Published: Thu, May 16, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Apple revamps TV app for Samsung TV support, more direct channel subscriptions

Apple revamps TV app for Samsung TV support, more direct channel subscriptions

Apple says that the all-new Apple TV app is available from today for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV customers in over 100 countries, and will be available on Mac this autumn.

While the software upgrade is available May 13 for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV customers, it will also be available on Mac this fall. The latest update to its mobile operating system features a redesigned TV app, with the ability to subscribe to channels directly in the app. Eligible Vizio, LG and Sony smart TVs are getting AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support later this year.

But more importantly, users will now be able to watch and download their shows and movies both online and offline, allowing them to watch their favourite programs anywhere and at any time. Apple held a glitzy announcement for its TV streaming entry in March, but revealed few specifics or more than the briefest of clips of its original shows.

In the U.S., its roster of paid channels includes HBO, Starz, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, Epix, Tastemade, and MTV Hits.

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The other big news in iOS 12.3 and macOS 10.14.5 is support for beaming content to Samsung TVs with AirPlay 2, which was announced early this year (see "Apple Opens iTunes Video and AirPlay Up to TV Rivals", 9 January 2019). So to get the download feature, users would need to cancel their existing HBO subscription and sign up again through Apple TV. By default, the HomePod will install iOS 12.3 automatically, but you can disable automatic updates and install manually if you prefer. After that, the app will appear at the beginning of your home screen menu. Parents, desperate for family friendly content, will be elated to see a Kids section that serves up editorially selected titles, a practice that continues Apple's push of being the content curators which we first saw in Apple Music.

With the new app, you can use Family Sharing.

Although full details remain scarce we do know some of the names that will be producing and staring in its content.

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