UPDATE: Apple Inc.’s developer conference begins Monday, and the hardware and software giant is expected to make several major announcements.
Among the biggest: iTunes is expected to be replaced. The two-decades-old service is reportedly being replaced by a trio of new apps for the Mac – Music, TV, and Podcasts. No word is out yet on what happens to the iTunes Store.
CEO Tim Cook will keynote the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California.
Also anticipated is a new push to make the iPad a more functional replacement for the laptop computer. New home screen enhancements and the ability to use multiple apps at once are among the expected features.
The changes being announced will showcase Apple’s new generation of devices and software: Apple Watches that are more independent from iPhones, iPads with software that reduces the need for a laptop, apps that run on any Apple device, and growth areas such as augmented reality.
EARLIER: Apple has already released its redesigned TV app in more than 100 countries, in a prelude to the launch of its subscription offering Apple TV+ this fall.
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, 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.
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.