The app is bringing the Apple-curated viewing experience to non-Apple devices for the first time, debuting today on Samsung smart TVs, with other smart TV brands as well as Roku and Amazon Fire also in the future plans. Mac is the only platform not featuring the app at launch, but it will have it by the fall.
The tech giant offered Deadline and other media outlets a preview of the service last week, emphasizing that executives would speak only on background and not about Apple TV+. The new app will include Apple TV+ streaming service once it goes live. Apple held a glitzy announcement for its TV streaming entry in March, but revealed few specifics or more than the briefest of clips of its original shows.
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Through the redesigned app, viewers will be able to sign up for subscription services from HBO, Starz, Showtime and about two dozen more, via a new Channels gateway. While only a small slice of the overall SVOD universe is participating at launch — and Netflix is definitely not being integrated anytime soon — the mission is to present a comprehensive viewing offering inside the TV app. Less hopping in and out of the app, the company believes, will make the experience more immersive.
Among the other new wrinkles is downloading capability. Apple notes that Apple TV will be the “first and only place” where HBO subscribers can download movies and shows such as the about-to-conclude Game of Thrones.
Family Sharing enables up to six family members to share subscriptions to Apple TV channels using their Apple ID and password. Some 100,000-plus movie and TV titles from iTunes have also been added to the app, including purchased titles called out in a new Library tab.
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