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(Pocket-lint) - Apple offers its own TV and movie streaming service called Apple TV+ (or Apple TV Plus).

The service is pitched as Apple's direct rival to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, and presents original programming only - all through the existing Apple TV app that is available on multiple devices.

Here is everything you need to know about Apple TV+, including how much it costs, how it works and what shows it features.

Apple Apple image 1

What is Apple TV+?

Apple TV+ is Apple's home for original films and series.

It is available on a monthly subscription and available across several platforms through the latest version of the Apple TV app. Apple TV+ offers ad-free, exclusive content that's been either green-lit or produced in-house by Apple itself.

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To help ensure the success of its first foray into original content, Apple partnered with some of the biggest names in Hollywood for the launch of the service such as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, JJ Abrams, and even Big Bird - although it has now branched out much further.

Where is Apple TV+ available?

Apple TV+ is available in over 100 countries, including the US and UK and Europe.

How much does Apple TV+ cost?

You can subscribe to and watch Apple TV+ through the Apple TV app available across multiple devices.

Standalone

Apple TV+ costs $4.99 / £4.99 / €4.99 per month for a family subscription. However, you can save a bit if you subscribe to Apple One, which bundles other Apple streaming services together at a discount. Interested users can further get a 7-day trial period to Apple TV+ to watch content for free.

Finally, Apple gives anyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV 3 months of Apple TV+ for free. You'll have to claim this, however, and if you've previously claimed an offer for free Apple TV+ you can't get it again - so check the terms and conditions from Apple if you're planning on going down this route.

Apple One bundle

Apple's services bundle for Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and Fitness+ launched in October 2020. That means you can subscribe to Apple TV+ through one of three different Apple One bundle tiers: Individual, Family, and Premier.

Apple One's Individual and Family plans are available in over 100 countries and regions, including in the US and UK. The Premier plan also launched, but only in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Here's how much each Apple One tier costs at launch:

  • Individual: You get Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for £14.95 / $14.95 / €14.95 per month.
  • Family: Up to six members of your family get Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud for £19.95 / $19.95 / €19.95 per month.
  • Premier: Includes all the other benefits, but ups the iCloud storage to 2TB per month and adds subscriptions to the News+ magazine and newspaper service and the newly announced Fitness+ service for £29.95 / $29.95 / €28.95 per month.

First-time subscribers can follow these steps to subscribe to Apple One:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device.
  2. Go to your name at the top of Settings.
  3. Select the Subscriptions menu.
  4. Select Get Apple One.
  5. Choose the Apple One tier you want.
  6. Select Start Free trial.

If you already have an Apple subscription, like to Apple TV+, you'll receive a pro-rated refund for any days remaining on your existing subscription(s).

For more details, check out our guide on Apple One.

How do you get Apple TV+ free?

Originally, any new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, or Mac purchased after 10 September 2019 was eligible to activate a 1-year free subscription. This has now been shortened to 3-months.

  1. Turn on your Apple device and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Open the Apple TV app. Make sure your device is running the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, or macOS.
  3. Apple said the offer should be presented immediately after launching the app. If not, scroll down in Watch Now until the offer appears.
  4. Tap "Enjoy 3 Months Free."
  5. You might be asked to enter your Apple ID password, confirm your billing information, or add a valid payment method.

What devices support Apple TV+?

Apple TV+ is available inside the Apple TV app on iOS/iPadOS devices and Mac. It is also part of the Apple TV set-top-box user interface. It's available on select smart TVs (Samsung, LG and Sony), too, as well as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV devices and PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

You can subscribe to Apple TV+ and watch it on:

  • An iPhone or iPod touch with the latest version of iOS.
  • An iPad with the latest version of iPadOS.
  • An Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD with the latest version of tvOS.
  • An Apple TV (3rd generation) with the latest Apple TV software update.
  • A smart TV, streaming box or games console that supports the Apple TV app.
  • A Mac running the latest version of macOS.
  • The site tv.apple.com in a Safari, Firefox or Chrome web browser.

Which formats does Apple TV+ support?

You can watch Apple Originals in 4K HDR / Dolby Vision. Most titles also offer Dolby Atmos sound.

Apple Originals shows and films

Apple TV+ launched with just nine Apple Originals available to view, but there are now a lot more and new Apple Originals are added every month so there's a pretty extensive catalogue now. Here are some of the highlights:

Ted Lasso

Arguably Apple TV+'s most successful series, Ted Lasso follows the life and times of a hapless soccer coach. It's two seasons down with plenty of anticipation for Ted Lasso Season 3.

Severance

A science fiction thriller, people are saying great things about Severance and it has already been confirmed for a second season.

Oprah's Book Club

Oprah Winfrey hosts this interview programme, themed around authors and their books, as part of an extended partnership with Apple. She is also working on two upcoming documentaries. The first is about sexual harassment and has a working title of Toxic Labor, while another is about mental health in collaboration with Prince Harry.

The Morning Show

Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carrell star in a series about what goes on behind the cameras of the various morning shows that millions of Americans wake up to every day.

CODA

Apple's Oscar-winning coming-of-age show about the child of deaf adults.

Is all Apple's content family-friendly?

Apple is targeting a broad audience. Apple has reportedly stated that it will avoid content with nudity, raw language, and violence.

The company even shelved Vital Signs, an autobiographical show about hip hop artist Dr. Dre, as Apple CEO Tim Cook was said to be "troubled" by its use of guns, sex, and drugs.

Apple Apple TV Plus image 3

What about Apple TV channels?

The Apple TV app also allows you to sign up for third-party services.

This is thanks to an Apple TV Channels feature that is separate from an Apple TV+ subscription. Apple partners with Showtime, HBO, CBS All Access, and others in the US, as well as BFI Player, Starzplay, Arrow TV, and several others in the UK. You can pay extra to access those add-on channels using your iTunes account for all payments and billing.

Want to know more?

Check out our other guide on the Apple TV app here.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Britta O'Boyle.
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