Apple Inc. is now going to start guessing what you wish to see on TV. How? The Cupertino, California based company is introducing an all-new app called TV to its Apple TV streaming boxes and also its iPads and iPhones. The app will be rolled out to customers in December of this year. It has been designed to marry the content you have on iTunes with the apps that Apple users have installed for streaming TV shows, sports and movies. Thus, with this move, the app will be able to hone its recommendations to a user’s overall video preference. Furthermore, the app will also provide Siri new abilities in order to get people to stream videos quicker than before.
The TV app was demonstrated by the iPhone maker during a press event and it shows a list of movies and TV shows that are labeled ‘Up Next’. This is a list that displays new episodes of TV shows you watch regularly on HBO Go, Hulu, Starz, FX, iTunes and other apps that you have logged onto. If you don’t finish a movie or an episode, it is going to show up in your ‘Up Next’ list as well, which enables you to start off from where you left it.
If you are in the mood to watch something new that you haven’t seen before, then the TV app will also provide you with some human curated suggestions for movies and TV shows. Moreover, you also have the option of browsing different categories such as comedy, sci-fi and kids, depending on your preference. There will also be a section titled ‘library’ in the TV app, which will show you all your iTunes rentals and purchases in one place. However, there is a catch to this amazing new TV app that the American smartphone giant has introduced.
What is it? Well, it doesn’t cover all streaming services that people use these days. As a matter of fact, the TV app is missing two of the highly popular video streaming services, which are Netflix and Amazon Video. Honestly, Apple TV doesn’t have an app for Amazon Video so this is not exactly a surprise. The absence of the streaming service is probably because the ecommerce retailer has been hard at work on its rival services and devices in the Fire TV and Fire TV stick. Also, back in October 2015, Amazon has also taken the step to quietly ban Apple TV from its website.
The major question is what exactly is Apple’s excuse for choosing not to include Netflix? It is a known fact that Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services that are available these days and is considered important by a lot of people. Moreover, it is also one of the most in-demand apps on Apple TV as well. Yet, there was no mention of Netflix at all in the keynote speech given by CEO Tim Cook about the new TV app. A Netflix spokesperson also gave confirmation later that the service would not be included.
Essentially, this would render the entire app useless, right? Yes, you still can enjoy watching Netflix on Apple TV, but you will have to use the usual app of the streaming service and not the new TV app. Amazon Video cannot be watched on Apple TV at all because an app for it hasn’t been developed up till now and there is a very low probability of it happening. According to S9 Blog, this means that the new TV app is of no use because even though it has been designed to let you see all of your preferred streaming shows, you cannot see a single program from Amazon Video or Netflix.
Apart from the usual, Apple also showed off the ability of the app to stream sports, news and various other services. However, the downside is that these services are also going to need their own logins for authentication purposes, similar to the regular apps on Apple TV. Thus, if you want to get the most of the new TV app, you will have to subscribe to a horde of other services or you will only be able to see things you have gotten from the iTunes store. These limitations don’t exactly make the app appealing for the users.
Hence, if you were one of those people thinking that the new app would be a killer may have to rethink. The app is going to be limited, at least at the time of the launch, as it is missing two of the most popular streaming services offered nowadays. There is great pressure on Apple to offer its customers a unified content experience as competing products from other companies such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are doing the same.