While MacStories’ Ryan Christoffel thinks Apple is largely on the right track with its efforts to produce original Apple TV+ content, and the company is also well-positioned to take a cut of many popular streaming services’ revenue via In-App Purchases, Christoffel nonetheless thinks it’s clear that the company’s attempts to offer a great TV experience are failing. Apple TV Channels is great in theory, but lacking in practice.
Channels were (and are) at the center of Apple’s aims to offer a great TV experience. In theory they would enable:
• Using a single app for all your TV viewing needs
• A unified queue to track everything you’re watching
• Downloading content for offline access
• Built-in support for Family Sharing
• Quick playback with a reliable video player
• Support for key features like Picture in Picture
• Easy sign up and cancellation of subscriptions
• Availability across all your devices
Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? Apple’s dream for channels is very nice. It fixes the issues I’ve continually encountered with our stream-first TV world. It’s a very Apple approach: taking something that is overly complicated for users and making the experience much better than before. While the TV app itself needs rethinking to make it more intuitive, I believe Apple was nonetheless on the right path with its vision for channels.
But here’s the sad truth: that channels dream is quickly losing any chance of becoming reality. Since introducing channels 15 months ago, Apple hasn’t signed a single noteworthy new partner…
HBO Max, is representative of how dire channels’ current state is. HBO was a channel initially, but it isn’t any longer. Now that HBO has become HBO Max, there’s no longer a channel option. So not only has Apple’s channels initiative not signed any key new partners in the last 15 months, it has actually lost its biggest partner during that time.
MacDailyNews Take: Explaining Apple TV Channels to an average (non-techie) person is an exercise in frustration. That’s partly because of the major holdouts (i.e. Netflix) and partly due to Apple’s fetid naming swamp (Apple TV, Apple TV HD, Apple TV 4K, Apple TV+, Apple TV App, Apple TV Channels). Ay yi yi.