Apple’s new TV app is a work in progress

“Apple’s approach to digital video can best be described as slow and steady. While iTunes and the iPod effortlessly transformed the way we purchased and listened to music, it took the company years to figure out how to position the Apple TV,” Devindra Hardawar writes for Engadget. “But now that Apple finally has a solid 4K set-top box, the next issue is helping people organize everything they have to watch.”

“That’s where the company’s new TV app comes in: It’ll let you keep track of the shows and movies you’re watching, highlight noteworthy content and give you an easy way to subscribe and watch premium content from networks like HBO and Showtime,” Hardawar writes. “In theory, it’s the sort of seamless experience we’ve come to expect from Apple. In practice, though, it’s clear that the company still has work to do.”

The all-new Apple TV app
The all-new Apple TV app, now available in over 100 countries, brings together the different ways to discover and watch shows, movies and more into one app.

“Channels is undoubtedly the biggest new feature Apple debuted this week. It lets you quickly subscribe to content from HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and a handful of other services,” Hardawar writes. “You could always subscribe to HBO Now or Showtime from their respective apps, but first you’d have to download, install and step through their subscription process. With Channels, it just takes a few clicks to start watching a whole new network. Best of all, you can also download episodes and films for offline viewing from the TV app. That’s something premium apps like HBO Now don’t yet offer.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The “keeping track, all-in-one-place” concept of Apple’s TV app is sound, but only when everyone’s participating. For now, with Netflix not playing along, it’s up the the user to keep track of who’s AWOL; that obviously detracts from the “all-in-one-place” experience.

Hopefully, in time, as they have with pretty much every music artist (it took years to get The Beatles, for example), Apple can cajole and corral the Netflixes of the world into fully participating in the TV app.

Once Apple TV+ launches, the TV app will become even more of a destination. Perhaps the usage increase will convince the holdouts to come aboard.


  1. It’s kind of over. The new design is just not competitive. Amazon Prime Video will eat their lunch. Many people aren’t even going to find the Apple TV channels in that hell stew of an interface

    1. “It’s kind of over”:
      – They can’t compete with the music players already exist.
      – Some computer company isn’t just going to walk in — blah, blah, phone, etc.
      – Netbooks will kill Apple.
      – Apple Watch. Pffft.
      – Internet Exploder completely dominates the Internet.

      1. Yes indeed it all sounds rather familiar doesn’t it. Boringly so indeed. Whenever I hear the lazy ‘eat their lunch’ mantra I just know if any elaboration occurs at all it will be purely based on ignorance and/or wishful thinking rather than any well thought out argument worth listening to.

        A similar comment was made last week here regarding a competitor to the new Air Buds being the doggiest of dogs bollocks blah blah with not a shred of evidence over bluster. So I checked out the reviews and the general opinion was that these ‘stunning’ little wireless marvels were deemed decent but decidedly average in the market place and couldnt compete with the best on the market. It seems MDN amongst others, attracts people who need to defend religiously their own buying choices or favourites like it’s their Football team by shouting it from the roof top (daring others to disagree) over any semblance of rational objectivity. I don’t know how well the TV App and the streaming service will do but school playground analysis is certainly no answer to that particular question.

      2. Sean forgets we all know he is a randee xeroh loser. We know you hate Apple, Sean. Never forget, Sean is not your friend and certainly NoT Apple’s.

  2. “The “keeping track, all-in-one-place” concept of Apple’s TV app is sound, but only when everyone’s participating”

    Agreed, but even for apps that are participating, the experience can be vastly different.

    With History, you’re lucky if it actually pulls up the right show/episode. Amazon shows up as a provider for things you can’t watch unless you already have an account with another provider (e.g., HBO, Showtime, etc.)–in which case you probably would have just used the other provider’s app. Fox can’t resume a show without creating an account with them. PBS picks episodes in incorrect order to show next. etc.

    And consistency between operation in the apps is non-existent. Basic functions like skip forward/back, scrubbing, play/pause should all work the same, but do not.

    Apple should provide more guidance and control over how apps are integrated with the Apple TV app. There is a long way to go for the “seamless experience”

  3. “While iTunes and the iPod effortlessly transformed the way we purchased and listened to music…”

    How quickly people forget. iTunes dominance was not effortlessly achieved. iPod and iTunes were challenged every step of the way by many competitors—Microsoft, Walmart, music studios, and movie studios. But those players’ offerings all sucked because the were built to pursue or maintain their entrenched businesses, while Apple’s products were built to delight customers. I have a feeling the video streaming wars will turn out the same way.

    1. Chris, you may be correct but the shoe is now on the other foot. Apple doesn’t try so hard to delight customers anymore. The beancounters run the company now. Apple TV is a bigger and more expensive bag of hurt than BluRay ever was.

      All streaming services are full of ugly tradeoffs. Physical discs have their own tradeoffs but I’d still take it over almost any movie subscription service. BluRay “just works” online or offline.

      1. Blu-ray does not “just work”!

        First, my iPhone and iPad don’t play discs, so there are definitely hoops to jump through to make that happen.

        Plus, even in a disc player, I have repeatedly been forced to watch warnings, ads and previews on Blu-rays I own before I can even start the show. To me, that hardly qualities for the “just works” badge.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.