Cord-cutters now have more options than ever before when it comes to viewing the programs they love. From live TV services like Sling TV to on-demand powerhouses like Netflix, there are no shortage of options for TV fans who have cancelled cable. Now, Apple has introduced another option to consider: it’s called Apple TV+, and it’s available now (it launched in early November, 2019). But is Apple TV+ worth it?
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Apple TV+ Review: At a Glance
- Apple TV+ is an online streaming service for on-demand video (no live coverage)
- It costs $4.99 per month, with no contract
- At launch, Apple TV+ includes only exclusive Apple Originals that aren’t found anywhere else
- Show selection is very limited right now, but we expect it to expand rapidly
- It works on many devices (any device that has the Apple TV app)
- It’s a standalone service; you don’t need cable or any other services to use it (besides internet)
Apple TV+ launched in early November 2019. As of the launch date, the service only offers a handful of shows (see below), but they are all original Apple productions that you can’t watch anywhere else. With some big-ticket shows with popular actors, Apple hopes to draw in new subscribers, despite the relative lack of selection.
Is Apple TV+ Worth It?
This website is all about helping people cut the cord and save money, while still having access to the programming they love. In that context, is Apple TV+ worth the money?
Possibly – but at this point, the selection of content is very limited, making it hard to recommend the service at this point in time.
What Apple TV+ does well is offer a decent selection of original content. So if you’re getting bored with your existing options, you can subscribe to Apple TV Plus to gain access to some new shows that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s too early to tell just how popular these shows will be, but from what we’ve seen so far, Apple has put a lot of effort into producing high quality original content.
The price point is also attractive. $4.99 per month makes Apple TV+ one of the cheapest streaming services out there today. At the same time, for the ~10 or so shows available at launch, $4.99 still seems a bit steep.
So, is Apple TV+ worth it? Right now, not particularly – although as the service expands and offers more content, we expect it to become a lot more valuable of a tool for cord-cutters.
Shows on Apple TV+ (At Launch)
What can you watch on Apple TV+? At launch, the Apple TV+ shows list was pretty small, although it did contain several highly anticipated big-budget shows that fans were eager to check out. Here are some highlights:
The Morning Show
The Morning Show is a drama about a fictional morning talk/news show, and all the behind-the-scenes drama that takes place on and off-set. It stars Steve Carrel, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Overall, The Morning Show is one of the most highly anticipated shows on Apple TV+, mostly due to the star-studded cast.
See is a dystopian, futuristic drama based on a future where humans have lost the gift of sight. It stars Jason Mamoa and Alfre Woodard, and is directed by Francis Lawrence (director of The Hunger Games trilogy).
Dickinson is a period comedy-drama about the life of Emily Dickinson, a famous poet. It stars Hailee Steinfeld and is written by Alena Smith (writer of the popular HBO drama The Newsroom).
For All Mankind
For All Mankind is a drama exploring how events may have unfolded differently had the Soviet Union beat the United States to the moon in the 1960s, and the Space Race had never concluded. It’s written and created by Ronald D. More, the creator of Battlestar Galactica.
Helpsters is a children’s educational program aimed at preschoolers. It seeks to introduce the principles of coding as a way of helping people. It’s created by the same team behind the iconic Sesame Street program.
Apple TV+’s programming also includes a show based on Snoopy, a reboot of the 1990’s Ghostwriter TV show, a book club show starring Oprah Winfrey, and a documentary that follows the lives of an elephant herd.
These are just the shows that Apple TV+ launched with; more are certainly on the way soon. More information on shows coming up soon can be found here.
Apple TV+ Features
Apple TV+ is an on-demand service, meaning everything is on-demand and there are no live streaming options. Beyond that, the service offers some unique features, outlined below.
Offline Viewing – Apple TV+ allows you to download programs to select devices to view later. This also means you can watch when offline, including on airplanes.
Sound & Video Quality – Apple TV+ has excellent sound and video quality, with up to 4k HDR video and Dolby Atmos sound.
Family Sharing – A single Apple TV+ plan can be shared with several family members without additional cost.
Apple Originals – Apple TV+ is the exclusive home of these new Apple Original shows and movies. Several viewing options are available as of launch, and Apple plans to add new shows at a rate of at least one per month.
Apple TV+ Pricing and Availability
How much does Apple TV+ cost? At the time of launch, the price is $4.99 per month. There is no contract required, so you are free to cancel at any time.
The service is available nationwide in the United States, and many other countries. Since Apple owns all the content on the platform, we expect the service to roll out to most markets that Apple operates in.
For a limited time, Apple is also running a promo for people who buy new Apple products. If you purchase a new Apple product (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, etc.) on or after September 10, 2019, you can get a free year of Apple TV+. While a year of the service only costs $60 (and most Apple products are quite a bit more than that), it’s nonetheless a great deal for people who planned to buy Apple products anyway.
What Devices Work with Apple TV+?
Obviously, this service is going to work the best on Apple TV devices and other Apple products. With that said, the service actually runs through the existing Apple TV app, so any device that can use the Apple TV app can also access Apple TV+. At this time, the Apple TV+ device list includes:
- iPhone and iPad
- Apple TV
- iMac and Macbook laptops
- AirPlay devices
- Select smart TVs from Samsung and Roku
- Roku devices and smart TVs
- Windows computers
- Amazon Fire TV devices
While the device compatibility is not as extensive as a competitor like Netflix, it’s still nice to see Apple supporting other devices and not requiring the ownership of an Apple device.
Want to learn more about cutting the cord and switching to streaming? Make sure to check out our guide on how to get rid of cable TV.