A fairly popular group of apps for the Apple TV has been those that add a bit of scenic ambience to your living room. I’m talking live camera streams around the world or footage of gorgeous waterfalls. Even Apple’s own Aerial screensavers are stunning. One such app with a special twist is Aqua TV, which puts a customizable aquarium on your television screen. It’s beautiful to glance at in your peripheral vision, but also fun to build and personalize.
Aqua TV gives you 12,000 shells right off the bat for currency to use up on the tank, fish and decorations. Don’t worry, it’s more than enough to get started. The first thing you’ll do is buy your tank: small, medium or large. I opted for a medium-size tank so that I wouldn’t blow all of my shells too quickly.
Next, onto the fish. The app includes ten different types of fish each with their own cost. Some less expensive while the most expensive fish are 675 shells. Once you buy a fish you can choose how many you want in the tank. Adding more fish costs more shells. And don’t forget, you can only add as many as the capacity of your tank allows. I added about 20 fish to my tank before it started to get a little overly crowded.
Now of course your fish can’t live in an ugly tank, so deck it out. The first way to do that is ornaments, but they’re basically scenes to place in the tank. I opted for the cheap treasure chest and plants combo but there are others like dragons and underwater mansions. You can only put one in at a time but it takes up most of the tank anyway. These aren’t too costly either. The other two ways to customize your tank is by changing the background wallpaper and the floor pattern.
If you run out of shells, you can purchase more via in-app purchases: 1,000 shells for $0.99 up to a pack of 15,000 shells for $9.99. You probably won’t run out of shells decorating the tank initially, but you will eventually if you keep wanting to buy new fish, decorations or even new tanks later on.
As far as I know, Aqua TV is the first Apple TV aquarium app with AI and it’s pretty nice. It’s easy and almost therapeutic to waste time watching fish swim around aimlessly in their own directions. The app does need some work though. The animations of the fish can be a bit jerky at times, it’d be nice if it they were a little more realistic swimming around. I’d also appreciate a bit more interactivity, like perhaps being able to use the touchpad on the Siri remote to guide the fish in a certain direction or feed them, neither of which are currently possible.
I also got access to the latest version in beta which adds the ability to view your fish in the open seas rather than in a tank — for 6,000 shells that is. It looks like a solid upgrade.
Aqua TV is much like Apple TV’s Aerial screensavers because it’s a great app to leave on display when you’re sitting in your living room. But this is a real interactive app unlike Apple’s video recordings. Hopefully down the line future updates will include the ability to interact with fish individually as well.
Aqua TV is available for iOS and Apple TV for $3.99 in the App Store.