaming services, subscription Channels, and Apple TV+.
At the same time, it is a line of media player software programs by Apple Inc. for viewing television shows and films delivered by Apple to consumer electronic devices.
It can stream content from the iTunes store, the Apple TV channels, and the Apple TV original content subscription service.
How Do Apple TV Apps Work?
The Apple TV app is all about access and features. The Apple TV app is available across a range of devices, not just iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, but non-Apple devices too, including Samsung Smart TVs, LG TVs, Roku devices, and Amazon Fire TV devices.
The home screen has a navigation bar with tabs for the following screens: Watch Now, Movies, TV Shows, Sports (the US only), Kids, Originals, Library, and Search.
The Watch Now screen in the TV app lets you access all the TV shows and movies you’re currently watching on the Apple TV app or your iOS device, so you can pick up where you left off. When you’ve finished an episode, the next available one will appear on the Watch Now screen.
Watch Now also suggests different things to watch. You can browse through different categories, too, like TV Shows, Movies, and Collections and the recommendations are a mix of human editors recommending you new shows and algorithms suggesting things based on what you’ve watched.
Movies, TV Shows, Sports
As the name suggests, these categories are broken down into more manageable sections, not only pulling from the apps or channels you have connected, but also from the iTunes store.
In a nod to understanding that kids are watching more and more on-demand content, Apple has a Kids area that will highlight child-friendly content on the services you have available.
The Originals tab of the Apple TV app is where you will find the Apple TV+ service and all the shows and movies offered on it.
It will show you the latest releases, as well as allow you to see drama series, comedy series, non-fiction series, family fun, and feature films.
Apple’s TV app has a Library screen so you can find all the movies and TV shows you’ve already purchased or rented on iTunes.
You can browse your content by movies or TV shows, recently purchased, or genres. When you are ready to watch something, just tap it and then select the Play button with the app knowing where you left it last.
Tap the Search tab and manually enter any TV show, movie title, or subscription service in the text field.
Apple will then see where that show or movie is showing be it the BBC or ITV or Amazon for example, or give you the top shows and movies from the subscription service you’ve searched. You can also use the Search tab to see trending movies and TV shows.
Now that we have an idea of how things work, and know the cost per channel subscription on the Apple TV app, we can save money and still have a good time on the Apple TV app. Let’s delve into 15 of the best free Apple TV apps you can enjoy in 2022.
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15 Best Free Apple TV apps in 2022
1. Pluto TV
Pluto TV is essentially a free but more limited version of traditional TV. Similar to other live TV services like Sling TV, FuboTV, and YouTube TV, you can watch live TV, movies, specials, and more.
Unlike those other services, Pluto TV comprises customized channels filled with old favorites or newer outlets looking to reach an audience. Surf through live channels covering entertainment, news, sports, comedy, music, lifestyle, and science.
You will also get plenty of TV, movies, and documentaries. No, you won’t find the latest and greatest motion pictures, but you can catch some past classic (and maybe not-so-classic) films.
Browse through a wide selection of Pluto TV branded channels for action, comedy, drama, family, horror, Indies, romance, thrillers, and more.
You can start with newscasts from CBS, NBC, CNBC, and Bloomberg, then switch over to sports with Fox Sports, Pluto Sports, Stadium, and replays of college basketball games.
Grab some laughs from outlets like The Onion, Cracked, and Mystery Science Theater 3000, and you’ll be able to catch some classic sitcoms too.
Find out what’s new in tech and geek culture through channels like IGN, Geek and Sundry, Nerdist, and The Tribe. Then relax while listening to your favorite music from classical, jazz, pop, and rock.
Download Pluto TV here.
Need to stay on top of the latest news? Check out Newsy. This channel serves up video segments of current news items and specific stories across politics, entertainment, technology, and more.
Fire up Newsy and you’re greeted by a video with the latest news stories. From there, you can jump to top stories and trending stories across the spectrum.
You can then watch all the trending news around the world and in the US as well as items in business, technology, entertainment, science, health, and sports. And you can top it off by viewing stories on more specific subjects.
Most of the videos provide a brief look at a news item, lasting just a minute or two. Other stories go more in-depth by spending more time on the topic.
Download Newsy here.
TED delivers thousands of talks, lessons, demos, and presentations from expert speakers on a range of topics.
You can start with recent videos and editor picks, or check out such topics as Personal Growth, Business, Science, Psychology, Technology, Education, Health, and Politics. You can also search for specific videos by speaker name, subject, and other criteria.
Click on an intriguing video to play it or add it to your list to watch later. Each video also points you to related talks if you want to learn more about the topic.
Download Ted here.
Want to catch a memorable movie or TV show? Grab some popcorn and tune into Popcornflix.
Here you’ll find classic and not-so-classic films from the recent and distant past, like Terms of Endearment, Sophie’s Choice, On Golden Pond, Patriot Games, The Untouchables, 48 Hours, and Star Trek: Insurrection.
In the mood for a particular genre or style of the film? Browse through the channel’s various sections.
The comedy section serves up films as diverse as His Girl Friday with Cary Grant and The Coneheads with Dan Aykroyd.
Under classic horror, you’ll find films like The Last Man on the Earth with Vincent Price and Plan 9 from Outer Space with Bela Lugosi.
Move to Hidden Gems to uncover classics like Death of a Salesman with Dustin Hoffman. And the section for Old School Cool delivers older classics such as High Noon, 1925’s Phantom of the Opera, and My Man Godfrey, along with silent comedies from Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
Popcornflix also delivers TV series like 3rd Rock from the Sun and Roger Moore’s The Saint. Dig deeper and you’ll discover stand-up comedy specials, documentaries, cartoons, and even extreme sporting events.
Download Popcornflix here.
5. Food Network Kitchen
Here’s an appetizing channel that serves you delicious demonstrations and easy-to-follow recipes for tasty meals. Food Network Kitchen starts with quick videos that show you how to cook a specific dish, such as ricotta gnocchi, chili, salmon with garlic potatoes, and hummus.
For more video demos, you’ll find clips from specific shows such as The Barefoot Contessa, Giada in Italy, and Guy’s Big Bite.
You can also search for videos by individual celebrity chefs, such as Giada De Laurentiis, Rachael Ray, and Bobby Flay. And you can check out various topics such as weeknight dinners, healthy eating, and slow cooking.
However, the meat of the channel lies in the recipes. Select a specific dish or swipe up on a video, and the screen displays the ingredients and full directions for concocting that meal at home.
If you’re hungry for a particular dish, you can search for videos and recipes by name. And if you set up an account with the Food Network, you can save your favorite recipes to your Apple TV for quick and easy access.
Download Food Network Kitchen here.
You’re feeling anxious or stressed out. Maybe you’re worried about work. Maybe a certain phobia is troubling you. Or maybe you’re having difficulty sleeping.
Whatever the problem, a good meditation session may just be the thing to quiet your mind and soothe your spirit. And for that, look no further than Calm.
This channel delivers a variety of different meditations. Some are designed to relieve general stress, while others cover specific concerns.
Several offer guided audio steps and suggestions to help you meditate, and others play music to get you in the right mood.
Among the many guided meditations are ones that try to help you sleep more deeply, feel less anxious while flying, eat more mindfully, better deal with work-related stress, calm your anger, achieve higher self-esteem, and share some loving-kindness with the rest of the world.
The musical meditations offer soothing melodies with many accompanied by natural sounds such as falling rain, ocean waves, and birds singing.
Another series called Sleep Stories serenades you with bedtime tales designed to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Download Calm here.
7. Yoga Studio
Yoga is a practice that can relieve stress, flex your body, and focus your mind. With a variety of poses and postures for beginning, intermediate, and advanced yogis, the Yoga Channel serves up several collections of individual classes.
You’ll find collections for deep relaxation, yoga for back pain, yoga for runners, Sun salutations, and Earth salutations. Each collection provides from 4 to 11 different classes. And each class focuses on a specific area, lasting anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes.
A collection called Beginner Essentials offers classes on balance, strength, and flexibility, while the one for back pain brings you, classes, on morning stretches, backbends, and abs strengthening.
Choose the right collection and class, and an instructor guides you visually and by voice through the different poses.
Download Yoga Studio here.
8. Fubo TV
Watch NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, NCAA college football, NCAA college basketball, MLS soccer, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Champions League, English Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, and more all live.
Plus, stream acclaimed TV series, live news, and award-winning movies and enjoy Cloud DVR and dedicated sports navigation to watch what you want, when you want.
FuboTV has over 100 TV channels and is the only way to get every Nielsen-rated sports channel without cable, it has over 10,000 hours of on-demand TV shows and movies.
Download Fubo TV here.
9. Stirr TV
Stirr TV offers access to national news, sports, entertainment, and digital-first channels and a video-on-demand library in addition to its local content, which serves as the anchor for its services.
In a special channel called Stirr City, the service streams a curated, 24/7 program lineup based on where the viewer lives.
This includes local news, local and regional sports, entertainment, and city-focused lifestyle programming from the local Sinclair TV station in that city.
Stirr City joins other original channels developed for the service, including Stirr Movies, Stirr Sports, and Stirr Life.
Download Stirr TV here.
Tubi is a free streaming service with a large library of movies and TV shows. It is an ad-supported free streaming service that many people are curious about, especially after Fox bought Tubi for $440 million.
Tubi offers over 20,000 older TV shows and movies to watch for free. Their library holds content from studios including Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate and networks including A&E, Lifetime, and Starz.
The company says it has 25 million active monthly viewers who spend over 160 million hours per month watching content on Tubi.
Download Tubi here.
Crackle is an on-demand streaming TV service produced by entertainment industry giant Sony and Chicken Soup for the Soul.
With a content mix that includes movies, TV series, and some original programming, there is a pretty good selection of entertainment on this service.
And with Hollywood megastars like Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Sandra Bullock, and Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in films that cycle through the service, there’s a great chance you’re going to find plenty of recognizable titles.
Crackle is free in the United States and Australia but is actually offered as a subscription service in Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Download Crackle here.
Kanopy offers a wealth of independent educational and entertainment content for kids and adults alike, all without ads and for free, all you need is a library card. We could do without the monthly streaming limits, though.
If you’re looking for entertainment for the entire family, Kanopy is the video streaming service for you.
With big-name content partners, Kanopy is a platform for independent films and documentaries as diverse as they are thought-provoking.
Kanopy started in 2008 to provide films to academic institutions and it now has a collection of over 30,000 films that you can stream on tons of platforms.
The service helps to fill the void left as independent cinemas close around the world by sharing movies you can’t find anywhere else. The price is unbeatable, too, it’s free.
Download Kanopy here.
The highly competitive streaming music space gains and loses services every few years, but one thing remains the same: Spotify is one of the best music services around.
Despite serious competition from other music services—including the audiophile-friendly Tidal and the DJ-centric LiveXLive, Spotify is still a top player in this crowded category due to its large catalog, collaborative playlists, podcasts, and numerous other attractive features.
Spotify is available in both free and premium versions and remains a top-tier streaming music thanks to its deep library, collaborative playlists, early album access, and podcasts. You can dive into Spotify by signing up for Spotify Free.
Download Spotify here.
Amazon’s Twitch continues to reign as the platform for live streamers to broadcast their video game sessions, and many other works, to the web. For viewers, it’s a vastly entertaining alternative to traditional streaming services like Netflix.
There are many ways to watch people play video games and have them watch you, but one of the easiest is to fire up is Twitch.
Twitch’s ubiquity, ease of use, and high adoption rate make it an excellent service. It’s one of the best video game live streaming services.
Download Twitch here.
15. Peacock TV
Peacock TV is flying high now that the streaming service has popular exclusives like The Office and Harry Potter movies.
And if you’re a pro wrestling fan, you’ll want to watch WWE on Peacock. The streamer has placed a big bet on sports and it’s also the home to Premier League games and will air much of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Peacock may be relatively new to the streaming landscape, but it’s got a lot to offer from all angles, including the shows available to watch now and coming soon, plus how good its originals are such as ‘Girls5eva’. Peacock is just NBC and Universal, it offers licensed movies and shows, too.
In addition to more than 600 movies and 400 shows, the streaming service offers live and on-demand content across news, sports, and late night.
Download Peacock TV here.
Enjoying quality content on the Apple TV app doesn’t have to be high-priced, using this as a guide, you can have the best of time streaming content on the Apple TV app for free.
Let us know about any other cool free apps available on Apple TV. Happy streaming!
PS: I recommend subscribing to Hulu Plus and Netflix (they’re exceptional values).