Updated: September 12, 2019 3:00:26 pm
Apple TV+ is the company’s original content video streaming service, which was first announced back in March this year. At the iPhone 11 launch earlier this week, Apple confirmed the pricing for its video streaming service.
In the US, Apple TV+ costs $4.99, and is lower than services like Netflix, which starts at $12.99 for the standard plan. In India, Apple TV+ is even cheaper at Rs 99 per month. But what exactly is Apple TV+ and what will it offer? We answer all the questions around this.
What is Apple TV+? Is it live?
Apple TV+ is the original video content streaming service. The shows are not live, only the trailers are live. Apple TV+ service goes live on November 1. The service will be made available as part of the existing Apple TV app and there will be a dedicated Apple TV website as well. There’s no separate Apple TV+ app as such.
The key point here is that all the content on Apple TV+ is exclusive to this service. There’s no licensed programming from other platforms like what Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer. All the content has been specifically commissioned and created by Apple.
How much does Apple TV+ cost?
Apple TV+ service will cost Rs 99 per month in India and $4.99 in the US. Apple has actually priced the service lower in the Indian market. In comparison, Netflix in India starts at Rs 199 for the mobile online plan, and Rs 499 for the basic HD plan going up to Rs 799 per month. Amazon Prime, which includes the video and music service access costs Rs 129 per month in India and Rs 999 per year.
Apple TV+ will come with a seven-day free trial for the subscription. Users can choose to cancel after seven days if they do not wish to continue. The subscription will automatically renew at Rs 99 per month at the end of the free trial period. To subscribe to Apple TV+, users will need to update to iOS 12.3 or later, tvOS 12.3 or later and macOS Catalina.
How can customers avail the one year free offer for Apple TV+?
Apple says anyone purchasing a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch from September 10 onward will get one year subscription free for the TV+ service.
Starting November 1, customers will have to initiate the free offer in the Apple TV app on their device. Apple is giving customers three months after device activation to claim the offer. If the device was purchased and activated before the launch of Apple TV+, they will get three months more to claim the offer starting November 1.
The subscription will automatically renew at Rs 99 per month after one year. The free offer applies to both new and refurbished models, including devices from the iPhone Upgrade Program. Apple says the one year free deal will be available in all countries where Apple TV+ will launch, so India will also get the option.
Where will one be able to watch Apple TV+ content?
Of course, Apple TV+ service will work on iOS, macOS and tvOS platforms. The original content on the service can be watched both online and offline, ad-free and on demand on the Apple TV app.
Apple TV+ will also be available on the Apple TV app on select 2018, 2019 and newer Samsung smart TVs. The video streaming service will also come to Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future, though the exact date is not confirmed. The company has also mentioned this back in March, when it first showcased the service.
Apple also confirmed subscribers will be able to view the original content on web browsers like Safari, Chrome and Firefox. Subscribers will have to go to https://tv.apple.com to access the content.
Further, customers who have AirPlay 2-enabled on their Samsung, LG and VIZIO smart TVs will be able to play or mirror Apple TV+ original content from the app to their smart TV. They will need to update to iOS 12.3 or macOS Catalina in order to play/mirror the original content.
Customers with eligible Sony smart TVs will be able to enjoy AirPlay 2 support later this year, according to Apple’s statement, though once again no confirmed date has been given.
What about family sharing on Apple TV+?
Apple says up to six family members can share one Apple TV+ subscription and watch using their own Apple ID and password. But the one one-year offer is available per family, regardless of the number of devices purchased.
Will Apple release all episodes at once, just like Netflix does?
That is the interesting bit. Apple’s press release says that at launch, most Apple TV+ series will premiere with three episodes. One new episode will roll out each week. It has said that full seasons of some series will be available all at once, but has not specified the series.
What languages will Apple TV+ content support?
Apple TV’s original content will also be subtitled and/or dubbed in 40 languages. The company has not specified which languages for now. Apple will also have subtitles for the deaf, Hard-of-Hearing (SDH) or closed captions. The Apple TV+ series and movies will also be available with audio descriptions in eight languages.
What shows will Apple TV+streaming service have?
Apple has announced shows with some big names. The trailer for The Morning Show is live and it stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, who are also the executive producers. It also stars Steve Carell.
Apple also showcased the teaser for a new show called See, which is set in the distant future where humans have lost the power of vision and stars Jason Momoa. Servant will be a new psychological thriller from M Night Shyamalan. Steven Spielberg will have a show called Amazing Stories, though other details are not known. Apple is also teaming up with Oprah Winfrey for two unnamed shows.
Truth Be Told will star Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Emmy Award winner Aaron Paul. It will explore America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and navigate concerns about privacy, media and race.
An original film on Apple TV+ will be The Banker, which is inspired by a true story and stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L Jackson as two African American entrepreneurs, who try to provide housing loans to the African American community in the 1950s.
Other shows and movies Apple has confirmed are as follows
Dickinson is a dark comedy and coming-of-age story through the lens of well-known poet Emily Dickinson. For All Mankind is a new series from Ronald D Moore, best known for Star Trek, which will imagine what would have happened if the global space race had never ended.
Helpsters is a new children’s series from the makers of Sesame Street. There’s also a special Snoopy in Space, a new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media. Snoopy will be following his dream to be become an astronaut in this series.
Ghostwrite is another original series, while The Elephant Queen is documentary film about species on the verge of extinction and exclusive to Apple TV+. Little America is about the stories of immigrants in America. Hala is a feature film which follows a high school student’s struggle to balance being a teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.
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