If you’ve missed watching Jason Momoa on Game of Thrones or Oprah Winfrey on her own self-titled long-running show, starting today you can catch both plus more Hollywood stars on Apple TV Plus, the new video-streaming service launching today.
Apple’ premium service opens with a modest nine shows, with more coming, the company says. You can watch Apple TV Plus on a variety or Apple devices as well as a selection of smart TVs and streaming boxes. And while Apple is pricing the service at $4.99 a month, the company is offering a variety of ways to watch everything for free for the next 12 months.
Apple TV Plus is an important part of the company’s push into creating compelling services. Earlier this year, Apple launched two subscription services — the $9.99 a month Apple News Plus and $4.99 a month Apple Arcade — that join the $9.99 a month premium version of Apple Music and paid plans for iCloud storage. Services are a growing part of Apple’s business plan to bring in and hold on to customers: In its most recent fiscal quarter, Apple said it had 450 million paid subscriptions for its services, up 36% from a year ago.
Here’s what you need to start watching shows on Apple TV Plus.
When is Apple TV Plus’ launch date?
You can watch now, starting Nov. 1.
Which devices can I watch on?
With the Apple TV app, you can watch Apple’s streaming service on an iPhone ($699 at Amazon) or iPod touch ($180 at Walmart) running iOS 12.3 or later, an iPad ($345 at Walmart) running iPadOS, an Apple TV 4K ($169 at Walmart) and HD running tvOS 12.3 or later and a Mac running Catalina. A smart TV — such as newer Samsung TVs — or a streaming box that can run the Apple TV app, including Roku and Amazon Fire ($50 at Amazon) devices, should also work. No news on an app for Android devices. If you don’t have a compatible device, you can watch with a Safari, Firefox or Chrome browser at tv.apple.com.
How much does Apple’s service cost?
After a seven-day free trial, Apple TV Plus will run you $4.99 (£4.99, AU$7.99) a month. For comparison Disney Plus will be $7 a month, Netflix starts at $8.99 a month, and HBO Max will be $14.99 a month when it launches next year.
What about a family plan?
Through the service’s Family Sharing plan, six family members can share one Apple TV Plus subscription. Each family member can watch with their own Apple ID.
How do I watch for free?
If you purchased a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch on or after September 10, Apple will give you a free year of its streaming service. The offer includes devices purchased from Apple or an Apple authorized reseller and refurbished models.
To claim your free year to Apple TV Plus, make sure you are signed in with your Apple ID on your new device and open the Apple TV app. Apple notes you should be running the latest version of your device’s OS. After opening the app, Tap the Enjoy 1 Year Free button and follow the instructions. You should be ready to go for a year.
If you are a college student with an Apple Music student subscription, you can get Apple’s TV service bundled with your subscription for no additional cost. A student subscription is $4.99 a month.
Which shows can I watch?
At launch, Apple TV Plus will have:
- See, an epic thriller starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard.
- The Morning Show, a drama with Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell.
- Dickinson, a comedy about Emily Dickinson.
- For All Mankind, a reimagined space race.
- Helpsters, from the makers of Sesame Street.
- Snoopy in Space, a new Peanuts series.
- Ghostwriter, for the kids.
- The Elephant Queen, a documentary.
- Oprah Winfrey, the streaming service’s book club.
Apple said it will add more shows to its service each month, including Servant, a thriller coming later this month from M. Night Shyamalan.
Apple service opens less than two weeks before.