Apple's new TV app: Here's all you need to know

The TV app is meant to be a one stop shop to access TV shows and movies, from all the video content apps on your Apple TV or your phones and tablets.


At its MacBook event on 27 October where the new MacBook Pro computers were announced, Apple CEO Tim Cook first started off the proceedings by talking about TV. As you may remember, some days ago Eddy Cue, Apple's senior VP of software and services, had spoken about how the interfaces on our TVs remind him of a VCR. That was probably a pre-cursor to was Apple was scheduled to announce.

Apple released a new app. Simply called, TV.

The TV app will work not only on Apple TV, but also on other Apple products such as the iPhone and the iPads. Apple TV has around 1600 video content providers. The TV app is meant to be a one stop shop to access TV shows and movies, from all the video content apps on your Apple TV or your phones and tablets. But according to The Verge, the TV app is just a front-end for the content, and the playback happens in individual apps.

Apple also introduced a new Siri feature for Apple TV that lets you tune in directly to live news and sporting events across your apps.

The TV apps lets you discover movies and TV shows from all the multiple video apps you have on your devices. Siri support lets you just ask the TV app to play something, without you having to go around searching for the content on individual apps.

TV app features

Apples new TV app: Heres all you need to know

Image: Apple

Some of the major features of the TV app include Watch Now, Up Next, Recommend, Library and Store.

Watch Now is where you see your collection of available TV shows and movies from your iTunes account as well as from apps. Up Next shows you the list of shows you are currently watching, along with your iTunes rentals or purchases, presented in an order in which Apple thinks you are most likely to watch them. You can either go with this or simply ask Siri to continue watching a show.

As is the case with most video apps, you get a list of curated and trending shows, some of which are curated by Apple curators. There are different categories for you to explore as well. The Library and Store features are self explanatory.

The TV app, supports the Continuity feature. It ensures that your content consumption records are in sync. So say you are watching Westworld on your Apple TV and have to head out, then you can continue watching it on your iPhone from where your left off.

Siri support

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Image: Apple

Siri has been baked into the TV app. It will not only let you search content, but you can also tune into live TV programming or sporting events using Siri. For example, you can give commands such as, "Watch Barcelona match", and it will directly start playing a live broadcast of the UEFA match (if it's on at the time) from which ever app on your system is streaming it. This saves you the trouble of searching for the right app which is streaming that match. Or, you can just ask Siri to say, "Watch CBS news" and it will navigate to CBS's live stream from the app. Siri uses the guides feature on the apps to learn about live events.

Missing apps

There is one glaring omission from the TV app though – Netflix! Well Amazon Video too, but that's not really relevant in India. Also Amazon Video has not been there on the Apple TV platform. So if you are fans of Netflix Originals, then you will have to use the Netflix app for that separately, which is there on the Apple TV platform.

Netflix spokesperson Smita Saran confirmed with Wired that Netflix was not participating in the TV app and was evaluating the opportunity.

Availability

The new TV app is expected to be available as a free app and a free update to the tvOS, from December onwards. It will be available to the US customers first.

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