The Apple TV app that you know and love isn't going anywhere, but Apple TV+ (Apple TV Plus) is a brand-new platform that could eventually rival Netflix, Hulu, and any other streaming services that you use to enjoy this era of peak TV. With the names being so similar — Apple this and Apple that — it can get a little confusing, so here's what you need to know about how and what you can watch when the new service launches on Nov. 1.
How do you watch?
First, you don't need the physical Apple TV hardware to enjoy the streaming service. While Apple says that the hardware is the best way to experience Apple TV+, any Apple product will have access, including iPads and iPhones. All you need to do to access Apple's slate of programming is download the Apple TV app in the App Store. The palm-sized set-top box you may be familiar with just lets you stream on your actual TV instead of a mobile device or tablet.
How much does it cost?
Once you've downloaded the app, it's pretty straightforward, especially if you're used to using Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or the current Apple TV interface. Apple TV+ is a channel you can subscribe to for $5 a month starting on Nov. 1, and, according to The Verge, shouldn't be looked at like a direct competitor to Hulu and Netflix because it will feature only original content.
What shows will be available?
Instead of offering content from other studios and building a library of exclusive shows, Apple is focusing on its in-house productions. (So don't expect Friends to enter their catalog anytime soon.) CNet has the complete list, which includes the following:
The Morning Show (starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell), a show about the "high-stakes world" of morning news.
Dickinson, a comedic take on the life of poet Emily Dickinson starring Hailee Steinfeld and 30 Rock's Jane Krakowski.
See (starring Jason Momoa), a thriller set in a world in which most of mankind has been wiped out by a virus — however, those few who survive have become blind.
For All Mankind, a sci-fi drama which imagines an America in which the USSR had won the space race.
Ghostwriter, a reboot of the 1990s children's series, will be available at launch.
Truth Be Told (starring Aaron Paul and Octavia Spencer), a story of a true crime podcaster who may have helped put an innocent man behind bars.
Servant, a psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, is set to premiere on November 28.
Other planned releases include a biographical series based on the life of NBA basketball player Kevin Durant; a limited series based on Stephen King's Lisey's Story starring Julianne Moore; as well as an untitled Brie Larson drama series. Oprah, too, is expected to get in on the Apple action, with the release of a documentary.
There is also a full slate of comedy shows, reality programming, and even home improvement series in the works and ready for the Nov. 1 launch. Carpool Karaoke is set to become an Apple TV+ series with more celebrities — but without James Corden.
How does this change the Apple TV you already use?
Currently, the Apple TV device allows users to watch HBO, Hulu, and other services using their third-party apps. That functionality isn't going anywhere, and Apple is hoping to make everything as seamless as possible. Netflix and other streaming services will have their own price tags and still be accessible through Apple TV.
Apple is also making sharing a little easier. Apple TV allows family sharing for up to six family members and even lets you download episodes to watch offline.
Vizio, Sony, and LG TVs will soon ship with Apple TV already installed, and Apple plans to have the app available on OS products (like the MacBook line) later this year. Additionally, Roku and Amazon's Fire TV devices will have access as well, though Apple didn't give a timeline for that expansion.