Apple Takes On TV
Over and above launching their three new MacBook Pros, Apple is delving into the TV space as well with ‘TV’. Here’s what you need to know.
Published: Friday, October 28th 2016
MacBooks were not the only things that Apple announced at its October 27 event.
The company also took the wraps off it's new TV app, simply called TV. At its core, the app is Apple's attempt to unify the TV experience across service providers and Apple devices.
“Using apps on Apple TV, the iPhone and the iPad, has become the primary way for so many of us to watch television,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The TV app shows you what to watch next and allows you to easily discover TV shows and movies from many apps in a single place.”
Key Features Of The TV App
The TV app will be available for Apple TV, iPhone and iPad and always stays in sync. This is so that when you start watching your content on one device, you can continue watching where you left off on any one of your other Apple devices.
- Watch Now: Watch Now is where viewers will see their collection of available shows and movies from iTunes® and apps. From Watch Now, viewers can then go to Up Next or Recommended to choose what to watch.
- Up Next: Users can enjoy the shows and movies they are currently watching. Including recent iTunes rentals and purchases, which are all presented in the order they are most likely to watch first. For example, when viewers finish an episode, the next one will automatically appear at the start of the Up Next queue. As will any new episodes as they become available. At any time, users can simply ask Siri to continue watching a show and immediately pick up where they left off.
- Recommended: Viewers can explore a great selection of curated and trending shows and movies. This includes collections handpicked by Apple’s curators, and dedicated categories and genres such as kids, sci-fi and comedy.
- Library: Viewers can access their entire collection of iTunes movies and TV shows. These could be ones that they have rented or purchased on iTunes.
- Store: If users are looking for something new, they can check out the Store to discover great new content. This across video services they have not yet downloaded, or are not yet subscribed to, along with the latest releases on iTunes.
Single Sign-On for Pay-TV Apps
In addition to the new TV app, customers in the US will have a simplified way of enjoying their pay-TV video apps by using single sign-on. Starting in December, subscribers to DIRECTV, DISH Network, and more, will just sign in once on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad to enjoy immediate access to apps that are part of their pay-TV subscription.
Live Tune-In With Siri
Siri continues to gain powerful new capabilities. This includes making it really easy to tune into live news and sporting events on Apple TV. Siri is now aware of live sporting events, across apps. So, users can simply say things like, “Watch the Stanford game” or “Which games are on right now?”. Siri knows additional details of the games, can provide live scores and can take viewers directly to the live stream within the app that’s carrying it. You'll also be able to tune directly into live video by just saying the name of the app. For example, “Watch CBS News” without having to navigate to the live stream from within the app.
The TV app and single sign-on will be available in December as free software updates for Apple TV (4th generation), iPhone and iPad customers in the US. Local availability to be confirmed.