The redesigned Apple TV application, announced for the first time at the company's March event, will be launched today on iOS, Apple TV and Samsung's latest smart TVs. For this to happen, Apple is releasing updated versions of iOS and tvOS with a new look and support for a new line of paid Apple TV channels, including HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix and other networks. Users can subscribe to Apple TV channels directly from the Apple TV application, and all the content can also be viewed from the same application.
The Apple TV application is where the Apple TV + service will be, with the original Apple programming, when it starts this fall. And all your movies and TV shows from iTunes, whether they are purchases or rentals, will also be available in the TV application.
Apple has promised a premier audio and video presentation for Apple TV channels. When you subscribe to HBO or another network through Apple TV channels, it's Apple, not the video partner, which handles the encoding and delivers the sequences, so the company has full control of the bit rate. and the fidelity of the audio. So far, Apple does not offer specific details about the quality of the HBO broadcast or other available subscriptions, but it definitely points to the best rivals like Amazon Prime Video, which offers some of the same premium channels. If you come back and you see that very dark episode of Game of Thrones again, it is expected that you will see less bands, pixilation and other compression signs of the Apple version. All Apple TV channels offer a free one-week trial.
Apple designs and maintains the interface of each Apple TV Channel, but the company takes into account the comments of its partners in order to make things feel consistent among the other applications of the network . You can scroll through content rolls to Netflix, but Apple also came up with a dazzling full-screen way to navigate between content with a left or right slide on the Apple TV's remote. (Trailers will play automatically when you navigate this way).
Another very convenient thing about Apple TV channels is that they all support downloads to watch them offline. HBO Now and HBO Go do not allow you to download movies or programs, but the Apple TV application does. For some networks, these offline videos will act as iTunes rentals; Once you have clicked Play, you will have a window to finish viewing them before the download expires. Here, again, Apple says that users can expect optimal quality for any device they are downloading, whether it's an iPhone or iPad (or the Mac as of this fall).
Elsewhere, the "new" Apple TV application will look very familiar. The design is largely the same as before, with an Up Up section at the top that completes programs, movies or sports games that you've already begun to see. Under What to see where Apple publishers appear, the content they want you to see. This will not necessarily be limited to the applications to which you are subscribed; even if you do not have HBO, Game of Thrones and other required visits will take place here. The content of any of these applications, more than 150 in total, is a fair game to appear in the recommendations of the Apple TV application.
But Apple is adding to its own editorial suggestions with personalized recommendations. You will see a row of For You that, like Apple Music, gathers the options of movies and shows according to your previous visualization. Below are several rows of "Because you saw ____" with even more personalized selections.
You will still find the dedicated section of Sports with scores for the games in progress and rows for your favorite teams. However, a novelty is a tab for Children completely curated by Apple's editorial team: there are no algorithms at play here, so everything that appears should be safe for all ages. Now, both children's and sports programming will still expel it to third-party applications, and that's true for many of those you'll see on the Apple TV home screen, too. If it is not a channel, it will be sent to another application when you press play.
On Samsung TVs, the Apple TV experience is a bit different and more limited. It's strictly content that you get from Apple. Your purchased / rented programs / movies will be there, as will your Apple TV channels. (HBO will be broadcast directly from within the application, just as it does on Apple TV and iOS). But on Samsung's hardware, you will not find links to third-party applications like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video or Cable Providers. It is likely that this will also be valid for the possible application of Apple TV on Roku and other platforms, but Apple is not ready to share any details yet.
Along with the new Apple TV application, AirPlay 2 will be launched today in 2019 and on some Samsung 2018 TVs. Vizio, LG and Sony will add the same functionality sometime this year.