Apple's march towards creating a better TV experience in the UK has arrived.
Previously only available in the US, now all UK iPhone, iPad and Apple TV users have access to the Apple TV app. On iOS, it replaces the Videos app that has been on the Apple operating system since the launch of the iPhone over a decade ago.
It works as a content hub for various catch-up and streaming services to help TV and movie watchers find the latest or their favourite content quickly and in the one place.
Dedicated UK TV content
In the UK, the BBC, Channel 5, ITV, Amazon and other partners have signed up, offering BBC iPlayer, My5, ITV Hub, Amazon Prime Video content and more.
However, Channel 4's All4, Sky's Now TV and Netflix aren't currently part of the offering. We suspect Netflix and Sky might take some time convincing if at all - Netflix is still missing from the US app, for example, All4 should come on board in 2018.
Watching TV with the Apple TV app on iOS
From within the app on iOS, which doesn't need an Apple TV to work, users will also be able to see recommendations of upcoming shows, access their video and TV show iTunes library and buy shows and movies from the iTunes Store.
Users will also be able to search across all available services in the app itself making it easier to find films and shows, regardless of their source.
For the streaming services involved, simply tapping on a recommendation will immediately take users to the relevant app, be it Amazon Video or My5.
Strangely, the app doesn't yet support TV shows within Apple Music, like Carpool Karaoke, for example, but we suspect this something Apple would like to see in the future, especially given the company's growing focus on creating its own TV content.
Watching TV with the Apple TV app on Apple TV
It's not just iOS devices that have the new TV app. It also comes to Apple TV and adds the same functionality, thereby allowing you to search content, see recommendations from Apple and access your video library. Users also have the added benefit of being able to set the TV app as the home screen rather than the current default icon-based offering.
Nothing to download
The Apple TV app will appear automatically on UK user's devices from today, 8 December, without the need to update or download any software. Once you have the app, you'll be guided through a few set-up screens before accessing all the content.
You will still need to have the relevant associated apps, like BBC iPlayer, installed. And, of course, a subscription to those that require it.
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