(Pocket-lint) – Apple offers its own TV and movie streaming service, called Apple TV + (or Apple TV Plus). Presented as Apple’s direct rival to companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney +, the new service features only original programming – all through the existing Apple TV app for multiple devices. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Apple TV +?
Apple TV + is Apple’s home for original movies and series.
It is available on a monthly subscription and across multiple platforms through the latest version of the Apple TV app. Apple TV + offers exclusive content, without ads, that has received the green light or was produced internally by Apple itself. To help ensure the success of its first foray into the original content, Apple has partnered with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, JJ Abrams and even Big Bird.
Where is Apple TV + available?
Apple TV + is available in more than 100 countries, including the U.S. and the UK.
How much does Apple TV + cost?
You can subscribe to and watch Apple TV + through the Apple TV app available on multiple devices.
To be alone
Apple TV + costs just £ 4.99 / $ 4.99 per month for a family subscription. However, you can save a little if you subscribe to the Apple One, launched in the fall of 2020, which adds other discounted Apple streaming services. Interested users can also get a seven-day trial period for Apple TV + to watch content for free.
Finally, Apple gives anyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or Apple TV a year of Apple TV + for free.
Apple One Pack
Apple service pack for Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple Arcade, Apple News + and Fitness + launched in October 2020. This means that you can now subscribe to Apple TV + through one of the three different package levels of Apple One: Individual, Family and Premier. The Apple One Individual and Family plans are available in more than 100 countries and regions, including the U.S. and the UK. The Premier plan was also launched, but only in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia.
See how much each Apple One tier costs at launch:
- Individual: You get Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple Arcade and 50 GB of iCloud storage for £ 14.95 / $ 14.95 per month.
- Family: Up to six members of your family can get Apple Music, Apple TV + and Apple Arcade and 200 GB of iCloud for £ 14.95 / $ 19.95 per month.
- Premier: It includes all other benefits, but increases iCloud storage to 2 TB per month and adds subscriptions to the News + magazine and newspaper service and the recently announced Fitness + service for £ 29.95 / $ 29.95 per month.
First-time subscribers can follow these steps to subscribe to Apple One:
- Open the Definitions application on your iOS device.
- Go to your name at the top of Settings.
- Select the Subscriptions menu.
- Select Get the Apple One.
- Choose the Apple One tier do you want.
- Select Start Free Trial.
If you already have an Apple subscription, such as Apple TV +, you will receive a pro-rated refund for the remaining days of your existing subscription (s).
For more details, see our Apple One guide.
How do you get Apple TV + for free?
Any new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV or Mac purchased after September 10, 2019 is eligible to activate a free one-year subscription.
- Turn on your Apple device and enter your Apple ID.
- Open the Apple TV app. Make sure your device is running the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, tvOS or macOS.
- Apple said the offer should be submitted immediately after the app is launched. Otherwise, scroll down to Watch Now until the offer appears.
- Touch “Enjoy 1 year free”.
- You may be asked to enter your Apple ID password, confirm your billing information, or add a valid payment method.
Which devices are compatible with Apple TV +?
Apple TV + is available within the Apple TV app on iOS / iPadOS and Mac devices. It is also part of the Apple TV set-top-box user interface. It is also available on some smart TVs, as well as on Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices. Unfortunately, there are no Android apps at the moment.
You can subscribe to Apple TV + and watch at:
- An iPhone or iPod touch with the latest version of iOS.
- An iPad with the latest version of iPadOS.
- An Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD with the latest version of tvOS.
- An Apple TV (3rd generation) with the latest Apple TV software update.
- A smart TV or streaming box compatible with the Apple TV app.
- A Mac running the latest version of macOS.
- Tv.apple.com in a Safari, Firefox or Chrome browser.
What formats does Apple TV + support?
You can watch Apple originals in 4K HDR / Dolby Vision. Most titles also offer Dolby Atmos sound.
Apple Originals programs and movies
Apple TV + was released with only nine Apple Originals available for viewing, but has added more in recent months. Here are some trailers:
Greyhound is a highly anticipated World War II film starring Tom Hanks. Captain Ernest Krause (Hanks) leads an international convoy of 37 ships across the Atlantic to deliver troops and supplies to allied forces.
A ghost has moved to the local neighborhood bookstore and is launching fictional characters into the real world. It is up to a gang of four children to return them to their homes. This children’s drama is from Sesame Workshop.
For all mankind
Apple picked up this science fiction space saga developed by Ronald D Moore, best known for the restart of Battlestar Galactica in 2004. The show explores “what would have happened if the global space race never ended” and stars several actors, including Joel Kinnaman.
The second of the two children’s programs at the Sesame Workshop, Helpsters is a fun and colorful education and entertainment program for younger children. Think of Sesame Street in 4K and Dolby Vision.
Oprah Book Club
Oprah Winfrey hosts this talk show, with the theme of authors and their books, as part of an extended partnership with Apple. She is also working on two documentaries to be released on Apple TV +. The first is about sexual harassment and has a working title of Toxic Work, while the other is about mental health in collaboration with Prince Harry.
See is an epic world-building drama set in a dystopian future where humanity was almost wiped out by a virus. Jason Momoa stars as Baba Voss, a warrior, leader and guardian who has twins born with a very special power.
Snoopy in Space
Snoopy and the gang star in a new animated adventure.
The Morning Show
Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell star in a series about what goes on behind the scenes of the various morning shows that millions of Americans wake up to every day.
Servant is a psychological thriller written by Tony Basgallop and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, better known for Signs. The first episode of the series was directed by Shyamalan himself. Apple ordered 10 episodes for the first season, and each is half an hour long.
“Amazing Stories” is a series of sci-fi and horror anthology created by Steven Spielberg. It is an 80’s revival that had the same name.
Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet
This series follows a team of video game developers. Rob McElhenney plays the company’s creative director, while other cast members include F. Murray Abraham, Danny Pudi, Imani Hakim, Charlotte Nicdao, David Hornsby, Ashly Burch and Jessie Ennis. Charlie Day is also a producer.
“Little America” is an anthology series that examines the lives of immigrants in America. Each episode is written by a different writer, with content collected by Epic Magazine. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, known for “The Big Sick”, wrote the show.
The Banker is a true story starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L Jackson as two entrepreneurs who thwarted the trend against the racially oppressive establishment in the 1960s, helping African Americans get their foot on the property ladder.
This is an animated musical comedy series that tells the story of a family of caretakers who live in Central Park. It will star Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci and Titus Burgess as voice characters.
House before dark
Home Before Dark is a drama series about Hilde Lysiak, a child journalist who publishes a newspaper called Orange Street News in his hometown of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. It stars Brooklynn Prince, Jim Sturgess, Abby Miller and Kylie Rogers.
Is all Apple content familiar?
Apple is targeting a wide audience. Apple has said it will avoid content with nudity, crude language and violence. The company even shelved Vital Signs, an autobiographical program about hip-hop artist Dr. Dre, as Apple CEO Tim Cook was considered “troubled” by the use of weapons, sex and drugs.
What about Apple TV channels?
The Apple TV app also allows you to subscribe to third-party services.
This is due to an Apple TV channel feature that is separate from the Apple TV + subscription. Apple has partnered with Showtime, HBO, CBS All Access and others in the United States, as well as BFI Player, Starzplay, Arrow TV and several others in the United Kingdom. You can pay extra to access these additional channels using your iTunes account for all payments and charges.
Want to know more?
Check out our other guide on the Apple TV app here.
Written by Maggie Tillman.