What you need to know
- Apple's new "Apple TV" app is available today.
- It's part of the tvOS 12.3 and iOS 12.3 update, also available today.
- It's also available on select Samsung smart TVs, which also now have AirPlay 2.
The biggest news from CES 2019 — that Apple and Samsung started playing nice, with the former bringing its Apple TV app and AirPlay 2 to the latter — has now come to fruition.
Apple today has released new software updates for its Apple TV box and iOS devices (as in the iPhone and iPad) in more than 100 countries that brings the all new Apple TV app to those devices. Same goes for Samsung smart TVs from 2019, and select 2018 model sets. (Updates for TVs from LG, Vizio and Sony are coming later this year.) In addition to the new Apple TV app, those smart TVs also are gaining the ability to use Apple's HomeKit smart home standard, as well as AirPlay 2.
The big deal with the new Apple TV app (right now, at least) is that you'll be able to subscribe to various channels right from within the Apple TV app, which theoretically should make things easier on everyone. In the United States, such channels include HBO, STARZ, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade, MTV Hits and more. There's also a new kids section, and family sharing allows for family sharing with up to six people.
This is all a predicate for the new Apple TV+ subscription service, which Apple previewed at an event this spring and will bring a host of exclusive content to the platform later this fall.
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