In September 2016, unveiled a new TV app, which is now available to download.
The new TV app is a unique, free way for Apple TV and iOS devices to offer universal search. CEO Tim Cook said Apple wants Apple TV to be "the one place to access all of your television... a unified TV experience" and that the new TV app will "completely change how you watch TV on your Apple TV as well as your iPhone and iPad". It basically brings all the TV shows and movies from across all your apps and services in one place.
In an on-stage demo, Apple showed how the new app surfaces content from all your apps, and then when you select a movie or show, it kicks you into that app. When you press menu, you end up back in the individual app's interface, but you can go back to the TV app by pressing the TV button on the remote (if configured, but more on that later). Also, when you install a new app on your Apple TV or iOS device, the TV app will sign you in with your cable single-sign on (which you can read all about from here), and it'll load "Watch Now".
Watch Now is where you see a collection of available shows and movies from iTunes and apps. The new TV app can also access your collection of iTunes movies and shows rented or purchased from iTunes. Here's everything you need to know about the app, including how it works.
What is Apple's new TV app?
Apple has launched a new TV app alongside its iOS 10.2 update for all iPhones and iPads running iOS 10. Previously, on the iPhone it was called the Videos app, but with iOS 10.2, it has been changed to TV, with the purpose of helping you discover new stuff to watch on your iOS device.
Also, as part of the tvOS 10.1 update, the Apple TV (fourth-generation) also got the new TV app. It's meant to be a central hub for TV and movie content on your Apple TV. It shows stuff from iTunes, your library, and your subscription services, such as Hulu, Starz, HBO Now, and CBS.
How do you get Apple's new TV app?
Download and install the iOS 10.2 update (see instructions here) on your device. It is a free update that can be downloaded over the air via the update mechanism in the Settings app. Once the update concludes, search for the new TV app if you don't see it on your Home screen.
Apple TV (fourth-generation)
Download and install the tvOS 10.1 update (see instructions here) on your set-top box. It is a free update that can be downloaded over the air via the update mechanism in the Settings screen. Once the update concludes, search for the new TV app if you don't see it on your Home screen.
How does Apple's new TV app work on iOS?
From the moment you launch the app on your iOS device (and pass the intro/welcome screen), you will see a navigation bar running along the bottom. It has tabs for the following screens: Library, Watch Now, Store, and Search. Tap any of these tabs to access their respective screens.
The new TV app on the iPhone and iPad has a Library screen so you can find all the movies and TV shows you've already purchased on iTunes. You can browse content by movies or TV shows, recently purchased, or genres. When you are ready to watch something, tap it, then select the Play button. You can also download it to your device for offline-viewing. Just tap the download button after you select the TV show/movie.
All downloaded TV shows and movies will be available in the Downloaded section in the Library tab of the new TV app. When you tap a downloaded movie or TV show, it will automatically open and play.
The Watch Now screen in the new TV app lets you access all the TV shows and movies you're currently watching so you can pick up where you left off. If you start watching something from a service like iTunes or Hulu, it will appear in the Watch Now tab. The service/app must support Apple's new TV app, however. And when you are finished an episode, the next available one will appear in the Watch Now screen.
If you're watching, for instance, Westworld by HBO, tapping the episode will automatically open the HBO Now app and begin playing. You can find a different format by tapping the More button (ellipses icon) next to the Play button. This feature will also let you open unsupported apps like Netflix.
Let's say you want to watch watch Westworld but don't have HBO Now or HBO Go. You could get it from the Store screen in the new TV app, which will show you all the apps that currently support it (if there are any). You will also see a section spotlighting apps that don't require a cable subscription. The Store tab also highlight new and trending titles that you can purchase or rent from Apple's iTunes store.
When you find an app you want to add to your device, tap Get to download it. And after you launch an app that supports the TV app, you will be asked if you want to connect it to the TV app. Tap Continue to add it to the TV app. Doing so, allows the TV app to suggest more things to watch.
Tap the Search tab and enter any TV show or movie in the text field. Apple will then populate suggestions. You can also use the Search tab to see trending movies and TV shows. Simples.
How does Apple's new TV app work on Apple TV?
Before you read this next part, remember that in tvOS 10.1 you can decide whether the Siri Remote's Home button should open the new TV app or take you to the Apple TV Home screen. If you'd like to change this, open the Settings app on your box, select Remotes and Devices, and click Home Button to decide whether the Home button will launch the new TV app or the Apple TV Home screen.
Watch a TV show or movie
Open the TV app from the Home screen or by pressing the Home button on the Apple TV, then select a show or movie from Up Next section to continue watching it, or you can scroll down to What to Watch or another section to choose a different show or movie. Click Play to watch.
Connect apps to the new TV app
The new TV app doesn't support all streaming services, including Netflix, but it does automatically connect with supported apps like Hulu. All you have to do is launch the TV app and click Continue on the pop-up that asks if you would like to connect apps like Hulu, HBO Now, and Showtime.
You can always remove the connection , including Play History, under Settings > Apps > TV on the Apple TV.
Add TV shows and movies to Up Next
The Up Next highlights the latest episodes of your favourite shows and allows you to jump back into something you were watching without losing your place. Here's what to do if you want to "add" a TV show or movie to Up Next:
- Open the TV app, or an app connected to it (like Hulu or HBO Now)
- Play a movie or TV show
- Alternatively, open the TV app
- Navigate to the Watch Now tab
- Select a TV show or movie from Up Next to continue watching
Play a video from your library
All your purchased content is already available on the Apple TV. Simply open the TV app, navigate to the Library section, and swipe to browse your library. From there, select a title and click Play.
Buy TV shows and movies
You can also buy movies and TV shows from the TV app. Just open the TV app, navigate to the Store section, scroll down, choose a title, and click the Buy or Rent button.
Where is Apple's new TV app available?
Apple's new TV app is now available - but only in the US for Apple TV (fourth-generation), iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.