Apple TV and Apple TV Continues to Get More and More Confusing

Apple has a problem on its hands. The name ‘Apple TV’ is confusing the heck out of people. Apple TV is not only hardware, but it’s an app, a service, plus the name of a content service: Apple TV+.

But there’s more to Apple TV. Dustin Curtis has a hilarious breakdown of just what Apple TV entails in 2019. Here’s a small snippet:

Apple TV is a hardware device.

?Apple TV is an app on Apple TV that curates content you can buy from Apple and also content you can stream through other installed apps (but not all apps, and there is no way to tell which ones).

Apple TV is an app on iOS/iPadOS devices that operates similarly to Apple TV on Apple TV. Apple TV on iOS/iPadOS syncs playback and watch history with Apple TV on Apple TV, but only if the iOS/iPadOS device has the same apps installed as the Apple TV – and not all apps are available on all platforms. Apple TV is also an app on macOS, but it does not show content that can only be streamed from external apps on an Apple TV or iOS/iPadOS device.

Yeah, you’re not alone to be confused by all this.

To make matters worse, the redesigned Apple TV app is difficult to find and watch Apple TV+ content (even with the small number of titles at launch). 9to5Mac’s Benjamin Mayo explains the problem–here’s one part:

I want the TV app to only show me the stuff that I pay for and can actually watch right now. Advertising of the full iTunes store or Apple TV Channels library should be in a separate tab, like a new “Browse” experience. The primary tabs like “TV Shows”, “Movies” and “Kids” should not be thinly-veiled ad platforms.

It’s also frustrating that the “Library” is not really a library. The Library only includes iTunes content. I want to be able to build a personal library of content regardless of how I paid for it. TV+ shows should be able to be saved to the library to find later, or any Apple TV Channels content for that matter. Obviously, you have to keep subscribing to be able to watch the shows that you didn’t buy outright. The Up Next queue is not enough organization on its own.

The tension of the TV app’s purpose is my primary issue. I want to treat TV+ like Netflix and I can’t do that today.

What do you think about the state of Apple TV and Apple TV+? Should Apple have waited to build up their library before launching?

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