In Depth

Apple’s new TV app: features, compatible devices and Apple TV+ UK release date

Revamped TV app paves the way for the tech giant’s Netflix-rivalling subscription service

An overhauled version of Apple’s TV app is now available, setting the foundation for the arrival of the company’s new streaming service later this year. 

The app, which is available on a host of phones, tablets and smart TVs, is a free piece of software that is intended to be your “central hub” for movies and television shows, says Pocket-lint. It contains video content from your iTunes library and streaming services that you subscribe to. 

But the app will also be the home of the tech giant’s new Apple TV+ streaming service that’s due to launch later this year. The subscription service features new shows and films that will be exclusive to the platform, putting it into direct competition with Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

Here’s everything you need to know about the revamped TV app and when Apple’s streaming service comes to the UK:

What is the Apple TV app?

Simply put, the TV app is a free service that comes bundled with iPhones and iPads, which houses everything from movies you’ve purchased through your iTunes account to catch-up services. 

Users also have the option of subscribing to TV channels through the app, according to the Daily Mirror, although only two appear to be available in the UK at the moment. 

Films and TV shows can be downloaded and viewed both online and offline, the newspaper says. Users will also be able to share their subscription to TV channels with up to five people when the feature becomes available in the UK. 

In the meantime, though, there’s a host of TV shows available through on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer and All 4.

When is the Apple TV+ streaming service released in the UK?

The TV app will also be the home of the new Netflix-rivalling Apple TV+ subscription service, which is due to arrive in the UK in the autumn, according to TechRadar. 

Unveiled by Steven Spielberg during Apple’s product keynote in March, the subscription service will incorporate existing films, such as Aquaman and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, as well as original shows and films.

Among the new shows is Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, an eclectic mix of short tales that originally aired in the mid 1980s. Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon will also launch a new series called The Morning Show, which delves into the “complex relationships between men and women in the workplace”, TechRadar reports.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but the Huffington Post says Apple TV+ will be priced to compete with its competitors. For instance, Amazon Prime and Netflix cost £7.99 and £6.99 per month respectively, so expect a monthly cost of under £10. 

Which devices are compatible?

Unlike much of the company’s software, you don’t need an Apple product to make the most of the company’s TV app. 

Apple has struck a deal with rival firm Samsung to deliver the app of the Korean tech giant’s range of TVs, says Cult of Mac. These include: 

  • QLED series (2018 and 2019)
  • 8 series (2018 and 2019)
  • 7 series (2018 and 2019)
  • 6 series (2018 and 2019)
  • 5 series (2018 and 2019)
  • 4 series (2018 and 2019)

However, Samsung won’t be the only brand to support the app. The firm has been given a “limited period of exclusivity” before the app opens up to other smart TV brands, the tech news site says. 

Meanwhile, those with an Apple device should have no problem getting hold of the software. The app will be automatically installed on mobile devices and computers running the latest software, as well as the Apple TV box. 

You can’t, however, watch shows and films from your Apple Watch. 

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