Revamped Apple TV app adds Channels – coming to Smart TVs, Roku and Fire TV

Apple has completely revamped its Apple TV app, with a brand new interface and the inclusion of a host of Channels from some of the globe’s most illustrious content providers. 

The new version of the app, which will also see integration with the new Apple TV Plus service, is designed to ensure viewers can access their content on demand, ad-free with offline downloads available.

Apple says the new app is coming in May and will mean the end of bouncing from app to app to access content. The likes of Hulu, HBO, Showtime, CBS All Access, Britbox, Comedy Central Starz and many more are part of the new Channels service, with subscribers able to use their existing platforms.

Related: Apple News Plus

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.

During its keynote address Apple revealed how users can skip intros, add programs to ‘Up Next’ queues. There’ll also be a new For You section. If you’re watching sports through a channel like ESPN+ then the thumbnails will also show you the current score, enabling viewers to dive into ongoing games when it looks like there may be a big finish.

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Apple is yet to reveal the pricing for these individual channels, so it may be that the available on demand subscriptions will be priced precisely as they currently are. However, Family Sharing means that subscribers can share the content with family members.

Apple is also bringing iTunes Movies to the TV app, making it easy for viewers to buy, rent and watch their favourite flicks from under one roof.

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There’ll still be some app switching though because Apple hasn’t shored up a full house, because Netflix isn’t on board and will not be integrated with the Apple TV platform.

However, over 150 apps are in, and cord-cutting services offering live TV – such as PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now – will integrated within the service later this year.

The brand new version of the app is rolling out for Apple TV, iPhone and iPad now, while it will arrive on third-party smart TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio. Apple is also promising a roll-out on Roku and Fire TV devices. It’ll also be available on the Mac for the first time, later this year.

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