Apple has unveiled a redesigned ‘TV’ app and is planning to make it available in over 100 countries this May. The app will be available on Apple TV, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio, as well as Roku and FireTV.
Apple ‘TV’ app in 100+ countries
Apple launched its ‘TV’ app in the US in late 2016 as a way to unite streaming content in a unified interface – a sort of modern TV guide. The app has since been made available in a handful of other countries.
At the stage today, the company unveiled a new version of the app that will be available with a free software update in over 100 countries. The app includes content from over 150 streaming services in a unified interface. A new feature is ‘Apple TV Channels’ that allows you to subscribe to services seamlessly via your iTunes account. Subscriptions can be shared with family members.
- “We designed a new TV experience where you can pay for only the channels you want all in one app,” said Apple’s Peter Stern, VP of Services.
Another change is that going forward video content featured in the ‘TV’ app will be hosted on Apple’s servers so you will no longer be sent to third-party apps after starting video playback. All content will be available online and offline. Apple is also promising that videos will be ad-free and the “best picture quality and sound”, without specifying what that entails.
The app will not include only movies and TV shows. It will also feature news, sports, live shows, and other types of programming.
Netflix is not participating
At stage, Apple highlighted some of its partners such as Showtime, HBO, Epix and CBS All Access. These are not exactly global players that most viewers can get excited about, despite the TV app launching in over 100 countries.
Big players such as Netflix are missing from the list. In 2015, Netflix’s former chief product officer Neil Hunt told FlatpanelsHD that Netflix wants to control the user experience and content flow. The company has since reiterated those concerns on multiple occasions.
In its press release, Apple also said that ”the Apple TV app will become the new home to the hundreds of thousands of movies and TV shows currently available for purchase or rent in the iTunes Store”. Will the iTunes movie app disappear? We are chasing answers.
On Apple devices & other TVs
The redesigned ’TV’ app will of course be available on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. In addition, it will launch on Mac this fall.
But Apple is also partnering with some of its competitors. The app is coming to Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio. In addition, it will be made available on the Roku and FireTV platforms. The list of compatible models has yet to be confirmed.
Several of these devices will also get support for Apple Airplay 2 and HomeKit. Some Samsung TVs will get an iTunes app.
The new ’TV’ app will be available this May in over 100 countries through a software update.