Apple appears to be revamping its TV app, which the company hopes will turn it into a go-to place for users to watch all their shows, movies, and more. a new Bloomberg a report Apple says it plans to remove its apps for buying and renting content and combine that with streaming content, channel subscription options, and more. The new app could launch as early as next December on the Apple TV box, across other Apple platforms, and on other TV operating systems where the Apple TV app is available. (The fact that Apple TV is different from the Apple TV app, which is different from Apple TV Plus, and that “Apple TV is available on Roku” is technically correct never fails to blow my mind. Those names! But I protest.)
In a sense, there is actually nothing new in this strategy. Apple has always wanted the TV app to be the place users go to not only find Apple’s own content, but to find, subscribe to, and manage everything else. Remember the famous quote in which Steve Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he had “finally figured out” the future of television? Jobs envisioned a television that would not have complex remote controls or a myriad of inputs, and would have “the simplest user interface you could imagine.” Apple hasn’t built a TV yet, but this upcoming update to the TV app seems to carry that spirit. (Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Some of that spirit is already present in the current TV app. You can open it to see recommendations from multiple streaming services, and you can use the app to subscribe directly to other streaming services — giving Apple a stake in the process, of course. By combining iTunes’ collection of shows and movies, Apple can make the TV app a place worth visiting more often.
One of the reasons Apple is trying to make its streaming dreams come true is the imminent launch of its Vision Pro headphones, which are many things but primarily a television. The TV app will likely be placed prominently in users’ headphones as they learn new interfaces and new behaviors; Not all third-party apps will be there right away, and this may give Apple a chance to build the kind of viewing habit that some other apps have created.
The problem with this vision, of course, is that it is impossible to achieve. Content providers have been reluctant to make their data and content available outside of their own applications, preferring to keep users within their own worlds. (Netflix likes to find something new.) The Great British Baking Show season by opening Netflix instead of searching the TV app.) And with the number of ad-supported services also increasing, you’ll be more competitive for your viewing time. Apple’s channel strategy has had its ups and downs as well; A number of large services, even those that used to be available on the platform like Max, no longer exist. Many have tried to activate the Global Broadcast Directory, and none of them have succeeded. Not even Apple.
The problem with Apple’s vision is that it is impossible to achieve
However, Apple has some significant advantages here. The Apple TV Plus streaming service has become a surprising power player, churning out hit shows and critically acclaimed shows, with titles like Moonflower Killers Coming soon to service. Obviously, the MLS streaming service has been a huge success for the company as well. As a result, many users are already accustomed to opening the TV app to find content.
Despite all the complexities and setbacks, the dream of a better streaming experience will never die in the tech industry. And perhaps most important of all, Apple — the company that revamped buying music with iTunes, made a fortune from the App Store, and is, in general, better at selling you content and collecting its commissions than anyone else — can’t stop trying to make it work.
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