Apple just announced a new TV app for Apple TV, and it’s basically going to be useless. The TV app is supposed to keep track of all the shows you watch across apps available on Apple TV, but there’s a huge catch. The TV app will not include Netflix or Amazon Video, two of the most popular subscription video streaming services.
To be fair, Amazon has never had an app on Apple TV. That’s probably because the company has been too busy working on its own competing devices in the Fire TV stick and Fire TV. Amazon also quietly banned Apple TV from its website back in October 2015.
But Apple doesn’t have much of an excuse for leaving out Netflix. The streaming service has long been considered the most important (and for some people, the only important) streaming service available. It’s also surely one of the most popular apps on Apple TV. Yet, Apple casually left out whether Netflix would be included in its keynote speech today. Wired later confirmed with Netflix spokesperson that it will not be included.
So what does that mean? Well, for starters, you can still watch Netflix on your Apple TV, but you’ll have to use the regular Netflix app rather than the new TV app. You can’t watch Amazon Video at all on your Apple TV, again, because Amazon hasn’t built an app. So if the new TV app is meant to show you all of your favourite streaming shows, you're not going to see a single thing from Netflix or Amazon on there. For me, that basically renders Apple’s fancy new TV app useless.
Apple also showed off the app’s ability to stream news, sports, and other services, but it’s important to note that those services will also require their own logins to authenticate, just like regular Apple TV apps. So, in order to get the most out of the TV app, you’ll need to be a subscriber to a bunch of other services or you’re just stuck with the iTunes Store. These limitations are not exactly what cord-cutters like myself are looking for.
If you were thinking this new app would be a killer feature for Apple TV, think again. It’s actually going to be pretty limited without two of the most popular streaming services at launch. So if you’re looking for an intelligent way to discover new shows and keep track of your favorites, you’re probably better off sticking to the Netflix and Amazon Video home pages for now.