Apple Rolls Out Revamped TV App In Prelude To Streaming Service Launch

Yolanda Curtis
May 13, 2019

The new version of the app comes ahead of the planned fall launch of Apple TV+, the company's video-subscription service that will be stocked with original TV shows and movies. Apple held a glitzy announcement for its TV streaming entry in March, but revealed few specifics or more than the briefest of clips of its original shows. While the presence of channels, iTunes content, and the forthcoming Apple TV+ are no surprise, what's missing is any reference to the other content now offered by the app on tvOS and iOS.

Today's update only allows you to subscribe to four streaming services Showtime, Starz, The Smithsonian Channel, and Tastemade. Sadly we don't know when the Apple TV app will roll out on other devices. It sounds like legacy app integrations with services like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, which require having those apps separately installed, are not going to be supported on Samsung TVs - nor, undoubtedly, any other third-party hosts of the TV app.

The all-new Apple TV app, which brings together all the ways to watch TV into one app, is available starting today in over 100 countries across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and select Samsung smart TVs. HBO Now, for example, costs $14.99 per month via Apple's App Store and Apple TV channels.

You can also download shows and movies from your subscriptions to view offline.

The new app is available with the iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 releases and will be available on Mac this fall.

"Users can quickly find and watch their favorites with activity synced across devices, as well as explore expertly curated collections based on a secure and comprehensive understanding of users' viewing interests", the firm notes. Customers with 2019 Samsung smart TVs and select 2018 models can download the new TV app. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit functionality will arrive for certain Vizio, LG and Sony smart TVs later this year.

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