Apple TV is getting a major makeover this year, starting with today's launch of the all-new Apple TV app, available in over 100 countries on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and all 2019 Samsung smart TVs (plus some 2018 models). The app is also coming to Mac this fall and to Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony, and VIZIO in the future. Ahead, we break down how it works.
Apple TV Channels
The hands-down most exciting feature of the new app (well, besides Apple TV+, the highly-anticipated new streaming service coming to the app this fall) is Apple TV channels, which allows you to choose channels à la carte so you only have to pay for the ones you actually want to watch. Plus, since everything's in one place, you don't need separate log-in credentials for each. The initial offerings include HBO, Starz, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, and Tastemade, with more to come like CBS All-Access and MTV Hits. You can watch all the content on demand and ad-free, plus download shows to watch offline — which is a first for HBO. (So like, you can watch Game of Thrones on an airplane. Mind = blown.) Also, with Family Sharing, up to six family members can share channel subscriptions.
If you already subscribe to one of these third-party channels and would like to opt into their integration with Apple TV channels, you'll have to end your subscriptions and re-subscribe through the app. (And alternatively, if you don't want to, you can also keep your separate subscriptions to access outside of the Apple TV app.)
More Than 150 Video Apps & Streaming Services
Good news: No more scrolling endlessly until you and your partner can finally agree on a show to watch. The new Apple TV app offers personalized and curated recommendations from more than 150 video apps and streaming services and over 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows via machine learning and expert editorial curation. Plus, with the Siri-enabled remote, all you have to do is click the microphone, ask for "the most recent episode of The Real Housewives of New York City," and you shall receive.
There's also a new kids section with tons of great options for kids of all ages and a designated sports section. Also starting today, users with AirPlay 2-enabled Samsung Smart TVs can connect their iPhone, iPad, or Mac directly to their TV, which is coming to VIZIO, LG, and Sony smart TVs later this year.
So familiarize yourself with the app now, because when Apple TV+ rolls around this fall, you're going to want to be ready for it.