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How to surf the world from your Apple TV

TV Maps

Instead of straining to plan your next road trip on your iPhone, you can now view maps on the big screen using your Apple TV. A new app called TV Maps is now available for $1.99 on the App Store and the experience is really cool. The app uses MapKit, the same backend used in Apple's own Maps app, and includes most of the same features.

TV Maps is in its first version and it does experience some minor issues like delays while loading map segments and some stuttering when using Flyover. This may be mostly a RAM issue, but either way it is a slight annoyance while using the app. For the most part, however, TV Maps runs smoothly on the Apple TV. Overall, for a first of its kind tvOS app, it works really well. The experience will feel right at home if you've used Maps for iPhone, iPad or the Mac.

Pokémon-like monster collecting RPG 'Monster Raid' now available on App Store

Monster Raid

Game developer Orca has released Monster Raid to the Apple App Store. The Pokémon-like title is a 2D monster collecting RPG. Players can follow the main story while collecting over 350 types of monsters and completing over 200 quests. Monster Raid has already been downloaded over 100,000 times, according to Orca, and it has earned a solid four star user rating.

Microsoft’s beloved keyboard app Word Flow in beta for iOS

Even though touch screen typing has seen constant improvements from both Apple and developers since the debut of the iPhone, it still feels like there are miles left to go in terms of really perfecting the concept. As the average iPhone user becomes more and more savvy – and as the ability to type quickly and accurately on your device becomes more important – the need for a typing tool that can make the process effortless becomes even greater.

While there is certainly no shortage of great typing apps on the App Store, the most interesting of them all may be coming to us soon from a most unlikely source.

Amazon Prime Video now available as standalone $8.99 monthly service

Amazon Video App

Starting today Amazon customers can now access the company's Prime Video service for $8.99/per month instead of shelling out $99 a year. Amazon repositioned its video streaming service as a monthly standalone to take on Netflix, who is now charging $9.99/per month. Amazon will also offer a monthly option for its Prime shipping service for $10.99.

The biggest difference between the two streaming giants is Amazon's lack of an Apple TV app. Apple TV users can only watch Amazon content on their TV sets by downloading the free Amazon Video app and streaming it via AirPlay from their iOS device. There have been rumors that Amazon is working on an Apple TV app, but it has never been launched. Other popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO NOW all offer their own Apple TV apps.

Apple TV adds Live Tune-In feature to Siri search

Live Tune-In

Apple TV fans are still waiting for a live streaming package, which failed to materialize last year despite rumors of ongoing negotiations with content providers. Even as Apple continues to pursue such a subscription package, a new Live Tune-In feature has been added to tvOS 9.2. Live Tune-In combines certain apps that provide a live stream with Siri, to offer instant live viewing of supported channels.

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