Apple TV App: The Future of Streaming is Here

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The Apple TV app, also known as Apple TV, TV or the TV app, is a software program developed by Apple Inc. that allows users to watch television shows and movies on their consumer electronic devices. Enables streaming of content from the iTunes Store, the Apple TV Channels on-demand service, and the Apple TV+ Original Content subscription service. Additionally, on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch and Apple TV, the app can index and access content from linked apps from other video-on-demand services.

Initially released in December 2016 in the United States for iOS devices, the app gradually expanded to other countries starting in late 2017. Over time, it also became available on Mac and 3rd-generation Apple TV, albeit with some omissions from functions. Apple expanded its support to non-Apple devices, including select Roku models and Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, Fire TV Edition, Samsung Tizen, LG webOS, and Vizio SmartCast smart TV platforms. In October 2020, some new Sony Android TV models gained access to the app.

Additionally, content from the TV app can be streamed to compatible smart TVs from Sony, Vizio, LG, and Samsung using Apple’s AirPlay 2 protocol. This feature allows users to enjoy their favorite content on larger screens.

In short, the Apple TV app serves as a versatile platform for streaming TV and movie content from various sources, providing access to a wide range of entertainment options on Apple and compatible non-Apple devices.

History of Apple TV App :

The Apple TV app is a multimedia streaming and content delivery application developed by Apple Inc. It was first introduced on October 30, 2015, alongside the fourth-generation Apple TV device. Since its inception, the Apple TV app has undergone several updates and iterations to provide an enhanced user experience and expand its functionality. Here’s a brief history of the Apple TV app:

  1. Fourth-Generation Apple TV (2015):
    • The Apple TV app made its debut with the release of the fourth-generation Apple TV. It served as the central hub for accessing various video streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more, through a unified interface.
    • Users could browse and search for content across multiple apps, eliminating the need to switch between different applications to find and watch their favorite shows and movies.
  2. Single Sign-On (2016):
    • In December 2016, Apple introduced the Single Sign-On feature for the Apple TV app. This allowed users to sign in once with their cable or satellite TV provider credentials and automatically gain access to all the supported video apps without the need to individually authenticate each one.
  3. TV App (2016):
    • With the release of iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1 in December 2016, Apple rebranded the Apple TV app as “TV.” The TV app was designed to offer a more personalized and unified experience across Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
    • It introduced a “Watch Now” section that showcased content recommendations based on the user’s viewing habits and preferences. The app also featured a “Library” section to access purchased content and a “Store” section to browse and rent/buy new movies and TV shows.
  4. Single Sign-On Expansion (2017):
    • In 2017, Apple expanded the Single Sign-On feature to include more cable and satellite TV providers, simplifying the authentication process for a broader range of users.
  5. TV App Expansion (2017-2018):
    • Apple continued to expand the availability of the TV app, launching it in additional countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany.
    • The TV app was also made available on other Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads, with the release of iOS 11.2 and later versions.
  6. Apple TV App (2019):
    • In March 2019, Apple rebranded the TV app back to “Apple TV.” The app underwent a significant redesign and introduced several new features.
    • The new Apple TV app included support for Apple’s subscription service, Apple TV+, which offered original content produced by Apple.
    • It also introduced the Channels feature, allowing users to subscribe to third-party streaming services directly within the Apple TV app, consolidating billing and content discovery.
    • Additionally, the app incorporated a “For You” section, offering personalized recommendations and curated content based on the user’s preferences.
  7. Apple TV App on Other Platforms (2019-2020):
    • Starting in late 2019, Apple expanded the availability of the Apple TV app beyond its own ecosystem. The app became accessible on select smart TVs and streaming devices from various manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, Sony, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
  8. Apple TV App Redesign (2021):
    • In May 2021, Apple introduced a significant redesign of the Apple TV app with the release of iOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5.
    • The updated app featured an enhanced “Watch Now” tab with an improved interface, simplified navigation, and a new “Up Next” queue that allowed users to keep track of their favorite shows and resume watching from where they left off across multiple devices.
    • Apple also introduced the “Apple TV Channels” tab, providing a unified location for browsing and accessing subscribed channels.

It’s important to note that the Apple TV app’s history is an ongoing process, with Apple frequently updating and expanding its features to provide a seamless and comprehensive entertainment experience for its users.

Platforms :

Apple introduced the TV app in December 2016, replacing the “Videos” app on iOS. It brings together TV shows and movies from the iTunes Store and associated apps, allowing users to track their progress across devices. Initially, the app featured sections such as “Watch Now”, “Sports”, “Library”, “Shop”, and “Search”, with push notifications for sports results. In March 2019, the app underwent a major redesign, focusing on Apple’s video streaming services and adding support for Apple TV channels. The icon has also been changed to resemble the Apple TV hardware icon.

The TV app was expanded to the third-generation Apple TV in March 2019, but it lacked integration with other video-on-demand apps. Additional features such as picture-in-picture and multi-user support were added in tvOS 13. It supports 4K, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 on Apple TV 4K, as well as select iPad Pro and iPhone models released in 2017 or later.

On macOS, the TV app launched with macOS Catalina in October 2019, replacing iTunes. Supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, HDR10 and 4K HDR playback on compatible Macs.

Apple made the TV app available on non-Apple platforms starting in October 2019. It has been released on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung TVs, LG webOS, Vizio SmartCast, and select models of Sony Bravia Android TVs. It later became widely available on other Android TV devices and game consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. However, the features of non-Apple devices may be more limited compared to Apple devices as they lack support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. Updates have gradually narrowed these differences over time.

Apple TV App Content :

Apple TV+ is Apple’s streaming service that offers original content created exclusively for Apple users. It serves as the platform for various TV shows and movies produced by Apple.

MLS Season Pass is a subscription service launched by Major League Soccer (MLS) in association with Apple. Provides over-the-top global broadcast rights for all MLS and Leagues Cup matches, as well as select MLS Next and MLS Next Pro matches. Apple TV+ subscribers can access a discounted rate and enjoy a bundled of MLS and Leagues Cup matches, with some matches available for free.

Apple TV Channels is a service that consolidates content from popular subscription video-on-demand services. It simplifies the subscription process by allowing users to purchase and access multiple premium networks within a single hub, the TV app. Apple’s billing service centralizes payment and the content is ad-free. Partners include networks like Cinemax, Discovery Channel, Starz, Paramount+, HBO (until July 2021) and others. Netflix opted out, preferring to let users view their content within the Netflix app.

The iTunes Store is integrated into the TV app, allowing users to stream rented or purchased content. In addition, the TV app can integrate and curate content from compatible video-on-demand apps installed on the same device, tracking progress across all devices using the same Apple ID. However, content from non-Apple services will open in their respective apps. Limited support is available for Netflix, with search and playback features, but no selection and progress tracking features.

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