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Posts tagged with "apple tv"

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.

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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:

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Apple TV+ Review Roundup: Apple’s Originals Met with Mixed Reception

Apple’s streaming video service, Apple TV+, launches this Friday, November 1st. Ahead of its launch, today the first reviews dropped for the service’s tentpole originals: The Morning Show, See, For All Mankind, and Dickinson. Overall the critical takes are extremely mixed: though I haven’t seen any reviews that are outright negative, and there are a few which are very positive, the majority of reviews seem to lie somewhere in-between those two extremes.

For All Mankind appears the best-received Apple series, with Dickinson perhaps the second most-praised; however, that may be due to the added pressure placed on The Morning Show and See as Apple’s top two draws. Though many reviewers found things to praise about each show, such as Jennifer Aniston’s strong performance in The Morning Show, and the incredible visuals of See, the majority of their critical emphasis was on the ways these series fail to live up to high expectations.

One common note struck by reviewers is that with most Apple TV+ shows, only three episodes per series were provided for review, which made it difficult to adequately evaluate each first season. Perhaps tellingly, For All Mankind had the most episodes screened for critics, and it’s the most-praised show.

Below is a roundup of excerpts from various reviews that help provide a good overview of what to expect from Apple’s first original series.

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Roku Devices Gaining Apple TV App Today

Roku announced in a press release that the Apple TV app would be available on its streaming devices starting today:

For the first time ever, Roku users can add the Apple TV app via the Roku Channel Store to discover and watch movies, TV shows and more, including accessing their iTunes video library and subscribing to Apple TV channels directly on Roku devices. Starting November 1, Apple TV+, Apple’s home for all-original shows and movies from the world’s greatest storytellers, will be available on the Apple TV app on the Roku platform.

Like the TV app on Samsung smart TV sets, the Roku version of the app offers access to all iTunes movie and TV show content, as well as all Apple TV channels options, such as HBO, CBS All-Access, and soon Apple TV+. However, content from non-channels like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, which are accessible on iOS and tvOS devices, will not be present on the Roku version of the TV app because it lacks third-party app integrations. Moving forward though, I expect that all of Apple’s new content partners with the TV app will be full-on channels rather than legacy app integrations.

Earlier this year Apple announced that the TV app would also be arriving on Amazon Fire TV devices and TV sets from more manufacturers, so as we get closer to the November 1 launch of Apple TV+, I expect we’ll see those other vendors all follow Roku’s lead.

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tvOS 13: The MacStories Review

tvOS 13 is a surprising release. For years Apple has been pushing the TV app as the main draw of the Apple TV, then earlier this year it brought the app to Samsung TV sets with the promise of further expansion to Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, along with a smattering of other TV sets. The proliferation of the TV app made the Apple TV seemingly less important to Apple, but in fact with tvOS 13, available now, Apple has launched the biggest tvOS update ever. Before getting too excited, know that the bar for “biggest ever” is extremely low in the case of tvOS, but nevertheless in a year when the Apple TV felt more marginalized than ever, it’s great to see new life breathed into the device.

On the heels of Apple TV Channels debuting earlier this year, and the new Apple TV+ streaming service launching in a matter of weeks, Apple has given the Apple TV an updated Home screen, multi-user functionality, brilliant new underwater screensavers, Picture in Picture, Apple Arcade aided by PS4 and Xbox One controller support, and even more. While it can’t compare to the behemoth release that was iOS 13, tvOS 13 remains a strong update in its own right.

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Apple Harnesses TV+ and the Books App to Launch Oprah’s Book Club

Earlier this year when Oprah Winfrey took the stage at Apple’s March event, she teased a book club project that would manifest in some way through Apple’s new TV+ service. Today in a press release, Apple has shared the full details about this new project, officially named Oprah’s Book Club, which will utilize both TV+ and Apple Books in a special cross-service format.

Apple and Oprah Winfrey today announced Oprah’s Book Club will connect a community of readers worldwide to stories that truly matter by today’s most thought-provoking authors. Winfrey, the esteemed producer, actress, talk show host, philanthropist and CEO of OWN, will partner with Apple to build a vibrant, global book club that has the power to both transport and transform people — turning every book into an opportunity for self-discovery, and bringing the world together through reading.

Winfrey’s first book selection is “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, available for pre-order now on Apple Books in both ebook and audiobook formats, and debuting tomorrow. Winfrey will interview Coates for the first installment of her new exclusive Apple TV+ series, “Oprah’s Book Club,” premiering November 1. A new episode will be available every two months. For every Oprah’s Book Club selection sold on Apple Books, Apple will make a contribution to the American Library Association to support local libraries, fund programs that give access to everyone and create lifelong readers at an early age.

As if the marriage of TV+ and Books for Oprah’s Book Club wasn’t enough, Apple’s also leveraging its business by hosting the very first of Oprah’s author interviews at none other than Apple Carnegie Library. Additionally, Apple News today is offering a special preview of Oprah’s first book selection. Now that’s some synergy.

It’s exciting to see Apple start to utilize its roster of services such that they complement one another. The company has dabbled in similar efforts before, like through its featuring of the World Cup last summer, but we haven’t seen anything as sustained and on-going as Oprah’s Book Club will be. I’m curious to see what other potential cross-overs Apple has planned moving forward.

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Apple TV+ Launching November 1 at $4.99/month, Free for 1 Year with Hardware Purchase

Today at the Steve Jobs Theater during a packed September event, Apple shared the launch details for its forthcoming video streaming service, Apple TV+. The paid subscription service will launch in over 100 countries on November 1, at a price of $4.99/month; a 7-day free trial period will be available to all users. Additionally, Apple is offering an entire year of free Apple TV+ service with the purchase of any iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, or iPod touch from today on.

On launch day, the selection of Apple Originals available on TV+ will be limited to the following:

  • See
  • The Morning Show
  • Dickinson
  • For All Mankind
  • Helpsters
  • Snoopy in Space
  • Ghostwriter
  • The Elephant Queen
  • Unspecified Oprah Winfrey projects

Most of these are shows, while The Elephant Queen is a documentary. We’ve seen trailers for some titles before, but today Apple debuted the first trailer for See, the big-budget series starring Jason Momoa. Apple has also highlighted some of its other Originals in a press release, which it says will be added on a monthly basis. Other content includes the show “Servant” from M. Night Shyamalan and the award-winning film “Hala.”

With Apple’s shows, most series will debut three episodes at launch, with new episodes released weekly thereafter. However, some series will drop full seasons at once, following the Netflix-style binge model.

After launching, Apple TV+ will be available inside the TV app everywhere that app lives, including iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, Macs, and select third-party television sets and streaming sticks. Notably, Apple also announced today that you’ll be able to watch TV+ content on the web too, by visiting tv.apple.com. TV+ will be available as a channel inside the TV app, so just like with other channels such as HBO and CBS All-Access, you can easily subscribe with just a couple steps using your Apple ID, and you’ll receive all the playback benefits guaranteed for channels: no ads ever, offline downloads on iOS, Picture in Picture on supported devices, and you can share your subscription at no additional cost with your whole household through Family Sharing.

As part of the global launch for TV+, Apple Originals will be available dubbed and subtitled, according to Apple’s press release:

Audiences worldwide can enjoy Apple TV+ originals subtitled and/or dubbed in nearly 40 languages, including Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH) or closed captions. Apple TV+ series and movies will also be available with audio descriptions in eight languages.


Apple TV+ first debuted at Apple’s services-oriented event this March, but aside from teasing some of its shows and stating that it would be accessible from the TV app, the company revealed few details about the service at that time. Six months later, our questions have finally been answered. As the streaming service market begins to heat up, with players like Disney+ and HBO Max launching soon, and incumbents such as Netflix ramping up their content budget, there will be no shortage of TV options for consumers. However, Apple hopes that its focus on quality over quantity – combined with the benefits of a unifying TV app – will make Apple TV+ stand out in the streaming wars. If it can build a reputation that matches its ambitions, with every show and movie earning critical acclaim, then the company has a shot. But only time will tell if such a bold feat can be accomplished.


You can follow all of our Apple event coverage through our September 10, 2019 hub, or subscribe to the dedicated September 10, 2019 RSS feed.