Apple is serving up the first preview of its revamped TV app, which includes the free trials of Apple TV Channels.
The new app and the Channels to be hosted within are not going to roll out to the public until May, but new betas for iOS 12.3 for iPad and iPhone and tvOS for Apple TV, brings the revamp along for the ride.
Initially, the beta provides access to only four subscription services rather than the 150 confirmed to be supported when the Channels platform launches proper. Those services are Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, Starz, and Tastemade.
Related: Apple TV Plus
Right now they’re available within the first developer beta for iOS/tvOS 12.3 which means you need to be a registered developer to download and install (via Venture Beat).
However, Apple usually brings a public version of the same – or similar – beta in the days following the developer release. It’s also available to owners of the third-generation Apple TV model, which still runs on the old Apple TV Software. The applicable beta is labelled v7.3.
Once it does become available to all users, they’ll be able to access subscriptions to the likes of Hulu, HBO, ESPN+, Britbox and Comedy Central from within the Apple TV application.
The idea is to ensure there’s no more switching between apps to find content they want to watch, with subscription content from various apps appearing within the singular interface, with personalised recommendations and the ability to access an enhanced ‘Up Next’ list.
Perhaps the most interesting element of the new Channels platform is the ability to download content and watch all of those shows offline. This is something many content providers like HBO haven’t offered through their own apps before, so was likely the subject of intense negotiation between partner networks.
Once it arrives on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, there’ll be a rollout on third-party smart televisions from Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio. Apple is also promising a roll-out on Roku and Fire TV devices. The Mac is also getting some love for the first time too.
Have you taken the revamped Apple TV app for a spin yet? Do you think Channels can be a success? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.