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Apple TV+: Everything you need to know | Release date, price, content, devices

Staff Writer

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Apple has officially unveiled its new subscription streaming service, Apple TV+, and with only a matter of weeks until the Netflix rival launches, the question on everyone’s lips is simple: is it going to be worth it?

While Apple promised that it would be “not just another streaming service”, there’s no denying that Apple TV+ will face an uphill battle to make its mark, with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video already far ahead in the race for eyeballs and subscribers. Apple has wasted no time in attracting big names, though, and that roster of talent plus a competitive price may be enough to carve out its own slice of the streaming pie. Tempted by Apple TV+? Here’s everything you need to know, from price, release date and content to how to get it.

When does Apple TV+ launch

The Apple TV+ release date has been confirmed as 1st November 2019 in more than 100 countries worldwide, including the UK – pipping Disney+ to the post. For a full guide to the November launch.

How much does Apple TV+ cost?

Apple TV+ will cost £4.99 a month, cheaper than Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and with a seven-day free trial for new subscribers. In a move to help drive purchases of its hardware, anyone who buys a new iMac, Apple TV, iPad or iPhone will also get a free 12-month subscription (worth around £60). How can I get Apple TV+?

Apple TV+ will be part of the Apple TV app, and the tech giant is opening up its doors a little with that. The app is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and iPod touch and will soon be on Mac. The Apple TV app is also available on select Samsung smart TVs, and will come to Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future. Customers with eligible VIZIO, Samsung, LG and Sony smart TVs will also be able to cast videos from their iPhone or iPad to their TVs with AirPlay 2 support.

Alternatively, you can sign up and watch Apple TV+ originals through your web browser at tv.apple.com.

What’s on it?

Apple’s line-up of original shows, movies and documentaries will boast programming from names such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and more.

Most series will premiere, Hulu-style, with three episodes available at first, and then an additional episode released weekly, although some will also be released all-at-once.

Here are the titles that will be available from launch on 1st November – for more on each title, or on series coming soon after the launch.

See (1st November)

An epic drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, is set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind. When all humanity has lost the sense of sight, humans must adapt and find new ways to survive.

The Morning Show (1st November)

A cutthroat drama starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and starring Steve Carell, explores the world of morning news and the ego, ambition and the misguided search for power behind the people who help America wake up in the morning.

Dickinson (1st November)

A darkly comedic coming-of-age story, explores the constraints of society, gender and family through the lens of rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson.

For All Mankind (1st November)

A new series from Ronald D. Moore that imagines what would have happened if the global space race never ended and the space program remained the cultural centrepiece of America’s hopes and dreams.

Helpsters (1st November)

A new children’s series from the makers of Sesame Street that stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems.

Snoopy in Space (1st November)

A new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media takes viewers on a journey with Snoopy as he follows his dreams to become an astronaut. Together, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew take command of the International Space Station and explore the moon and beyond.

Ghostwriter (1st November)

A reinvention of the beloved original series that follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighbourhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.

The Elephant Queen (1st November)

An acclaimed documentary film and cinematic love letter to a species on the verge of extinction, follows a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming.

Oprah (1st November)

Oprah Winfrey joins the world’s most compelling authors in conversation as she builds a vibrant, global book club community and other projects to connect with people around the world and share meaningful ways to create positive change.

Everything will be downloadable for offline viewing, ad-free and available on-demand – just like any other streaming service.

Apple unveils first details for Apple TV+

March 2019

Apple today unveiled its new subscription streaming service, Apple TV+, giving us a first official look at its new Netflix rival.

While Apple promised that it would be “not just another streaming service”, there’s no denying that Apple TV+ will face an uphill battle to make its mark, with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video already far ahead in the race for eyeballs and subscribers. Apple has wasted no time in attracting big names, though, and that roster of talent is what Apple focused on at its event, banking on star wattage to help its service – “the destination for the highest quality originals” – to shine bright enough to compete.

The content

Apple’s line-up of original shows, movies and documentaries will boast programming from names such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and more. Many of those were on-stage at the Apple Event in Cupertino, announcing officially their projects that have been in the works for sometime.

“We’re honoured that the absolute best lineup of storytellers in the world — both in front of and behind the camera — are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”

The library of originals, which Apple has committed a reported $1 billion to, spans a wide range of genres and formats.

Amazing Stories, Spielberg’s new anthology of fantastical tales, will include an episode about a WWII pilot whose plane magically travels through time into the present day. Who will he meet? Can he go back? Does he want to? What will happen if he does?

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston also officially gave their Apple series about a morning TV show a name: The Morning Show. “We pull back the curtain on the power dynamics between men and women” in TV, Aniston teased, before they were joined on-stage by co-star Steve Carell, who promised that his character was “extremely relatable and handsome”.

Jason Momoa and Viola Davis talked about Steven Knight’s new sci-fi drama, called See, which explores a future world where the human race has lost the sense of sight – a brief glimpse of that in a trailer promised a big-budget production.

Kumail Nanjiani also unveiled Little America, a new anthology series about immigration in everyday America – including a story based on a true tale of a “young Indian boy living in Utah whose parents get to live their dream of running their own motel until they’re deported”. And so the young boy secretly runs the motel on his own, while plotting to get his parents back into the US, even competing in a national spelling bee so he could meet Laura Bush to ask for help.

Big Bird also appeared to announced an “incredible new pre-school show” called Helpsters, which will see fellow fuzzster Codi teach kids to solve problems using the big ideas behind coding. “Coding fosters collaboration, thinking skills and is a language every child can learn,” declared Codi.

J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles, meanwhile, debuted the theme tune for Little Voice, a funny, romantic show about a musician in New York. It’s about “the reality about what is hard and wonderful about being a young woman finding her voice as an artist and a person through music”.

Apple saved its biggest name for last: Oprah Winfrey, who said she has teamed up with with Apple TV Plus because “they’re the company that has re-imagined how we communicate”.

They’re “in a billion pockets”, she told the crowd. “That represents an opportunity to make a major impact.”

She spoke of how the world is at a key moment to decide how to use technology and humanity, and that the “Apple platform allows me to do what I do in a whole new way”. She announced two documentaries: Toxic Labour, about the toll of sexual harassment in the workplace, and an untitled series about mental health and how the “scourge of depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma and loss is devastating lives daily across the globe”.

Everything will be downloadable for offline viewing, ad-free and available on-demand – just like any other streaming service.

Apple announced that Apple TV+ will launch this autumn. Where something like DC Universe has only stuck to US screens, though, Apple is thinking big, launching Apple TV+ in 100+ countries worldwide.

Apple did not confirm the pricing for its subscription service, but with Netflix and NOW TV both raising their prices, you can likely expect something competing on a similar price point, around the $10/£10 mark. Watch this space for more on that nearer autumn.

Apple TV+ will be part of the Apple TV app. The revamped app is coming to iPhone, iPad and Apple TV customers in over 100 countries with a free software update this May, and to Mac this autumn. But it will also be available on Samsung smart TVs beginning this spring and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future. Customers with eligible VIZIO, Samsung, LG and Sony smart TVs will also be able to cast videos from their iPhone or iPad to their TVs with AirPlay 2 support.

The other big news for Apple today was its latest upgrade to the Apple TV platform. Now an app on phones and tablets, as well as the Apple TV device, Apple is pushing to make it a one-stop-shop for everything, more than it has been before.

That’s primarily through the launch of Apple TV Channels, which takes a leaf from Amazon’s Prime Video Channels book to give users a centralised paltform to subscribe and watch individual services and bundles from other providers, such as HBO, SHOWTIME and Starz — all on-demand and available on and offline. Sports, news and network TV from cable and satellite providers will be available in the USA (that will, as always with Apple TV, be less of a selling point for viewers in the UK), as well as the iTunes library for purchasing and renting movies and TV shows.

Apple TV channels include popular services such as HBO, Starz, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade, Noggin and new services such MTV Hits, with “more to be added over time around the world”.

The app’s interface will also be streamlined to include an On Next bar that features recommended content from other streaming apps, including Amazon Prime and Hulu. Perhaps most striking about these familiar features is that it will support Family Sharing, so that a household can easily share subscriptions across its different members.

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