Apple’s new MacBook Pros with Touch Bar controllers might have stolen the show at its Cupertino event today, but there was also a significant update to the company’s TV ecosystem. A new app, simply called TV, will be coming to Apple TV, iPad and iPhone for free later this year, and will unify the content that users buy and subscribe to across multiple services.
The interface might hold clues to what Apple was often rumoured to be working on, though the company was earlier expect to launch its own TVs. With the new app, shows, movies and even live events are sorted and organised within the TV app’s interface. You can use Siri to launch into a video just by its name, or by the name of a channel or service, or even by the name of a sports team. A queue called Up Next will show what you’ve been watching recently, and will automatically sync across devices. Recommendations curated by human agents will also be visible.
Apple also showed off interactive content in a demonstration by Twitter which merged real-time conversations and reactions with content playing live. Twitter will be bringing sports matches, general news and special election coverage to users for free, in partnership with BuzzFeed and Bloomberg, among others. Users can jump into conversations, vote in polls, and experience TV in a whole new way.
Services in the US include Hulu, Starz, HBO Go, DirecTV, Dish network, and of course iTunes. Users will be able to rent or buy content within the interface.
In another announcement, Minecraft will be coming to Apple TV. In total there are now over 8,000 apps currently available in the Apple TV app store, including 2,000 games and 1,600 content apps.
Apple also showed off improved iOS functions for Japan, such as detailed transit information in Maps including fares comparison and local signs. CEO Tim Cook pointed out that iOS 10 is now running on 60 percent of compatible Apple devices, whereas the latest version of Android has barely 1 percent penetration and won’t even be available on the majority of Android devices.
Finally, it was reiterated the Apple Watch Nike+ will go on sale tomorrow, with India in the first wave of launch countries. It will be priced at at Rs. 32,900 and Rs. 34,900 for the 38mm and 42mm versions respectively. This variant of the Apple Watch Series 2 integrates the Nike+ Run Club app which features workout guidance, and also has unique Sport Bands and watch faces.