Apple’s new TV app is still terrible for actually watching TV on iPhones

Apple has just launched its Apple TV application updated today on iOS and tvOS. It is a great business for the company, laying the foundations for the company's new TV strategy with direct consumer subscriptions and Apple's upcoming Apple TV Plus video. streaming service.

So, why is still the default portrait mode to play video?

There's simply no way to avoid it: actually, watching videos using Apple's native TV application is just an experience for the user. Here's how it works: if you're watching a video on the TV application, probably one you bought or rented on iTunes, transmitted through one of Apple's native associated channels, such as HBO or Showtime, or whatever the method is to use Apple TV. It will also be: on an iOS device, it will play vertically. It also looks terrible.


apples new tv app is still terrible for actually watching tv on iphones

If your device is configured in rotation lock, as most iPhones have, according to my experience, there is no way to see videos horizontally. The only way is to disable the rotation lock, which requires sliding down into the control center (since there is no way to access it directly on the playback screen), and then rotate the device. There is also no way to lock it in horizontal mode once it is rotated, so be sure to keep the phone fixed.

What makes this more irritating is that Apple did not use it to do this! Back in iOS 10, the videos in the TV application, even the new TV application launched with iOS 10.2 in December 2016, would default to horizontal mode, because, of course, they would . It was only when Apple released iOS 11 that the portrait became the default, and it has remained that way ever since. (Or to go back to the past: Apple did not even offer a portrait video for iOS at all until the launch of the iPhone OS 2.0, which added the feature for the first time in 2008).

What makes this even more frustrating is that it is a totally solved problem. Watch a movie or TV show in the Netflix or HBO Go apps, and it will take you to the landscape by default. There is not even an option to see a program in the strange Apple mailbox mode, because it's terrible, and Netflix and HBO know it.


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Default playback in Netflix and HBO iOS applications (content has been edited again in screenshots)

YouTube and Hulu take a different approach: they present widescreen videos in vertical format, at least to begin with. But those applications have other data and information that is displayed in the additional space (unlike Apple), such as upcoming episodes or descriptions of videos and comments. More importantly, Hulu and YouTube offer a full-screen button that instantly makes the videos perform in full screen in landscape mode, providing the best of both worlds.


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Default playback in iOS Hulu and YouTube applications (content has been edited again in screenshots)

Of course, Apple's video application also offers a full-screen icon. He does this:


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Cinematographic perfection.

There are many easy solutions for this: Apple could simply replay the video in the landscape by default, as it had for years. You could add a rotation lock lever to the pop-up controls to facilitate the change. You could make your full screen button really functional. But it's been almost two years since Apple broke its application, and the update after the update has not resulted in any changes.

Now, a lot of this may seem like I'm going crazy over an application adjacent to iTunes, and that's true: I do a lot. But Apple is putting a lot of emphasis on the TV application here: this is where the streaming service will live, where the subscriptions that will be the lifeblood of Apple will come from, and where the iTunes purchases that give Apple a direct cut. the benefits are

Apple needs customers to buy content and subscribe to the services of this application. And if you can not even bother to get the most basic function of transmitting a television program correctly, placing it in the correct orientation of the image, how will you succeed against these more entrenched companies?

And what's more important: If the only way to see Apple's programs is to not be user-friendly, who's going to bother opening the application?

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