Hands-On With Apple's New TV App in iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3

The iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 betas released to developers this morning bring the new TV app that Apple first debuted at its March event on Monday.

Apple's revamped TV app, which is available on iOS devices and the Apple TV at the current time, features a new look and updated functionality.


"Watch Now" with its "Up Next" function is still front and center in the TV app, but there's a new machine learning-based recommendation engine that will surface personalized content suggestions for you based on what you like to watch.

Up Next will continue to keep track of what you're watching so you'll never forget what episode of a TV show you're on or where you left off watching a movie, while the new "For You" recommendation feature will draw in content from more than 150 streaming apps, including Hulu, Amazon Prime, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, and more. In addition to the "For You" section, the TV app will also offer "Because you watched..." recommendations much like Netflix.

appletvapp
The overall app interface has been streamlined with sections for Movies, TV Shows, Sports, and Kids content at the top on both ‌Apple TV‌ and iPhone, while Library houses a list of content that you've purchased from iTunes.

There is a new "Channels" feature in the TV app, which is one of the main new components that Apple added. Channels are subscription services that you can sign up for and watch within the TV app without having to open up another app.

So, for example, if you come across a show you want to watch on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple TV‌ that's on Showtime, you can tap to subscribe to Showtime right in the TV app, and then you can watch that show without leaving the app.

appletvchannels
Some of the new Channels that will be supported include CBS All Access, Starz, Showtime, HBO, Nickelodeon, Mubi, The History Channel Vault, and Comedy Central Now. During the beta, though, users can subscribe to Showtime, Starz, Smithsonian, and Tastemade.

You'll still get recommendations for content from services that aren't a part of Channels, so while Hulu isn't something you can subscribe to and watch in the TV app itself (you need to watch Hulu content in the Hulu app), you can still see Hulu content suggestions just like the original TV app.

appletvapp4
Basically, while you'll get recommendations from a huge list of sources (minus Netflix), there are a small handful of content sources where subscribing and watching has been streamlined. For most content, you'll still need to watch in a third-party app at this time.

In the future, Apple's TV app will house Apple TV+, Apple's newly announced streaming service that will feature all of its original shows and movies.

Apple plans to introduce the new TV app in May, so we can expect the iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 updates to be released sometime that month. Apple also plans to bring the TV app to the Mac, but that won't happen until the fall.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
M4 Real Feature Red

M4 MacBook Pro Models Expected to Launch in Late 2024

Tuesday June 18, 2024 10:50 am PDT by
MacBook Pro models with an M4 chip are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to display analyst Ross Young. In a tweet for subscribers, Young said that panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to begin in the third quarter of 2024, which suggests a launch toward the end of the year. Apple started its M4 chip refresh in May with the launch...
Apple Pay Later feature 1

Apple Discontinuing Apple Pay Later

Monday June 17, 2024 11:44 am PDT by
Apple is discontinuing Apple Pay Later, the buy now, pay later feature that it just launched last October. Apple Pay Later is being discontinued as of today, but people who have existing Apple Pay Later loans will be able to continue to pay them off and manage them through the Wallet app. Apple announced plans to end the feature in a statement provided to 9to5Mac, which also notes that...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...
iPod Nano vs iPod Pro Ad Feature 1

Apple Developing Thinner MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone

Monday June 17, 2024 2:22 am PDT by
Apple intends to slim down the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone, with the new ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro a sign of the company's new design trajectory, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. When the M4 iPad Pro was unveiled last month, Apple touted it as the company's thinnest product ever, and even compared it to the 2012 iPod nano to emphasize its slim dimensions. Writing in the latest ...

Top Rated Comments

lifjoy Avatar
68 months ago
Can the Sports and Kids tabs at the top of the UI be disabled by us viewers?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chopper9 Avatar
68 months ago
Worthless without Netflix and Hulu integration.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
abrantes09 Avatar
68 months ago
I set up this app today, more like the app set up itself, but the App is a hidden gem in the ecosystem. Although I am still waiting for the public beta, the old UI is great now considering it pulls hulu, prime, netflix and itunes all together and I always underestimated that ability. Only complaint, I really need a MacOS app for this. I know it requires native apps to work, but Im sure apple could figure out some cloud thing.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Geronimo Avatar
68 months ago
Worthless without Netflix and Hulu integration.
Hulu, along with about 100 other apps, already integrates with the TV app, including its Up Next watchlist. Netflix is the only major on-demand subscription service that doesn't work with it. So basically, I maintain two watchlists, one in Netflix and one in the TV app for everything else. I'd probably watch Netflix more if their shows were integrated along with everything else in the TV app.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ghost31 Avatar
68 months ago
The cynical part of me says that it will offer features and bundles that no one else does. And you will have to buy a new 3-5000 dollar Apple computer to be able to use it.

Don't take that comment seriously, I had a bad day and am feeling generally pessimistic right now.
Sorry you’re having a bad day. Tomorrow is another day
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ErikGrim Avatar
68 months ago
Is the video playback UI on iOS improved in anyway? Such as 15 second rewind and forward buttons? It baffles me that iOS TV app's playback UI is stuck in iOS 11 era (with almost impossible to use scrubber at the top) when web player is updated with 15 second rewind/forward and scrubber on the bottom.
What do you mean? Apple TV has always had 15s rewind / forward. Just click the left and right edge of the tap surface.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)