THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Tara AI

A Smart and Free Jira Alternative


Posts tagged with "apple tv"

Apple TV Channels Bundle Now Available Featuring CBS All Access and SHOWTIME

Apple today announced the first bundle offer that’s ever been available for channels in the company’s TV app. It comes with a unique twist in that the offer is only available for customers who already subscribe to Apple TV+, whether through a paid subscription or as part of their free year of service for purchasing a new Apple product. Apple TV+ subscribers can now subscribe to a bundle of CBS All Access and SHOWTIME for just $9.99 per month following a 7-day free trial. When subscribed to separately, these two channels together would cost $20.98 per month, making this a substantial offer.

Apple’s press release highlights some of the features that make channel subscriptions appealing:

By subscribing through Apple TV channels, customers can watch content from all three services online and offline, ad-free and on demand, only on the Apple TV app. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share the subscriptions to Apple TV+, CBS All Access, and SHOWTIME using just their personal Apple ID and password.

As someone who has used Apple’s TV app heavily for years, I’ve written before about how much value I find in the channels experience, and how disappointed I am that Apple hasn’t been able to strike more deals for additional channels partners. When Apple TV channels first launched in early 2019, HBO was the most prestigious channel available, but when that service transitioned to become HBO Max, there was no longer a channel option available for Apple users. New streaming services like Disney+ and Peacock haven’t been made available as channels either. So Apple has built a solid TV experience for the streaming age, but it’s not available for the services people care about most. I’m not particularly hopeful that today’s bundle news will change that at all, but it’s good to at least see a little life from the company’s channels initiative.


tvOS 14: The MacStories Overview

Apple announced a lot of new software improvements during yesterday’s WWDC keynote, but time was short and one major platform didn’t receive its own segment: tvOS 14. Apple announced new tvOS features as part of its discussion of the home, but fortunately that doesn’t mean the latest Apple TV software release is light on improvements. In addition to features like HomeKit integration, new controller support, and improved Picture in Picture, tvOS 14 will offer a variety of other important updates when it launches this fall.

Here’s my overview of all the best new features.

Read more


Apple TV Channels: A Great TV Experience That’s Failing

Apple’s TV strategy has produced a mix of both winning and losing. While I think the company is largely on the right track with its efforts to produce original TV+ content, and it’s also poised to take a cut of many popular streaming services’ revenue via In-App Purchases, I nonetheless think it’s clear that the company’s attempts to offer a great TV experience are failing.

Read more


The Inside Story of Mythic Quest’s Quarantine Episode

Last Friday Apple debuted a special new episode of its TV+ series Mythic Quest that was produced entirely during this season of quarantine. Lacey Rose at The Hollywood Reporter interviewed the co-creators of the show, Rob McElhenney and Megan Ganz, about the origins and challenges of the episode:

McElhenney pitched the idea to his bosses at Apple, who were immediately on board. To pull it off, he told a team in Cupertino, California, that the production would need 40 new iPhones and 20 sets of earbuds later that week. “This was a Monday, and I said, ‘If we have them by Friday, I think we could pull this off. Is that possible?’” he recounts by phone. “There was a rep on the call who didn’t skip a beat. She said, ‘I already have them tracked down. They’re in L.A. and I can have them to you by this afternoon.’”

Three weeks later, Mythic Quest: Quarantine was shot, edited and ready to air. McElhenney and the programmers at Apple feel so strongly about the finished product, which will drop on Friday, that they’re submitting it for Emmy consideration. “In the beginning, I think there was a real possibility that it would be a nightmare,” says Nicdao, “but by the end, I was ready to do three more.”

I watched the episode over the weekend, and it really is something special. It beautifully captures the human experience of this pandemic, confronting the dark moments while also providing a lot of joy. I won’t be at all surprised if it wins an Emmy.

If you’re interested in TV production at all, the full interview goes into lots of nitty gritty details that are fascinating and well checking out.

Permalink

Apple Reveals Upcoming TV+ Lineup, including Amazing Stories, Central Park, Defending Jacob, and More

Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories arrives March 6.

Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories arrives March 6.

Over the weekend, Apple debuted its TV+ content lineup for the first half of 2020 at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. This Press Tour is a tradition of the TV industry, where traditional networks and streaming services alike share about the new content they’ll be releasing soon. Apple got to join the festivities this year for the first time, detailing its TV+ lineup through early summer, including release dates for highly anticipated series we already knew about, plus the debuts of new shows that hadn’t been previously announced.

Read more


Disney+ Available Now, Integrated with Apple’s TV App But Not as a Channel

Today Disney has launched what’s almost certain to become one of the most successful streaming services over time: Disney+. Apple users can enjoy the new streaming service through the Disney+ app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. You can subscribe directly inside the app to start a 7-day free trial, after which it costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year. Disney is also offering a bundled option, where Disney+, Hulu (with ads), and ESPN+ are available for a single $12.99 monthly fee; to sign up for that bundle, you need to visit disneyplus.com.

Disney+ features an enormous back catalog of Disney favorites, from classic animated films to the worlds of Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic. Not only that, but Disney has prepared a healthy slate of originals to accompany the launch, the clear standout of which is the Star Wars-based The Mandalorian. Combining originals and catalog fare, Disney+ is unquestionably the strongest content debut ever for a streaming service.

The app experience of Disney+ seems at least as good as other streaming services, and in some cases even better. As seen in the image above, Disney+ on the Apple TV offers an easy way to log in if you’ve already set up your account on an iPhone or iPad. Unlike most other streaming apps, which require entering a code on your TV, the Disney+ app can automatically log you in on your Apple TV when you have the mobile app open on the same Wi-Fi network.

Disney+ content inside Apple's TV app.

Disney+ content inside Apple’s TV app.

You can also connect the Disney+ app to Apple’s own TV app, enabling you to track everything you’re watching from Disney inside the TV app’s Up Next queue. You’ll see Disney+ shows and movies advertised inside TV’s Watch Now tab, where they can be added to your queue. This way, content from Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO, and other sources can all reside in one universal hub.

Unfortunately, Disney+ isn’t available as a channel inside the TV app, it only offers an app integration. What this means is that you’ll have to download the Disney+ app on all your devices to play the service’s content, whereas with channels content you can watch without needing a separate app. Also, whenever you initiate playback in TV you’ll be bumped out to the Disney+ app, making for a clunkier playback experience than you would have if the service was available as a channel.

The streaming wars are only just now starting to heat up, and the launch of Disney+ is a significant moment in those wars. While for some, the new service represents yet another video subscription they’re asked to pay for, it truly is remarkable that the dream of unbundling content from expensive cable or satellite packages is finally coming true.


How To Open the Apple TV+ Front Page and Individual Shows Directly in the TV App

Update, November 7: The shortcut has been updated with links to all currently announced Apple TV+ shows. You can find the updated download link below and in the MacStories Shortcuts Archive.


I was listening to the latest episode of Upgrade, and, among several fair points about the shortcomings of Apple’s TV app for iPhone and iPad, Jason Snell mentioned an issue that stood out to me: if you don’t know where to look, it can be hard to tell where exactly the Apple TV+ service lives inside the Apple TV app. This sentiment was echoed earlier today in this article by Benjamin Mayo at 9to5Mac:

Apple has made very few changes to the TV app design and feature set to accommodate the TV+ launch. TV+ is shoehorned in as just another source of content with very little consideration. With other streaming services, if you want to commit to their world and explore everything they have to offer, you can just open the dedicated app and never touch the TV app. With TV+, that’s simply not possible.

There is a channel section of the TV app that is dedicated to TV+ content — but it’s far from perfect. Finding the TV+ section requires a lot of scrolling, meandering past several screens worth of Watch Now recommendations for everything in the iTunes catalog.

I’ve been watching The Morning Show over the weekend (which I surprisingly liked a lot; I’m going to start For All Mankind and See next), and even though I’m used to the TV app’s quirks by now, I recognize that its navigation should be improved. And in particular regarding the new Apple TV+ service, I do believe that it’s somewhat buried in the TV app experience – by default, Apple doesn’t offer a single, easy way to open a “page” with Apple TV+’s complete catalog. So, I had to figure out a solution on my own.

Read more


Apple Releases Trailer for The Banker Arriving in Theaters December 6th and Streaming on Apple TV+ in January 2020

Apple has released a trailer for its upcoming movie, The Banker, on its Apple TV YouTube channel. The company describes the film as follows:

Based on a true story, “The Banker” centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racially oppressive establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream. Along with Garrett’s wife Eunice (Nia Long), they train a working class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire – while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the four have built.

The film, which is rated PG-13, will be released in theaters December 6th and stream Apple TV+ in January 2020 following a similar pattern to The Elephant Queen and Hala which are also Apple Original movies. It’s an interesting approach and one that is likely designed to ensure the films are eligible for awards like the Oscars, while simultaneously creating marketing opportunities and viewer awareness in advance of their debut on TV+.


Apple TV+ Now Available: Here’s Its Full Launch Lineup

Apple TV+ is now available, a video subscription service that Apple has been working on for over two years now. The new streaming service debuts in over 100 countries, and can be accessed now inside the TV app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, and select smart TV manufacturers, as well as from tv.apple.com.

Apple TV+ costs $4.99 per month, but all users are offered a 7-day free trial; also, anyone who has purchased a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, or iPod touch since September 10 will receive a free year of service. Finally, even if you don’t subscribe at all, Apple has made the first two episodes of all of its series available for free viewing in the TV app.

While the cost of entry is low for Apple TV+, what you get for the price is also fairly limited at the moment. Apple has branded TV+ “the first all-original video subscription service,” which means there’s no back catalog of legacy content, only brand new shows and movies that have never been released before. This angle could be spun as a positive thing in some respects, because many streaming consumers these days care most about new content, but it also means you can quickly watch everything TV+ has to offer and be stuck waiting for more content.

Here’s the full lineup of everything Apple TV+ offers today:

Read more