The online streaming industry is becoming more crowded by the day. A landscape that used to be dominated by Netflix and Amazon Prime now has many, many services to choose from. One of the latest is Apple TV+, a new streaming service coming directly from Apple. Below, find our Apple TV+ review to learn more about this new service.
What is Apple TV+?
Apple TV+ is a new online streaming service that lets you watch shows, movies and original programming from all your favorite devices. It’s an on-demand service, similar to Netflix – so you won’t get live TV, sports, or news programming. What you will get is a decent – and rapidly growing – selection of on-demand shows and movies to binge-watch on your own schedule.
Apple TV Plus launched just recently, on November 1st, 2019. It costs just $4.99 per month, and does not require a contract.
At this point, the selection of programming is somewhat limited. However, it does include a number of intriguing shows that are exclusive to Apple TV+, including the star-studded “The Morning Show”. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of this service in the review below.
How Much Does Apple TV+ Cost?
Apple TV+ costs just $4.99 per month, which is quite a steal compared to most competitors. There’s even a free 7-day trial to test out!
There’s no contract required with this service, so you can cancel it at any time.
Apple TV+ Free Year Deal
You may even be able to get Apple TV+ free for a year, if you purchase a new or refurbished Apple device. To qualify, you must have purchased a new Apple TV, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Mac, on or after September 10th, 2019.
To redeem this offer, simply use your new device to open the Apple TV app, and you should get a pop-up advertising the offer. If not, scroll down into the “watch now” section and you should see an advertisement for Apple TV+. Follow the instructions to redeem your free year of Apple TV+
What Can You Watch on Apple TV+?
As of the Apple TV+ launch date (November 1st), selection of shows on Apple TV Plus is quite limited. Right now, there are only a handful of shows available on the service – all of which are Apple Originals.
Right now, here’s what you can watch on Apple TV+:
- The Morning Show, starring Steve Carrel, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. A behind-the-scenes look at a fictional morning talk show.
- See, starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard. A dystopian drama about a future where humans have lost the ability to see.
- Oprah’s Book Club, starring Oprah Winfrey and Ta-Nehisi Coates. A talk show about books featuring Oprah Winfrey.
- For All Mankind, starring Joel Kinnaman, Shantel VanSanten and Michael Dorman. A fictional period drama based on the premise that the Russians beat the US to the moon.
- Dickinson, starring Hailee Steinfeld, Jane Krakowski, and Matt Lauria. A period drama based on poet Emily Dickinson.
- Amazing Stories, starring Edward Burns, Austin Stowell and Kerry Bishe.
- Animated shows from the makers of Sesame Street
- Animated shows from the Snoopy series
Right now, there’s not a whole lot of selection on this service. That said, the Apple TV+ shows that we have watched have had great production value, and a star-studded cast. The Morning Show and See are particularly intriguing for adults, while the kids shows based on Sesame Street and Snoopy are sure to be exciting for the young ones!
We fully expect Apple to rapidly expand the content selection on the service, although we’ll admit that we were a bit disappointed at the small selection on launch. Hopefully there is a lot more on the way!
What Devices are Compatible with Apple TV Plus?
Apple TV+ works on any device that has the Apple TV app. Currently, that includes:
- Apple TV
- AirPlay devices
- Samsung Smart TVs
- Roku devices & smart TVs
- Amazon Fire TV devices
Apple TV+ does not have its own app, but instead simply works through the existing Apple TV app. A full list of supported devices can be found here.
Unique Features of Apple TV Plus
Does the service have any unique features that set it apart from competitors? There are a few noteworthy technical features to note:
Family Share Plans – All Apple TV+ subscriptions can be shared with family members at no additional cost.
4K HDR Content – Many Apple TV+ programs are available to stream in 4K HDR picture quality, for those with 4K-capable devices
Dolby Atmos Sound – Apple TV+ shows feature sound tech from Dolby Atmos, for a rich, three-dimensional sound.
New Shows Every Month – Apple plans to launch new Apple Originals onto the Apple TV+ program at a rate of at least one per month. You can read more about upcoming shows here.
Apple TV+ Review: Our Take
So, how does Apple TV+ stack up? Is it worth the cost?
At this point, it’s tough to say. The show selection at launch was underwhelming to say the least, but we fully expect them to add more shows soon. As the service expands, it’s likely to become a more viable competitor to the more established services in the space – for now, it’s a bit of a novelty.
With that said, the price is attractive at $4.99, making it far cheaper than most competing services. And the fact that it’s all original programming is nice – these are all shows you can’t find anywhere else. If you end up enjoying one of the shows, the $5/month is well worth it for most people.
In terms of functionality, the service works well – it’s integrated into the existing Apple TV app, so there’s no surprises there. Image quality, buffering speed, sound quality, etc. were all up to par in our tests.
So, is Apple TV+ worth it? If you’re a fan of original shows, and are intrigued by any of the new Apple TV+ shows, then it’s certainly worth checking out. With the 7-day free trial, there’s no risk or expense to test the service out – try it out for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments below!