Apple’s new TV app shows just how painfully behind Apple is

“Apple’s latest attempt to crack digital TV arrived Monday in the form of a name change most consumers might not even notice,” Nick Statt writes for The Verge. “It’s simply called TV, and the new app replaced Apple’s Videos app with the release of iOS 10.2. It’s a neat addition for the iPhone and iPad, but it’s designed to shine on the Apple TV, where the app is supposed to hijack the interfaces and libraries of nearly every content provider available to offer a central location for all your TV needs. By opening TV, you can search for any show or movie, sync your many video accounts, and let Apple override the clumsy and disparate designs served up by other media companies.”

“But there’s a big problem. The TV app is neither what Apple really wants to deliver nor is it even a remotely suitable stopgap until the company can realize its vision for the future,” Statt writes. “Apple doesn’t have the support of Netflix or Amazon Video. The company’s single sign-on feature, which is designed to make it easier to use a cable subscription to sign into individual channel apps, only works with a handful of providers, excluding huge names like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon FiOS.”

“If Apple got its way, the TV app could be capable of upending the industry,” Statt writes. “Instead, it’s a reminder of how hamstrung technology companies are when trying to bridge the gap between our current app-centric world and a digital media future that’s deliberately kept out of reach by cable companies.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s sad watching Apple flounder around so aimlessly and ineffectually. We launched the new TV app on one of our Apple TVs and, after half an hour of messing around (and we’re Day One original Apple TV and all other Apple TV model users), we had HGTV showing up. Just HGTV. Um, we can use the HGTV app for that.

Tim Cook’s utterly tone-deaf and hubristic statement when unveiling the TV app this fall — “And now, with the TV app, there’s really no reason to watch TV anywhere else” — remains as laughable as ever.

Apple should use their cash pile to create some much needed leverage to finally get their Apple TV subscription bundle(s) up and running even if all they do is flash their cash around. — MacDailyNews, January 14, 2016

Perhaps Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatlods of cash. Maybe that’ll grease the wheels. It’ll certainly move a bunch of Apple TV boxes around the world in short order.MacDailyNews, May 6, 2014

Maybe [Apple’s large cash hoard is] insurance in the face of recalcitrant content providers (“last chance: sign the deal or we’ll buy you with petty cash”)?MacDailyNews, February 21, 2013

One more time: Which Apple VP is in charge of Apple TV among other chronically glitch-prone services that are uniformly saddled with Microsoftian UIs?

Therein Apple’s problem lies.

A jovial, fun-loving nature wrapped in unbuttoned shirts is no substitute for execution, quality, taste, and signed contracts, Tim.

Beloved by all, yet failing the company. It’s a conundrum that needs to be solved.MacDailyNews, November 3, 2016

It’s quite possible that without Steve Jobs’ help, Eddy Cue couldn’t get ink in a stationery store. — MacDailyNews, November 5, 2015

Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s new ‘TV’ app won’t include Netflix or Amazon Video – October 28, 2016

Hulu inks deals with Fox and Disney, adding ESPN, Fox News and more to forthcoming live service – November 1, 2016
Google signs up CBS for planned web TV service to debut in early 2017; close to deal with 21st Century Fox – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue alienated cable providers and networks with an assertive negotiating style – report – July 28, 2016


  1. I’m not sure you can blame Apple or Eddy Cue. This is the obvious consequence of what Apple did to the music biz. No content providers are going to put themselves in that position again.

    1. Sure you can blame Apple and Mr Cue. The App. doesn’t even allow me to assess all of my movies in the iTunes database, which Apple controls. Sure, I can try to get to my Apple purchased movies but that’s it. And this is a data hub? This problem has nothing to do with the music biz, the movie biz or anything else.l It has to do with only Apple.

    2. Agreed. No content provider wants to give up control to a single entity like Apple, no matter how easy or convenient iTunes was for users to find and buy music a decade ago. Times have changed. If Apple were smart, they’d buy a few networks (just as Comcast bought NBC), make their content work really well on Apple devices, thus forcing the others to fall in line. Because I hate to say it, but the Comcast X1 platform works pretty much like an Apple TV without the Apple TV and its already running on a major distributor of TV and Internet. :-/

    3. It’s not just TV content of course, its: mail (initially simple, but functional, now somehow got worse, and with same shit search), apple music (bumbled, half baked, no meaningful social tie ins in the app with the most social potential), any form of search, siri (ongoing problems with day-one-promised functionality), apple pay (painfully slow merchant roll out and poor PR), news, cloud, maps (gotten better since other executives stepped in).. it’s not just complaining, it’s an EXTREMELY obvious pattern, with the only common denominator being Mr Cue.

      1. Agree
        Eddie Cue sucks and so does Tim Cook
        LOVE to see both of them GO!
        Like far away

        Best post from Adlib, SO true:
        “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T.Cook 2012
        “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T. Cook 2013
        “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T. Cook 2014
        “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T. Cook 2015
        “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T. Cook 2016

        PLEASE sign this simple petition to get this clown out of this important job. I am willing to bet ANYONE other than him would do a better job. TIM COOK HAS TO GO!!!!

  2. I wonder if anyone at Apple actually reads this site or whether they can’t get it in their ivory towers. Even if you have to suffer and sieve out the trolls there is plenty here that they should be listening to. Clearly they aren’t getting the message from within, or if they are they seem incapable of responding to it. Now that thought does give me a shiver.

    1. yes there is….DG , its :
      ‘lets systematically screw things up and hand over all to the competition ”

      its not apple tv thats behind dreadfully…. its the Whole of Apply systematically falling behind. ….

  3. I’m just dumbfounded that HBO Now is supported, but us HBO Go users are left out in the the cold. They’re pretty much the exact same app with different login credentials. How could they not both be supported?


  5. Apple needs content, they need to have something to justify people using them as opposed to others. Increasingly people will have Netflix and perhaps decide they can do without something else, or they’ll get Amazon through their Prime subscription and be happy with that. TV (and Film by way of them being shown on TV) is not the same as music, by and large with music you could buy the same music in every shop (size of the shop not withstanding), with TV their is so much exclusive content and with online services making their own the number of different providers is only increasing. I don’t think any company is going to be able to tie them all together, it’s going to be who has the most exclusive stuff. It’s not tech related, but I think Disney’s purchased of Marvel and Lucasfilm were genius when you look at the franchises they now own and can monetise for years to come.

  6. On Monday night I spent 30 minutes setting the app up. Unfortunately xfinity does not allow one login setup so I had to go to each service one at a time. Note that for some providers HBO go works and for others HBO now is needed. Took me a while to work that out. However once I got how to do this it was quite easy to add new services.
    The interesting thing was that when searching for a series I found that if back titles are available on Netflix then the option to watch those episodes took me straight to Netflix and started playing the program.
    So my advice is there is a lot more to this that immediately apparent. I wish Apple had some documentation to help guide users better.

  7. Pardon the redundancy but i feel compelled to post this again.

    Stupid product decisions… dDsconnect from their user.

    To name a few..

    The Igore battery case

    -The stupid round pencils design.. slippery … rolls off.. has no pin to secure on shirt, has no way of saying attached to its companion device.. bogus ridiculous charging solution. plus missing basic functions.. (it draws nice with minimal latency… but as a complete solution is half baked )

    -Magic mouse.. incredibly bogus charging solution,

    -MacBook pro… battery life is a joke… limited Ram … all soldered components and un-upgradable … on a pro product?

    -Touch bar…well nothing amazing or revolutionary … ..just good. I personally think Touche’ , touchbar’s onscreen equivalent to be more productive … (but must admit… the touch bar is a piece of beautiful execution)

    -iPad pro…. bogus use of Pro name….. without an IOS PRO no ios product is even remotely close to a pro product. user manageable file sys is a must… full blown application are a must ..not fragmented snippets of apps that make one have to move between 10 apps to complete s simple task. mind u ,all this with no user manageable file sys …its a joke.

    -nN macpro refresh… this has nothing to do with supply chain….its a deliberate negligence.

    -Mac pro’s bogus ( cant innovate , my ass ) design .. useless to a pro in a pro environment.

    – Imacs. no news. long overdue..

    -Apple displays.. non existant… one has to flash LG on their desk while using an apple product WHY? …(your solution of sticker noted )

    -Ives clutter free obsession… bogus… its bullshit sales talk……

    -The only thing this philosophy has done is remove clutter from their device , reduce functionality and transferred all the shit to my desk”s top and carrybag in form of dongles, cables, hubs and external devices . massively off balance

    -iPhone… 3 years no form factor change.

    -Apple tv.. disaster in os/UI and functionality and design. its the worst thought out product by Apple. A tv that has zero predictability in UI .. each channel is a universe of its own…. no centralization of favorites.. no reminders… very poor discovery …nada… a bogus fragmented experience. and then the remote and its d- ergonomics .

    -iTune’s convoluted mess.

    -Promoting movies in Apple Music… WTF… music is music , movies are movies…

    -Apple music app interface… no landscape mode… why?

    -Airpods….. its just absurd that they announced to release it in october..but to this day they have not resolved a most fundamental aspect of it: synchronizing sound between both pods….! … feels like a joke. ……..makes me wonder how far ahead is Apple with their gems(if any ) in their labs and their R&D…. if they are still working on a past product .

    -The mysterious place called iCloud. where i am commonly loosing music or photos…or am unable to move things around easily .

    -Ditching awesome products.. or washing them down to uselessness.

    -IMO the worst/Jurassic spell checker , contextual word/sentence recognition engine(that seems to get worse everyday ) ….pooooor dada analytics – AI engine.. miles and miles behind the competition . . ..

    add on top.. supply issues and botched product releases.

    the list can go on…. and on…

    Apple has become an idiosyncratic Dogmatic entity.. my way or highway … Focused on fashion rather than function. way out of balance ..way !

    Worlds most valuable company.. a Fashion company?… no F-ing way…. that is massively shortsighted. Fashion is here today ..gone tomorrow.

    Apple has to deliver 110% on all fronts , Zero holes!… for them to justify their Premium.

    Or mark my words.. others are standing in line to eat Apple’s breakfast, lunch and dinner….and they are Hungry !

  8. Apple TV falls under Eddy Cue. Worthless and waste of money executive. Also he is very close to pipeline Tim. Apple is hang glider on Steve Jobs gusts. Sad to see it coming down to earth. Tim could very well go down as one if the worst CEOs in history if he doesnt improve his cadence. Another lost year like 2016 Apple will be lost

  9. Bitch, bitch, bitch. I’m so tired of hearing all the complaints from the naysayers and Monday morning quarterbacks. Please, STFU once in a while. Steve Jobs is dead. He’s not coming back. Apple will keep evolving and changing under different stewardships. They’re not perfect, nobody is, regardless of how much money you throw at it. Give them time to grow and space to breather. Otherwise, go start your own company and make it happen. [And MDN, you’re bipolar, between your “Apple can’t be touched” and “Apple is laughable”. Give me (and yourself) a break.

  10. There is a Netflix app, it’s content is just not integrated. Neither is DirecTV Now. And some apps, like NBC don’t stream live. I’m assuming Sony’s and Sling’s apps don’t have their content listed in the TV app either, which is a shame.

    The remote is also bad. First, it’s very expensive for what it does. Second, it’s very fragile. Third, it doesn’t do much. There’s no mute button. If your TV doesn’t support a certain HDMI standard (mine does not) you can’t turn your TV on or off. The remote is difficult to hold. The remote does not give enough clues as to its orientation. It’s very easy to accidentally gesture on it when picking it up. The remote requires charging via Thunderbolt. They include a USB to Thunderbolt cable. But get this, the Apple TV HAS a USB-C port on it. Now, they don’t intend it to be user-useable, but c’mon. It could have been used to charge the remote if they’d provided the right cable. That’s just really poor attention to detail.

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