If you are an Apple Developer and have an Apple TV 4, you not only have access to creating your own Apple TV apps. You can also download some great projects from GitHub for the Apple TV 4 that Apple does not allow on their store due to policy violations. What you are essentially doing is sideloading apps onto your Apple TV that would otherwise be unavailable.
Even if you are not a developer, paying $99 a year for a development license gets you the ability to deploy these onto your Apple TV. The only catch is you will have to redeploy them after a few months once they expire.
What You Will Need
- Apple TV 4
- USB-A to USB-C Cable
- This does not come with the Apple TV. You can buy one here
- Power Cable
- You can use the one that comes with your Apple TV, but if you have an extra lying around it makes it easy to unplug and then plug in at your computer desk.
- You need a mac to run Xcode, the development tool (IDE) for building Apple software
- This is free in the Mac App Store
- Apple Developer Account
- Go here to signup.
Some Awesome Github Repos
Here is a list of some of my favorites. I have tried all of these at one time or another.
Mame for Apple TV
MAME allows you to run thousands of old arcade games including titles like Frogger, Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, etc. You will have to deploy ROM’s of the arcade games you want. There are several places on the web to grab these. Just search for MAME ROM’s.
Provenance Emulator for Apple TV
Provenance allows you to run games from a lot of different home console systems including:
- Sega Genesis
- Game Gear/Master System
- Sega CD
- Super Nintendo
- Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advanced
- Atari 2600
- Atari 7800
Just like MAME, you will have to download the cartridge ROM’s you want from the internet.
Kodi Home Theater Software
Kodi is a home theater application (based on XBMC) that allows you to stream various sources and install a multitude of plug-ins to augment its capabilities. The plugins are written in Python and because of this is violates Apple’s policy on dynamically downloaded code. This one is a little tricky to build, but once you do it opens up some awesome streaming services as well as plugins that are great for home theater enthusiasts. I use it for my home theater to stream a pre-roll of trailers and movie trivia before the movie starts with a plugin called CinemaVision.