While we all wait to see whether Apple will cobble its own live streaming TV service, the company today unveiled the next best thing. It will offer Dish Network’s Sling TV as an app on its Apple TV platform, SVP Eddy Cue said today at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The $20 a month single-stream Sling includes a skinny bundle of channels including ESPN, CNN, AMC, TNT, and Comedy Central. The Viacom-owned comedy channel just joined the line-up as part of a carriage deal renewal it made with Dish in April.
New Sling subscribers who pre-pay for three months of service will be able to buy a 32GB Apple TV for $89, a 40% discount.
“Delivering the best TV experience for our viewers means being on the devices people want to use — Apple TV is our most requested platform, and we’re excited to finally bring Sling TV to Apple TV today,” Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch says. The company also unveiled a new user interface today.
Apple’s Siri voice command service will be able to handle a lot of chores on Apple TV. It will be able to search for categories of movies and TV shows — as well as YouTube videos. It also will open apps for users to tune in to live services such as ESPN2, FXNow, and Starz.
Fox Sports Go, NBA 2K, Minecraft Story Mode, and Sketch Party are among the apps that will begin to appear on Apple TV.
In addition to the Apple TV announcement, the company unveiled software upgrades for other products.
For example, Apple Watch’s new operating system, out this fall, will revamp the user interface. Users will be able to type texts and notes by using a finger to draw individual letters. The new watchOS 3 also will open apps faster than before. A new app provides reminders.
Another new feature, SOS, will enable users to push a side button to make an emergency call to 911 and those designated to receive them. Those receiving the message would see where the user is and medical ID info.
Users of the Apple Pay service will soon be able to use it to buy products via the web.