The redesigned Apple TV app aims to solve some of the headaches that have emerged in the streaming media era. A show's past seasons, for example, might be available on Hulu, Netflix Inc or iTunes, while current episodes require cable or purchase, leaving customers juggling multiple remotes.
The app is bringing the Apple-curated viewing experience to non-Apple devices for the first time, debuting today on Samsung smart TVs, with other smart TV brands as well as Roku and Amazon Fire also in the future plans.
Apple just took an important step in its bid to take over your living room.
In the USA, customers can subscribe directly to channels from the Apple TV app, including HBO, Starz, Smithsonian Channel, Epix, Tastemade and MTV Hits, with more to be added in the future.
The TV app's legacy integrations may not offer the same level of experience as something like channels or Apple's own library of content, but they remain a solid way to centralize as much of your TV watching as possible in one app, and using the one unified Up Next queue.
Apple's sales from its services business, which also includes sales from iCloud, the App Store and other businesses, reached $11.45 billion in its most recent fiscal quarter, compared with analyst estimates of $11.32 billion, according to FactSet data. The new TV app is also now available on select Samsung smart TVs. Customers with select Vizio, LG and Sony smart TVs will be able to use the the Apple TV app with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support later this year.
There will be some limitations, however. In addition, subscribers can watch and download shows and movies both online and offline - which makes the Apple TV app the first (and for now only) place where HBO subscribers can download movies and shows such as "Game of Thrones" for offline viewing. The Apple TV+ service won't ship until sometime this fall, and Apple hasn't yet announced pricing.