What is Apple TV+?
Apple TV+ is still very new to the video-on-demand (VOD) streaming landscape — it launched in November of 2019. Even though Apple’s streaming service is still young, it has made significant strides in putting together a premium library of content. It also offers several competitive features that rival, and even surpass, other longstanding services.
What makes Apple TV+ different from other streaming giants like CBS All Access and Netflix is its catalog. Apple TV+ only includes Apple content. It doesn’t license shows and movies like its rivals. As of right now, there isn’t much of a catalog by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, there are only around 25 titles. That said, Apple TV+’s cost reflects this — it’ll only set you back $5/mo. With billions of dollars going into its new productions, Apple is pushing for quality premium content by working with names like Ron Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah, Jason Momoa, and Rob McElhenney. Apple TV+ promises to provide new Apple Original content every month.
Apple TV+ plans and pricing
Currently, Apple Music’s student plan includes Apple TV+ as part of its package for a limited time. Another limited offer comes in the form of free access to Apple TV+ for 1 year to anyone who buys a new Apple device.
|Student price||Free with Apple Music student plan|
|Free trial length||7 days|
|Number of titles||25+|
|Streaming quality||4K HDR|
Apple TV+ supported devices
It’s important to note that Apple TV+ works outside of the Apple universe. Unfortunately for Android users, though, there’s no Apple TV+ app available.
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- iOS devices
- Smart TVs
What to watch on Apple TV+
The weakest part of the Apple TV+ plan is its lack of content. That said, everything on Apple TV+ is 100% original. Since the service is still new, it’s fair to expect some evolution. There are currently several shows and movies in production.
Here are the current categories of available content.
- Kids & Family
- Short films
- Talk Show
From shows and movies to miniseries and short films, Apple TV+ casts a wide net even with its limited catalog. Some of the shows available on Apple TV+ include the Rob McElhenney helmed Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, Little America, a 30-minute anthology series following immigrant stories in America, and Servant, a psychological thriller broken into half-hour segments and executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan.
Apple TV+ has a few gems in its movie and documentary library. Options include The Elephant Queen, which follows a herd of elephants for nearly five years, Hala, which examines the life of a Muslim girl caught in a secret romance that conflicts with her family’s traditional values, and The Banker, featuring impressive performances by Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson. All that being said, Apple TV+ has big plans in the future to compete in the original content space. Because of that it made our list of top streaming services.
Apple TV+ features
Like Apple’s gaming app Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ permits subscribers to download shows and movies indiscriminately — you can watch downloaded Apple TV+ content without a Wi-Fi connection. To put this into context, HBO NOW doesn’t offer downloads for offline use, whereas Disney+ lets subscribers download as many shows and movies as they’d like.
Setting itself apart from Hulu and Netflix, Apple TV+ goes above and beyond by letting up to 6 users access an account and watch at the same time. Hulu and Netflix only provide multiple simultaneous screens with their more expensive, premium plans. With Netflix’s $16/mo. premium plan you’ll be able to stream 4 screens at once. Hulu offers unlimited screens with its $45/mo. Hulu + Live TV packages. Students taking advantage of the Apple TV+ student discount plan can only stream 1 screen at a time.
Multiple users can enjoy 1 Apple TV+ account. If you want to add a new user to your account, navigate to Settings and select Users and Accounts. From there, you’ll be able to add the user’s iTunes Apple ID information so they can sign in through the account. As part of the Apple TV+ Family Sharing feature, 1 account can accommodate up to 5 members of your household.
The final cut
Owners of Apple products will feel at home with Apple TV+, since, like Apple’s other streaming services, it caters to Apple owners first and foremost. This inclusive strategy is great if you’re well entrenched in the Apple stratosphere, but anyone outside probably won’t share the excitement. If you don’t have an iPhone, iPad, or another sort of iOS device, you’ll only have limited access to the service. Workarounds include streaming through Roku or your PC. If you don’t own an Apple device, you may want to try another option like Disney+ or Hulu. Either way, it’s worth taking advantage of the free 7-day trial to get a taste of the service’s original programming.