Apple TV apps can now be purchased on iPhone, iPad, PC, and Mac

Apple just launched a new tool for its iTunes Link Maker (opens in new tab) that allows you to create direct links to tvOS apps that can be purchased on the iPhone, iPad, PC, or Mac, even if it is exclusively available on Apple TV. Apple released a post on its developer news blog (opens in new tab) announcing the update.

Make it easier for customers to view your tvOS apps on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, and on the iTunes Store on Mac and PC with a direct link your app's product page.

The link can be accessed from the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC computers, making it much easier for everyone to discover content without having to search for it on their Apple TV.

If you have automatic downloads enabled on your Apple TV when you click the Buy button for an app, you will receive a notification that the app will download straight to the set-top box.

There is still no dedicated Apple TV app section in iTunes or the App Store like there is for the Apple Watch, and you still can't search for apps that are only available on Apple TV from the App Store. However, this is a great step forward in making Apple TV user-friendly for the masses and worthwhile for developers to create content for.

You may recall that, earlier this year, Apple added the ability for us to view Apple TV apps on the web, though there was no direct link to them in iTunes or the App Store. In tvOS 10, Apple added automatic downloads so that, if you downloaded an iOS app that is also available on Apple TV, the app could automatically download to your set-top box. With direct iTunes links, it is possible for developers to promote their apps, and Apple TV users to discover new content, without having to jump through so many hoops.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

  • When I heard this I was hoping in iTunes at least there would be a new Apple TV tab in the App Store but in Canada I just see iPad and iPhone still. I do hope this changes since I find it so hard to discover or search for apps on my Apple TV. I still find so many don't work in Canada also like the DTNS app.
  • I'm also hoping Apple will add a section to the iPhone App Store specifically for ATV. Maybe in the coming months?
  • I thought that this was always the case, or maybe that was only for universal apps that auto downloaded to each device. Apple should give you the ability to download any app for MacOS or iOS from any device either way they get the money, and its all in the same ecosystem
  • Is this feature GA now - or developer-only? 'Cause I'm not able to duplicate the feature on my PC (via iTunes) or my iPhone....
  • It is general, but you have to know which apps are Apple TV exclusive to know for sure if it works. For example, "Monopoly Here & Now: TV Edition" is only available on ATV. Go to the iTunes Link Maker tool, select "tvOS" under the media type. Then, enter the name of the app or game. A link will be generated that you can click on to download directly via iTunes or the App Store on any device. You also have to have automatic downloads enabled on your ATV.