There are more than 200 Samsung Apps for Samsung Smart TVs … but which are the best, must-have apps? We expect the obvious streaming video apps from Netflix, Vudu, or Hulu Plus to be included on network TVs. But the concept of other types of apps our TV is still new and we may wonder why we would want apps on TVs. Some of the apps are useful. Some game apps are fun, either playing against the TV or playing with friends.
Here are 10 Samsung Apps You Should Try
When you get up in the morning to get ready for work, this app can be displayed on your Samsung TV to help you. On the left is a large digital clock and calendar so you can see what day it is and stay on time. The center section of the screen is an hour-by-hour weather report for the day — helpful when deciding what you want to wear to work. On the right side of the screen is a local map with traffic so you'll know what time you want to leave. Presently, the local map app is useful to teach you the names of your streets in Korean, as the map shows your street and highway names in both Korean and English.
2. Accuweather Paid App
There are two Accuweather apps in the Samsung App store. The free Accuweather app may be adequate for those who live in one of the larger cities listed in the app. For those who live outside the listed cities, the paid Accuweather app, at $2.99, will display forecasts by specific cities or zip codes. The paid app shows 10-day forecasts, hour-by-hour and satellite weather maps. There are also weather warnings listed. This is a complete weather app that is easy to navigate and easy to read at a glance.
3. Hello Coach Apps - Yoga Helper, Six-Pack Pro, Do Squats or Pushup Master
With these free or 99-cent apps, you don't need expensive fitness videos or fitness video games. Each app takes you through a number of poses or exercises to help you get in shape. Yoga Helper lets you choose your proficiency level or customize the number of poses and the length of time you want to stay in a pose. When you are done, you can tweet your accomplishment directly from the program and see the tweets of others. The exercise program programs have you test your fitness and adjusts the repetitions and program accordingly. Here, too, you can check out the tweet streams of others--so far the tweets are all in Korean. These apps are basic but they are easy to use and may be all you need to start getting in shape.
4. Travel Wizard
While this app's purpose is promotional and to sell the services of the Virtuoso Travel Agency's services, the travel videos are exotic and well made. Whether you are planning a hig- end cruise or cultural tour, or if you are an armchair tourist, the videos take you to faraway places from Tahiti to Alaska, to the San Juan Islands and many other places across the United States. Many of the videos are in HD. The Arctic cruise video was produced by National Geographic. Other videos show colorful details of the culture of the people along with the sights of each place. The app is free.
This authentic re-creation of one of the first video-arcade favorites is well-suited for the big screen. You can spend hours eating up the ghosts in your path as you make your way through the many labyrinth levels. Pac-Man fans won't be disappointed at spending $4.99 for the hours of addictive fun they'll have.
6. We Draw
This is "Pictionary" for the digital age. "We Draw" is a social game that requires two or more players. Each player must have a smartphone or tablet — an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet — with the "We Draw" app installed. The potential players pair their phone with the Samsung app. One player uses a finger to draw on his phone's touchscreen and the picture appears, with a little lag time, on the TV screen. A guess screen appears on the phones of the other players to allow them to guess what the first person is drawing. The only drawback could be the annoying "announcer" that reminds you to start the game and makes other snarky comments. The game is free both from Samsung Apps and for the helper apps on your smart phones.
7. Extreme Hangman
A new take on the simple guess-a-letter hangman game. Extreme Hangman takes it a bit further, as you can choose to hang the little stick man in the desert, or to put him in front of a firing squad, have him attacked by zombies, have him killed by a spy or simply be erased. The stick man is drawn on a virtual chalkboard so his demise is more whimsical than grim. There are several categories of words: Actors, Animals, Books, Holidays, Movies and Sit-Coms. Although the words have hints, they only loosely relate to the answer. As with the original hangman game, it's good for anyone who likes to spend hours on word puzzles. Extreme Hangman is $2.99.
This app contains video tutorials for all Samsung products. Choose the Samsung product you have — from cell phones to computers to the TV you are using. Under each product are listed tutorials on how to accomplish various tasks on specific models. Videos include how to connect your Blu-ray player to the internet, how to troubleshoot your Samsung Washer malfunction, how to create macros on your Samsung TV remote control, and dozens more. While some videos that explain how to set up your TV or assemble a stand may not be useful — as you need to have the TV set up and connected to the internet to download and watch the videos on this app — most others will make it easier to use many Samsung products.
9. Rovi TV
This app just makes sense on a TV. It is an interactive onscreen TV Guide of what's on television. Click on a TV program and you'll find not only a synopsis but extended info on the cast and crew, photos from the show, and suggestions of other similar shows that you might also like. You can also browse through daily Hot Lists of recommended shows for each day. If you really want to watch TV and can't find what you want to watch, this app will help you find something and give you the lowdown about the shows. The "cast and crew" button on a show lets you display the biography, birth date and credit list of the film's actors — great for those "what other movie was he in?" moments. This is a free app.
When it's time to leave your TV behind and go out to the movies, Fandango can help you decide what to see and displays show times at local theaters and showtimes for where you can see the movies. The Fandango Samsung App has all the features of the popular smart phone app with the exception of ticket-buying, plus it's easy to use. It makes sense that you'd want to watch movie trailers on a big screen rather than on a phone or portable device. There are reviews from other movie-goers and critics to help you decide to "go" or "not go." Once you choose the movie, theater and showtime, you'll need to use your smart phone app to buy the tickets. This is a free app
11. And don't forget your favorite subscription or Video On Demand apps.
This isn't a single app. Samsung has apps for streaming online movies from popular services. Netflix and Hulu Plus offer videos and charge a monthly subscription. You can also download apps for video-on-demand services that let you pay as you go — Vudu, CinemaNow, and Blockbuster. Most offer similar titles and are actually run on the same platform. Vudu is known for its higher quality video and sound. The app store makes it possible for you to choose the service you like best so you can stream online content without attaching a network media player.
Although there are apps that run $9.99 and $19.99, they are not necessarily the best apps available. With most apps either free or under $5, it's easy to try out new apps that tickle your fancy. Let us know if you find any that you would recommend.
12. Samsung Apps: Notes for both TVs and Blu-ray Disc Players
It is important to note that Samsung Apps also work on Samsung's line of network-enabled 2010 and 2011 and newer line of Blu-ray Disc Players. However, some of the newer apps don't work on 2010 model Blu-ray disc players, or 2010 Smart TVs for that matter.
The home screen on the TV and Blu-ray disc players will note in green that it is the 2010 Samsung App or Internet@TV version if it's not a 2011 or newer model.
When you click on some apps, it will show if it has limited compatibility. They also have Samsung apps for their phones in the Samsung app store that may not be applicable to Samsung TVs or Blu-ray disc players.
Stay tuned for more updates in this area as they become available.
For a more in-depth look and explanation of Samsung Apps, check out our Complete Guide to Samsung Apps