Along with the long-awaited introduction of Apple’s TV and movie-streaming service, the company also introduced a new Apple TV app for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. The updated design is meant to make it easier to find content, no matter the source — whether that’s Apple’s new TV channels service, Apple TV+, your iTunes library, cable or satellite TV or other streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.
The updated app includes a new “Watch Now” tab where you can pick up where you left off on current shows, see suggestions of trending and popular content, or dive into personalized recommendations that get smarter the more you’re on the app.
The interface looks much like what you’d expect from a streaming service — with sections like “What to Watch” or “New and Noteworthy,” and shows depicted by image thumbnails.
When you find things you like, you can add items to your Watch Later list.
Similar to Roku’s TV and movies hub, The Roku Channel or Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, the Apple TV app will also offer a simple way to subscribe to premium channels.
With a few clicks, you can start a free trial to paid channels like HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access, Epix, Tastemade, Noggin and others, using your saved payment information.
Above: Apple’s add-on TV “channels”
To navigate the app, you tap on the sections across the top: Watch Now, Movies, TV Shows, Sports, Kids and Library. Some of these have had small changes, as well.
For example, the brand new Kids experience lets children browse by their favorite characters, similar to Netflix.
There are other nice touches, too — like the ability to skip shows’ intros to get straight to the action — and, of course, you can still use Siri to find content and control the experience.
It’s in the Apple TV app where Apple will begin to showcase its new Apple TV+ programming, which includes shows from big names like Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and others.
“We’re honored that the absolute best lineup of storytellers in the world — both in front of and behind the camera — are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this fall. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest-quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”
The revamped app will be available on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad in May 2019, and will come for the first time to the Mac this fall. It also will become available worldwide in more than 100 countries when the OS update arrives.
As previously announced, Apple TV will be available on non-Apple devices for the first time, too. This includes smart TVs like those from Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio, as well as on Roku and Amazon Fire TV platforms at a later date.