Apple TV plus Stream-in Now
With a number of streaming providers out there in the market, it is really a good time for the consumers who enjoy video content. Since Netflix had become a household name, a lot of others followed suit, and only a few could make it on a profitable note like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO. And the newest contender to enter the streaming wars is Apple TV+.
Launched on 1st Nov, 2019, Apple TV plus is Apple’s answer to Amazon, Netflix, and Disney plus. The subscription service is Apple’s first foray into the original video content which was announced with little fanfare in March 2019, Completely with celebrity appearances like Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Speilberg, and Jason Mamoa; that is a lot of hype. Right? But now that it is out there for more than 6 months, does it deliver? This is our detailed Apple tv plus review after 6 months and a report on how it is performing in its probationary period.
Of all the top streaming services currently available such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and those still in development like Peacock, HBO max, Apple’s new platform is by far the most baffling. Unlike the aforementioned competitors, Apple TV+ doesn’t include an impressive library of old movies and TV shows to stream at launch. It is filled with more originals so that there is not even a single licensed show brought from other productions.
Cashing on the Customer Base
For the price of $4.99 in the US per month and Rs.99 in India, there is nothing remarkable to watch here. But when you are a tech giant just like Apple with a market value north of 1 trillion dollars, why not debut your own shiny new streaming service? All the school kids are doing it these days. Currently, Apple may not have anything great like Disney+ or HBO Max, but it does have one enviable advantage over the others. While every streaming service out there is trying hard to score a really good user base, Apples’ install base itself is massive with 1.4 billion Apple devices only in the US, and this is the biggest advantage that Apple has in its hands, and there is nothing wrong in trying to capitalize on it.
If you have purchased a new iPhone 11 series, iPad series, iPod Touch, Mac, or Apple TV on or after 10th Sept 2019, then you get a year of Apple TV+ free subscription. Apple tv plus appears to be an effort from the company to keep its millions of customers locked within its tech ecosystem via free subscriptions with new Apple purchases, but even if you are a current device owner or thinking of picking up a piece of its hardware in the future, Apple TV+ is the right streaming platform for you.
Following the digital footsteps of Voodoo and Amazon Prime Video, Apple wisely offers an ala carte to subscribe to premium networking channels like HBO, Star, without ever having to leave the app. While it is a smart way to try and become a one-stop-shop for its users, it is nothing new as Amazon Prime Video is already doing it with a huge library.
Apple TV plus’ strongest feature is its smooth user interface which Apple knows how to create an easy to navigate platform with its tried and true operating systems across the devices. Arguably Netflix remains the benchmark for user experience when it comes to streaming services, the fact that it’s easily accessible across platforms and devices, easy and efficient to search and browse, and Apple has to go a long way to reach the same league. But it is nice that Apple has brought that seamless user experience to streaming, and just like Amazon, Disney plus, Netflix, Apple TV plus offers its users the ability to download episodes.
Also, something Netflix has to take into account is that Apple offers 4k HDR streaming for no extra charge. The only problem is its lack of availability. It is not available on other platforms like Xbox, ps4, and of course, on android devices, while Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney plus are available on other devices as well.
In terms of availability, Apple seems to be more limited. It is accessible only through Apple’s website and Tv app, which is available on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs as well as Amazon fire sticks, ROKU devices, and Smart TVs. However, there are apps for users of Android and Windows, and users of Chromecast and Android tv will need to find workarounds.
As far as the UI, well, that depends on how you feel about the Apple TV app, like everything Apple, it’s smooth and sleek at first glance; however, it does lack some handy features like autoplay and preview. It also mixes in Apple TV plus shows with everything in the iTunes catalog. So you have to scroll down to the apple tv plus channel. Poor Lazy fingers!!
Pros of Apple TV plus
Adult Content on-board
We all expected that Apple would have tricked the language used, and they would not allow profane language usage on their content, but guess what? Apple has broken all the speculations into pieces by allowing adult content in its shows. We all hate that pg13 rating. Isn’t it? Adult content not just happens to be bedroom scenes but also a real fight scene. It is pleasant to report that Apple tv+ does not simmer down on profanity. That said, it doesn’t mean that Apple tv plus is one size fits all. It also has cartoons for kids and family-friendly content, which proves that Apple tv plus tries to serve the entire range of demography as far as content is considered.
Superb Video Quality
Now watching Apple Tv+ on any Apple devices is completely another experience. It almost feels like you are watching content in 8k or something. We just don’t know what they have done to the bit rate or resolution or something, but when you watch Apple TV plus on your iPad Pro, you will definitely WOW. It is clear, crispy, flows smoothly and fluidly. The video quality is unmatchable on any streaming platform out there in the market, much better even than the pioneers of streaming, but you have to experience it to accept it.
Now, another cool thing you get with any Apple devices is that being in the ecosystem, you can easily switch devices and continue seamlessly from where you left. The continuity is what makes you stay with the Apple ecosystem.
Quality of Content
While we are receiving a mixed reaction on this part from most of the fans, but ‘The Morning Show‘ starring Jennifer Aniston, Roose Witherspoon, and Steve Carroll, getting recommended for the Golden Globe in its first season is something amazing. That’s why Apple had invested in all Hollywood A-listers, and it is not ending there.
Some underrated Apple tv plus best shows like ‘Dickinson’ are also garnering accolades from fans – which is all about the great poet, Emily Dickinson; it is all about her early years where she was trying to discover herself and her identity and writing forms in a time where women were not allowed to write.
Another underrated show that is welcomed by fans is ‘For all mankind,’ which tells us an alternate history where Russians are landing on the moon and things like that. The most expected biggest legit here is ‘SEE’ starring Jason Momoa, which is honestly not that great.
While you do have a different genre of content here for all demographics, they are all only one content for each genre, which is growing at the moment. There are only 18 shows(14 series + 4 movies), but it seems that every month they are adding a new show, so they are definitely adding to that catalog. But right now, it is true that the catalog is just a spark, and the flame is yet to grow.
Cons of Apple TV plus
Apple Product Placement
Well, this is not a bummer for me, but many netizens mentioned that they don’t see any other devices other than Apple in all the shows, which is kinda true.
But the other thing that would bother us is that the show timings are all shorter, running only for a maximum of 30 to 35 min. Though some shows like the Morning Show run for an hour, many of the content runs only for a maximum of 30 min. Where are we actually? This is 2020 Apple, and we all are used to binge-watching content or marathon watching TV shows, and in this era, you can not do this to us. Give me at least one hour of longer content, which takes us to the next con.
Weekly Content Delivery
Another thing that many were complaining about is that many Apple tv plus best shows cannot be binge-watched because there are only a few episodes, and if you want to know the climax, you have to wait for the next episode to be released the next week. This weekly content delivery system is not useful, and this will not bear fruit even in the longer run. Weekly episodic content is not binge-able, and this weakens the Apple TV plus subscriptions. Does it make sense to you, Apple?
Apple TV plus – Is it good?
While the assemblage of talent both in the front and behind the camera is impressive, there is simply not enough content available to compete in this already crowded streaming landscape. Although Apple tv plus’ smooth user interface and easy to download offline viewing features cant make up for its uninspired library of movies and tv shows to stream. However, I would like to close this Apple TV plus review with a caution note for Netflix: Apple tv plus is one to keep an eye on and definitely has huge potential.