Apple is planning to turn its TV app into something more akin to Netflix.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the company will thoroughly overhaul its Apple TV app later this year, likely around December, as part of an upcoming tvOS software update.
First, a primer on Apple’s naming scheme for TV-related stuff. Apple TV is both the name for the set-top-box hardware device that you buy and connect to your TV, as well as the app that’s available on Apple TV (the set-top-box), as well as Macs, iPhones, and other TV operating systems. And then there’s Apple TV+, which is Apple’s streaming service and a competitor to Netflix, HBO Max, and others.
Apple’s TV app currently offers content from Apple’s own TV+ streaming service including originals like Severance, Ted Lasso, Silo, Shrinking, The Afterparty, Bad Sisters, The Changeling, Schmigadoon!, Foundation, Loot, Platonic, Hijack, The Morning Show, Invasion, and more as well as live sports channels, cable TV providers, and other streaming services, such as Disney+, HBO Max, and Hulu.
But Apple also has dedicated apps on its Apple TV set-top box for buying and renting movies and TV shows. As part of this overhaul, Apple will discontinue those, and remove the movie and TV show sections from the iTunes Store app on the iPhone and iPad.
The new Apple TV app will thus become the main hub for content on Apple TV and its other platforms. It will also update the app for other TV operating systems. The app itself will look a bit more like Netflix, the report claims, with a side panel on the left side for navigating various categories, though other details are absent.
The report doesn’t mention the fact that Apple’s TV app and Apple TV+ aren’t available in all markets. It remains to be seen what Apple plans to do with the Apple TV app and the standalone apps for buying and renting TV shows and movies in those markets.