Apple TV App Adds Extra Features, Live Sports, Improved Siri Support And Goes Global



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The Apple TV App on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV streaming console is an efficient aggregator of shows and movies. But it’s had its limitations. For instance, until a few days ago, there was no sign of Amazon Prime Video. And although Netflix is on Apple TV, its films and programmes weren’t in the TV App itself.

Apple

Apple TV App, available on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad.

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Well, Netflix still isn’t in the app but Amazon Prime Video is on the box as well as in the TV app, so if you’re watching The Man In The High Castle, a series shot in 4K, which is how it’s available on the Apple TV 4K box, you can start watching on your Apple TV and take up exactly where you left off on your iPad. That’s because one of the strengths of the TV app is that it is perfectly synchronised across all your iOS devices and Apple TV.

That aggregation function is very useful, so if you’re halfway through watching a show, you don’t need to remember whether you’re watching it because you bought it on iTunes or the catch-up service relevant for… hold on, which service was it again?

Incidentally, also this week, in the United States, the TV App supports live sports, giving fans a simple and seamless way to keep track of their favorite teams and games. Participating sports apps in the Apple TV app include ESPN and the NBA, developed in partnership between the NBA and Turner Sports, with more to be added soon.

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Oh, and the arrival of Amazon Prime Video means that Prime members can watch the new, second series of The Grand Tour, which launched last night. How’s that for timing?

Apple

Apple TV app as it appears in the U.K., one of the many countries just added.

The Apple TV app – already available in the States and in the last few hours, front and center on Apple TV in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden as well – is for many people the complete one-stop shop for TV-watching.

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Amazon Prime Video is the big addition to the service and the many movies and hours of original programming from Amazon now shows up in Watch Now, that part of the TV app which cues up all the stuff you’ve been viewing recently. It’s also the part which, when you complete an episode in your latest binge-watch, makes sure the next one is ready to go. And when you’re up to date, it quietly ensures that as soon as it’s available, the next episode is delivered.

The Watch Now tab also has content curated by Apple’s real-life, human editors, who have chosen programming that’s relevant because it’s filtered according to the services to which you subscribe.

The app is also where you’ll find the content you’ve bought or rented from the iTunes Movies and iTunes TV Shows apps, though when you’re ready to rent or buy more, you can use the app’s Store tab on Apple TV if you prefer.

Unlike some other services, if you have, say, an Amazon Prime Video subscription and you press the microphone button on the Apple TV remote and say, “Hey Siri, search for The Man in the High Castle’, it’ll show you that it’s available via iTunes TV Shows (that is, you can buy it from iTunes) but onscreen it will prioritise Amazon Prime Video as, after all, that’s the one that won’t cost you extra to watch as you’re already paying your subscription.

Some other services at that point push the content which they can sell, relegating the option to which you have free access to lower down the page, if at all. Apple at least puts the customer first in this respect.

Netflix isn’t on that tab, but the universal search capabilities rise above this, so its programming comes up when you search.

And you can search with Siri, which has just been upgraded so it can find those Netflix shows but also, now, Amazon Prime Video and others.

Apple TV is a brilliant streaming box and the TV app is a clever, subtle and effective way of keeping track of your viewing. What would make it better? Well, if Netflix or, (for example in the UK) Sky’s NOW TV service would join the TV app.

As time goes by, it may come to look like they’re like the guys who just haven’t bothered to turn up at the party, which may leave you feeling a little disappointed.

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The Apple TV App on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV streaming console is an efficient aggregator of shows and movies. But it’s had its limitations. For instance, until a few days ago, there was no sign of Amazon Prime Video. And although Netflix is on Apple TV, its films and programmes weren’t in the TV App itself.

Apple

Apple TV App, available on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad.

Well, Netflix still isn’t in the app but Amazon Prime Video is on the box as well as in the TV app, so if you’re watching The Man In The High Castle, a series shot in 4K, which is how it’s available on the Apple TV 4K box, you can start watching on your Apple TV and take up exactly where you left off on your iPad. That’s because one of the strengths of the TV app is that it is perfectly synchronised across all your iOS devices and Apple TV.

That aggregation function is very useful, so if you’re halfway through watching a show, you don’t need to remember whether you’re watching it because you bought it on iTunes or the catch-up service relevant for… hold on, which service was it again?

Incidentally, also this week, in the United States, the TV App supports live sports, giving fans a simple and seamless way to keep track of their favorite teams and games. Participating sports apps in the Apple TV app include ESPN and the NBA, developed in partnership between the NBA and Turner Sports, with more to be added soon.

Oh, and the arrival of Amazon Prime Video means that Prime members can watch the new, second series of The Grand Tour, which launched last night. How’s that for timing?

Apple

Apple TV app as it appears in the U.K., one of the many countries just added.

The Apple TV app – already available in the States and in the last few hours, front and center on Apple TV in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden as well – is for many people the complete one-stop shop for TV-watching.

Amazon Prime Video is the big addition to the service and the many movies and hours of original programming from Amazon now shows up in Watch Now, that part of the TV app which cues up all the stuff you’ve been viewing recently. It’s also the part which, when you complete an episode in your latest binge-watch, makes sure the next one is ready to go. And when you’re up to date, it quietly ensures that as soon as it’s available, the next episode is delivered.

The Watch Now tab also has content curated by Apple’s real-life, human editors, who have chosen programming that’s relevant because it’s filtered according to the services to which you subscribe.

The app is also where you’ll find the content you’ve bought or rented from the iTunes Movies and iTunes TV Shows apps, though when you’re ready to rent or buy more, you can use the app’s Store tab on Apple TV if you prefer.

Unlike some other services, if you have, say, an Amazon Prime Video subscription and you press the microphone button on the Apple TV remote and say, “Hey Siri, search for The Man in the High Castle’, it’ll show you that it’s available via iTunes TV Shows (that is, you can buy it from iTunes) but onscreen it will prioritise Amazon Prime Video as, after all, that’s the one that won’t cost you extra to watch as you’re already paying your subscription.

Some other services at that point push the content which they can sell, relegating the option to which you have free access to lower down the page, if at all. Apple at least puts the customer first in this respect.

Netflix isn’t on that tab, but the universal search capabilities rise above this, so its programming comes up when you search.

And you can search with Siri, which has just been upgraded so it can find those Netflix shows but also, now, Amazon Prime Video and others.

Apple TV is a brilliant streaming box and the TV app is a clever, subtle and effective way of keeping track of your viewing. What would make it better? Well, if Netflix or, (for example in the UK) Sky’s NOW TV service would join the TV app.

As time goes by, it may come to look like they’re like the guys who just haven’t bothered to turn up at the party, which may leave you feeling a little disappointed.

More on Forbes

Week In Wearables: watchOS 4.2 Lands, Apple Pay Cash, GymKit, Fitbit Ionic Apps

watchOS 4.2 Improves Apple Watch With One Great Benefit: How To Install And Should You Upgrade?

Apple And (RED) Celebrate Record Year Of Giving And Reveal Limited-Edition App Bundles

Apple’s Holiday Ad Stars iPhone X, AirPods, Dancers, But It’s The Back Story That’ll Really Move You

Ten Things Nobody Has Told You About The Apple iPhone X

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