How To Access and Use Samsung Apps On Samsung Smart TVs

Samsung Simplified Smart TV Hub and Apps Menus - 2016
Samsung Simplified Smart TV Hub and Apps Menus - 2016. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Important Notice Regarding Samsung Apps

Since Samsung introduced its first Smart TV in 2008, every year has brought changes and tweaks on how Samsung Apps are accessed and used via the TV's onscreen menu system, which is currently referred to as "The Smart Hub".

The following article provides an overview of the most current implementation of Samsung Apps (as of 2016), as well as archived information for those that may still have "pre-Smart Hub" Samsung Smart TVs.

For more details on your specific Samsung Smart TV, consult the printed manual (for pre-Smart Hub TVs) or the E-Manual that can be accessed directly on your TV screen (Smart Hub-enabled TVs). For further questions, contact Samsung Tech Support directly via the information provided on the TV (for newer models) or the printed user manual.

If you own a Samsung Smart TV, you might even print out this article and follow along with what you see on your TV screen.

It may not be immediately evident how to find Samsung Apps on your new Samsung TV.  Alas, there is no Samsung Apps button on the remote.  Here are some pointers for how to use, purchase and download Samsung apps.

Set Up A Samsung Account

The first thing to do when you first turn on your Samsung TV (after you know that it is is working), is to go to the System Settings menu and set up a Samsung Account.

Doing this will allow you to access some Apps that may require payment (such as some game apps).

You will be asked to create as username and password, and, depending on the model year or model series, there may be some additional information required. You will also be asked to select an icon that can be used as your sign-in later on.

Access and Use of Apps On Samsung TVs - Beginning In 2015

In 2015, Samsung began to incorporate the Tizen Operating System as the foundation of their Smart Hub interface to access all TV functions, including the way Samsung Apps are displayed and accessed.

This has carried on into 2016 and is expected to continue, with minor tweaks, for the near future.

In this system, (which Samsung refers to as Simplified Smart TV) when you turn the TV on, the home menu is displayed across the bottom of the screen (if not, you simply push the Home Button on remote on 2016 models, or the Smart Hub button on 2015 models).

The Home (Smart Hub) screen, includes access to general TV settings, sources (physical connections), ant, cable, or satellite service, and web browser. However, in addition, pre-loaded apps are also displayed (may include Netflix, You Tube, Hulu, and several others), as well as selection just labeled "Apps".

When you click on the "Apps", you will be taken to a menu that displays the full-screen version of the pre-loaded apps "My Apps", with "links" to other categories, such as What's New, Most Popular, Video, Lifestyle, and Entertainment.

The categories will include your pre-loaded apps as well as other suggested apps that you can download, install, and add your "My Apps" menu and placed on your home screen selection bar.

If you see an App in one of the categories that you would like to add to your "My Apps" category, first click on the App icon.

This will take you to that App's install page, which also provides information on what the App does, as well as some sample screen shots showing how the app works. To get the app, just click install. After the App is installed you will be prompted to open the app. If you don't want to open the app after installing, you can just leave the menu and open later.

If you are looking for an App that is not on the list you can see if it is available on Samsung Apps store using the Search feature, which is located on the top right corner of any of the App menu screen. If you find your desired app, follow the same steps as outlined in the above paragraph.

Unfortunately, the number of additional apps available using search is definitely not as extensive as what you would find on a Roku streaming stick or box, or other external plug-in media streamer, and, stranger, not as many apps are offered as many of Samsung's pre-2015 Smart TVs.

However, one tip that might help is that you may be able to access some internet streaming channels using the TV's built-in web browser. Of course, you will have to put up with the web browser frame, and it is possible that Samsung may block some channels, and the browser may not support some needed digital media file formats.

Although most apps can be installed downloaded for free, some may require a small fee, and some free apps may also require addition subscription or pay-per-video fees to access content. If any payment is needed for the app or its contents, you will be prompted to provide that information.

Samsung Apps On TVs from 2011 through 2014

Samsung introduced its Smart Hub TV interface in 2011. The Samsung Smart Hub system has had several tweaks between 2011 and 2014, but accessing Apps and account setup is essentially the same as mentioned at the top of this article.

The Smart Hub menu (accessible via the Smart Hub button on the remote) will consist of a full screen, which displays your currently viewed TV channel in small box, while the rest your TV setting and content selection options, including Samsung Apps are displayed on the remaining portion of the screen

When you click on the Apps menu, it be will divided into Recommended Apps, My Apps, with the Most Popular, What's New, and Categories. In addition, there is usually an additional, separate, Games apps menu,

In addition to the pre-loaded and suggested Apps, just as on the 2015/16 models, you can also search for additional apps via the Search All function. The Search All function actually searches all your content sources, in addition to possible apps.

The download, install, and any payment requirements are done in a similar manner as the most recent system.

How to Use Samsung Apps On TVs Prior to 2011

Although the ease of accessing Samsung Apps has improved steadily over the years, on Samsung Smart TVs prior to 2011, things are little more confusing. Although the menu interface has not changed, it is possible that some of the steps and app selection discussed below may have. If you have any difficulty, contact Samsung Support.

To access Samsung apps on models available prior to 2011, go to "Internet @TV," either by pressing that button on the remote or choosing the icon on your TV screen after pressing the "content" button on the remote.  This will bring up a screen of the apps installed on the TV, along with an icon to the Samsung Apps store where you get more apps.  

In the 2010 Smart TV models, at the top of the app screen, there are recommended new apps — Hulu, ESPN ScoreCenter, Samsung's Product Video Tutorials called SPSTV, Yahoo and Netflix.  They will occasionally be replaced with new apps.

Below the recommended apps is a grid of icons for the apps that you have downloaded.   Pressing the blue "D" button on your remote control changes the way the apps are sorted — by Name, by Date, by Most Used or by Favorite.  To favorite, an app, press the green "B" button on the remote when the app is highlighted. 

There is also picture-in-picture so that you can continue watching your TV show while you find the app you want to use.  This is helpful for apps like ESPN scorecard that aren’t full screen — they appear over your TV program.

The 2011 line will have a different Samsung App home screen that displays the apps by category -- video, lifestyle, sports.  

Purchasing and Downloading Apps (2010)

Although most apps are free, some are not. To buy apps, you must first create a Samsung apps store account at http://www.samsung.com/apps.  You can add additional users to your account so family members can also purchase apps from one main account.

Initially, you must add money to your apps account online.  Once you've set up your payment information and activated your Samsung TV, you can add app cash in $5 increments by going to "my account" in the Samsung Apps store on the TV.  To get to the Samsung Apps store, click on the large icon displayed in the bottom left corner of the TV.

You can browse through the categories of apps in the Samsung apps store.  Clicking on an app brings up a page with a description of the app, the price (many apps are free) and the size of the app.  

There is a limit to the number of apps you can download as the TV has limited storage space of 317 MB.  Most apps are smaller than 5 MB.  A few apps that have large databases — the Extreme Hangman game or various exercise apps — can be 11 to 34 MB.   

If you run out of space and want a new app, you can delete a large app from the TV and download the new app.  Next to the “Buy Now” button, in an apps description screen, is a button that lets you manage your apps and delete them immediately to make room for the app you want to buy.  Later, you can change your mind and reacquire the app that you had deleted.  Purchased apps can be re-downloaded for free.  

More Info

Now that you know how to get Samsung Apps, find out more about the different Samsung apps and which Samsung apps are best.

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 line of Blu-ray Disc Players. However, keep in mind that not all apps will work, and newer apps may not work on older players.

The home screen on the TV and Blu-ray disc players will note in green that it is the 2010 Samsung App or Interenet@TV version if it's not a 2011 model.

When you click on some apps, it will show if it has limited compatibility. Some apps may only be compatible with Samsung Smartphones.

For a more in-depth look and explanation of Samsung Apps, check out our Complete Guide to Samsung Apps

Original Publish Date: 04/26/2011 by Barb Gonzalez - Updated and Edited by Robert Silva.