Apple TV gets an upgrade with Apple TV Channels, Apple TV+

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Apple’s Apple TV announcement was almost a disappointment. Seriously, we kinda thought they’d dropped the ball on this one. For a few minutes, at least, we thought that the announcement was just a minor set of app upgrades. And then the event really got rolling. First up: Apple TV Channels.

Which is basically a fancy way of Apple saying that it is integrating as many streaming services as it can into the Apple TV app. Spoiler: Netflix isn’t one of them. Neither is Showmax… at least not yet.

Users will be able purchase subscriptions to the likes of HBO and Amazon Prime Video though the app, and those subscriptions will integrate with the app. Your recommended items, available shows, and everything in between will function within the Apple TV app — pretty seamlessly, by the look of things.

Wide-screen it

It’s not going to be confined to Apple devices only. Apple’s first smart TV app will be making an appearance shortly, first on Samsung TVs before moving over to LG, Sony, and other devices. Apple will also launch its Apple TV offering on other devices like the Roku and Amazon’s FireTV. We can probably forget about Apple launching its own TV for a while, though. But that’s okay, we probably couldn’t afford one anyway.

The service is currently available in 10 countries, while the new app is coming to more than 100 of them. Hopefully South Africa is on the list. But Apple TV Channels isn’t all there is. We can also look forward to Apple TV+, too.

Apple TV+, which is an ad-free subscription service, consists largely of Apple Originals headed by some top-shelf talent in the motion picture and television industry. Apple has brought on a very diverse set of content creators for this one. Netflix… probably should be feeling nervous.

How Original

A few of the offerings incoming? Amazing Stories will be returning with Steven Spielberg at the helm. That’s called leading with your best foot forward. There’s The Morning Show, with Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell. There is a show called Little America. There is a version of Sesame Street but with a focus on coding. And of course there’s more. Much, much more.

Oh, yes, and they have Oprah. It’s a bit like the Avengers having a Hulk. Oprah is creating a couple of documentaries for Apple — one revolving around depression and another about toxicity in the workplace. Apple will also play host to the biggest book club ever, streaming conversations between authors and Oprah to everyone with an Apple device. If they want to take part, of course (the U2 pre-installed album debacle this ain’t).

Pretty much every competing streaming service has just been put on the back foot. No matter how much money is thrown at those projects, they’ll have to compete with a combination of Apple and Oprah. That’s a team-up that will be very, very hard to beat.

We don’t know when exactly Apple TV+ is launching or what it will cost… but when we do, you will too.

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