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Apple TV (software)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Developer(s)Apple Inc.
  • Videos (iOS)
  • iTunes (macOS)
Type Edit this on Wikidata

TV (also known as Apple TV, the Apple TV app, and the TV app[n 1]) is a line of media player software programs by Apple Inc. for viewing television shows and films on consumer electronic devices. It can stream content from the iTunes Store, the Apple TV Channels a la carte video on demand service, and the Apple TV+ original content subscription service.[4][5] On iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, and tvOS-based Apple TVs it can also index and access content from linked apps of other video on demand services.

The app was released in the United States on December 12, 2016 with iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1 and was rolled out to other countries starting in late 2017.[6] Originally available only on Apple devices running iOS and tvOS, in 2019 it was brought to Mac with macOS Catalina and to non-Apple devices such as many Roku players, some Amazon Fire TVs, several televisions that include Roku or Fire TV software, and certain Samsung and LG smart televisions.[1][7]

Content from the TV app may also be streamed via Apple's AirPlay 2 protocol from a device supporting the TV app to particular smart television sets from Sony, Vizio, LG, and Samsung.[7][1]


iOS and tvOS versions

The TV app icon used in iOS and tvOS from December 2016 to March 2019
The TV app icon used in iOS and tvOS from December 2016 to March 2019

TV was announced at an Apple media event on October 27, 2016, and was released in the United States on December 12, 2016 with iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1, replacing the "Videos" application in earlier versions of iOS. It aggregates television shows and movies from the iTunes Store with content from installed partner apps, and can track progress across devices using the same Apple ID. Only content from Apple's services opens inside the TV app, for other content it will open the linked app.[8]

The app originally contained five sections: "Watch Now", "Sports", "Library", "Store" and "Search".[9][10] Push notifications for sports scores can be enabled.[11]

TV received a major redesign following Apple's March 2019 media event, which refocused it as a hub for Apple-distributed video streaming.[12] The new version added support for Apple TV Channels and debuted a new icon similar to the Apple TV hardware icon, replacing the previous icon resembling a television.[13]

TV was added to the pre-tvOS 3rd generation Apple TV in March 2019, though this version lacks the ability to link with other video on demand apps.[14] Picture-in-picture and switching between multiple Apple IDs was added in tvOS 13 to fourth generation and newer Apple TVs.[15][16]

TV supports 4K, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 on the Apple TV 4K.[17] Dolby Vision and HDR10 are supported on iPad Pros and iPhones[n 2] released in 2017 or later, and Dolby Atmos on 2018 iPad Pros and iPhones.[19]

macOS version

TV was released with macOS Catalina on October 7, 2019 as one of three applications created to replace iTunes.[20] It supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 on MacBooks released in 2018 or later, while 4K HDR playback is supported on the iMac Pro[21] and other Macs released in 2018 or later when connected to a compatible display.[22]

Non-Apple devices

Apple announced in January 2019 that the TV app would be made available on non-Apple platforms for the first time.[23] The decision to expand to other platforms was cited as part Apple's efforts to expand its service revenues by making video content available widely to the public.[24]

The app launched on Samsung TVs on March 14, 2019.[25] It is scheduled to launch on televisions from LG, Sony, and Vizio sometime in the future.[26][27][28][29]

It launched on Roku players on October 15, 2019, and is available on models with a 3800 model number or higher.[30][31] It launched on Amazon Fire TV on October 24, though limited to Fire TV Sticks released in 2016 or later.[32]

Non-Apple devices do not support Dolby Atmos or Dolby Vision.[33]

Content sources

Apple TV+

TV is the portal for Apple's Apple TV+ service, featuring original content created for Apple.

Apple TV Channels

Apple TV Channels is a service that aggregates content from popular video on demand a la carte subscription services and is accessed from the TV app.[4][5] Announced in March 2019, it is designed to simplify subscriptions by making them purchasable and accessible in one video content hub, so the consumer need not use each service's own sign-up mechanism or view the content through each service's own app or website.[34][35] It is designed to compete with similar services such as Amazon Channels and Hulu Add-Ons, which similarly make multiple subscription premium networks available in one location.[5] The payment method can also be centralized through Apple's own billing service.[35] Because the content is from paid subscription services, it will be ad-free.[35] Content can also be downloaded to the device for offline viewing, and there is an option to share accounts within families.[35]

Partners include Showtime, HBO, Epix, and CBS All Access.[35] The broad reach of the 1.4 billion Apple devices in use globally induced major services, some of which already have their own content distribution systems, to make deals with Apple.[36] Netflix declined to be involved with the service, with CEO Reed Hastings saying that they chose not to integrate its service's programming into Apple TV Channels because "we prefer to have our customers watch our content in our service."[36] Netflix would have received little or no data about viewers from Apple TV Channels.[36] AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, during an on-stage discussion with CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin at a fintech event, pushed back on the suggestion that content providers like AT&T's HBO would "not have the same level of access to the data" captured from Apple TV Channels that they currently receive through their own apps and websites to "see what everybody's really watching and be able to make certain decisions", instead insisting that AT&T's digital distribution deals provide it "access to data ... critical to advertising delivery, [ ] critical to marketing".[37][38]

iTunes Store

TV can stream content rented or purchased from the iTunes Store.

Linked video on demand apps

The versions of the TV app on iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS can integrate and curate content from supported video on demand apps installed on the same device, and can track progress across devices using the same Apple ID. Only content from Apple's services opens inside the TV app, for other content it will open the linked app.[8] Support from apps varies by country.[39] Support for Netflix is limited; their television shows and films will appear in search results and play, but other features like curation and progress tracking are unavailable.[40]

Release history

Region Date Ref.
 United States December 12, 2016 [41][42]
 Australia September 19, 2017 [43]
 Norway October 31, 2017 [44]
 France December 8, 2017 [45]
 United Kingdom
 Brazil March 30, 2018 [46]
90 additional countries May 13, 2019 [47]


  1. ^ a b c d "Apple TV app - Devices". November 1, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "TV App - Apple". 2017-10-07. Archived from the original on 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  3. ^ "Use the TV app on your Apple TV 4K, Apple TV (4th generation), iPhone, and iPad - Apple Support". 2017-10-15. Archived from the original on 2017-10-15. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  4. ^ a b Holloway, Daniel (March 25, 2019). "Apple Reveals New TV Streaming Service". Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Hardawar, Devindra (March 25, 2019). "Apple TV Channels is an a la carte way to watch your favorite networks". Engadget. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  6. ^ Hall, Zac (December 12, 2016). "Apple releases iOS 10.2 w/ new emoji, Messages effects, US-only TV app, wallpapers, more". 9to5Mac. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Haslam, Karen (October 28, 2019). "Which TVs work with Apple TV app and AirPlay". Macworld.
  8. ^ a b Vincent, James (2016-10-27). "Apple announces a TV app to put all your content in one place". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  9. ^ Dirks, Brent (November 7, 2016). "Apple's TV App Arrives in iOS 10.2 Beta 2". AppAdvice. AppAdvice LLC. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  10. ^ Viticci, Federico (December 13, 2016). "Apple Releases iOS 10.2 with new Emoji, TV App, and More". MacStories. Federico Viticci & Friends. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  11. ^ "Sports in the Apple TV app". Apple Support. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  12. ^ "Apple's Two-Word Plan for the Future of the Internet: Subscribe Now". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  13. ^ Broussard, Mitchel. "Apple Reveals Redesigned Apple TV App With 'Apple TV Channels' Subscription Feature". Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  14. ^ Wednesday, Malcolm Owen; March 27; 2019; PT, 10:59 am. "The new TV App is coming to third generation Apple TV hardware". AppleInsider. Retrieved 2019-10-26.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Welch, Chris (2019-06-17). "Apple is adding picture-in-picture mode to the Apple TV". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  16. ^ "tvOS 13 powers the most personal cinematic experience ever". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  17. ^ Hall, Zac (2018-09-17). "tvOS 12 now available for Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4K, brings Dolby Atmos audio, screensaver updates, more". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  18. ^ Wong, Raymond. "The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus don't really support true HDR video playback". Mashable. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  19. ^ "Apple TV+ supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, but device support varies". iMore. 2019-09-11. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  20. ^ Chen, Brian X.; Nicas, Jick (June 3, 2019). "Apple's WWDC Highlights: Death of iTunes and $6,000 Macs". The New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  21. ^ "Find and watch movies with 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, or Dolby Atmos". Apple Support. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  22. ^ Warren, Tom (June 3, 2019). "Apple unveils new macOS update with iPad apps". The Verge. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  23. ^ Tibken, Shara. "Apple bringing iTunes, AirPlay 2 to Samsung's 2019 TVs". CNET. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  24. ^ Greenwald, By Will; March 26, 2019 7:00AM EST; March 26, 2019. "Apple TV Is the Death of Apple TV". PCMAG. Retrieved 2019-10-26.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  25. ^ "Samsung Becomes First TV Manufacturer to Launch The Apple TV App and AirPlay 2". Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  26. ^ Dillet, Romain (March 25, 2019). "The Apple TV app to launch on smart TVs, Roku, Fire TV and computers". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  27. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (24 October 2019). "Apple TV app launches on Amazon Fire TV devices". The Verge. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  28. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 15, 2019). "Roku Adds Apple TV App, Just in Time For Apple TV Plus Streaming Launch". Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  29. ^ Hall, Zac (May 13, 2019). "Apple TV app and AirPlay 2 debut on Samsung Smart TVs alongside iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 release". 9to5Mac. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  30. ^ "The Apple TV app arrives on Roku, ahead of Apple TV+ streaming service launch". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  31. ^ "Apple TV app - Devices". Apple. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  32. ^ Haselton, Todd (2019-10-24). "Apple's TV app is now on Amazon Fire TV devices ahead of next week's streaming service launch". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  33. ^ Katzmaier, David. "Apple TV app: Do Roku and Fire TV's features match Apple TV 4K?". CNET. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  34. ^ Haselton, Todd (March 25, 2019). "Apple unveils streaming TV services". CNBC. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  35. ^ a b c d e Miller, Chance (March 25, 2019). "Apple announces 'all-new' TV app with 'Apple TV Channels' and more". 9to5Mac. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  36. ^ a b c Lee, Edmund (March 22, 2019). "Why Netflix Won't Be Part of Apple TV". The New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  37. ^ Miller, Chance (March 27, 2019). "AT&T's Randall Stephenson discusses HBO's deal w/ Apple, claims HBO gets viewer data in return". 9to5Mac. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  38. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross; Stephenson, Randall (March 27, 2019). AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson at Fintech Ideas Festival – Wednesday, March 27 2019 (YouTube). CNBC. Event occurs at 6m 50s. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  39. ^ "Availability of supported apps in the Apple TV app". Apple Support. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  40. ^ Hall, Zac (2017-01-19). "No, Netflix still doesn't really work with Apple's new TV app". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  41. ^ Orellana, Vanessa Hand (December 12, 2016). "iOS 10.2: Here are all the new features". CNET. Condé Nast Inc. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  42. ^ Dirks, Brent (December 9, 2016). "The TV App Just Hit the iOS App Store - But There's a Catch". AppAdvice. AppAdvice LLC. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  43. ^ Moon, Mariella (September 19, 2017). "Apple slowly lets its 'TV' streaming app expand beyond the US". Engadget. Oath Inc. (Verizon Communications). Archived from the original on October 6, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  44. ^ Apple Releases First Beta of iOS 11.2 for Developers [Updated]
  45. ^ TV App launches in UK, France, Germany (first look screenshots & video)
  46. ^ iOS 11.3 now available: Here are the best features
  47. ^ [1]


  1. ^ Referred to as simply "TV" in Apple operating systems, "Apple TV" on non-Apple devices, and the "Apple TV app" or "TV app" on Apple's website.[2][3]
  2. ^ iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 can play HDR10 and Dolby Vision content despite not having an HDR-ready display, done by down-converting the HDR content to fit the display while still having some enhancements to dynamic range, contrast, and wide color gamut compared to standard content.[18]

External links

This page was last edited on 22 June 2020, at 07:30
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