Apple TV Plus is now firmly in the second half of its first year in the streaming service market, and it's tough to figure out how it's doing. Despite Apple's investment in big, expensive programming with massive stars like The Morning Show, the platform doesn't compare to the likes of Netflix and Hulu right now. Clearly, though, Apple is prepared for the long haul, with loads planned for 2020 and beyond, including its expensive-looking adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation.
The busy flow of Apple TV Plus shows hasn't ceased in 2020, either, with this year bringing the likes of Chris Evans drama Defending Jacob, and videogame-themed Mythic Quest from the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-creators. The future of movies on the platform is exciting, too: Apple is backing a $150 million+ movie from Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, according to reports.
At WWDC 2020, Apple confirmed the Apple TV app was coming to Sony and Vizio TVs this summer, too, allowing more people to access its content. Greyhound, starring Tom Hanks, is the latest big release on the service.
If you've picked up a new Apple device with a year's Apple TV Plus membership, or you're happy to sling another streamer a monthly fee to stay entertained in these days of social distancing, here we'll break down the Apple TV Plus price, the shows and movies available now, and what's on the way.
- Our Apple TV Plus review
- The best 2020 TV shows, including Mythic Quest
- The best streaming services compared
Apple TV Plus shows: what's coming up in 2020, including movies
50 years in the making. Isaac Asimov’s epic Sci-Fi universe comes to Apple TV+ 2021: https://t.co/SbImWPSSoR #Foundation pic.twitter.com/LEGYXFvskmJune 22, 2020
Apple TV Plus shows are releasing at a regular pace throughout 2020. Here's what's coming up in the near-future for the service, as well as other projects that have been announced over the last few years. Check out the above trailer for Foundation, too, which Apple recently debuted at WWDC.
- Greatness Code (documentary): July 10
- Greyhound (movie): July 10
- Little Voice: July 10
- Foundation: 2021
- The Shrink Next Door: TBC
- Swan Song (movie): TBC
- Suspicion: TBC
- Boys State (documentary): TBC
- Masters of the Air: TBC
- Slow Horses: TBC
- Severance: TBC
- El Gato Negro: TBC
- Ted Lasso: TBC
- Swagger: TBC
- The Mosquito Coast: TBC
- Mr. Corman: TBC
- Prehistoric Planet (documentary): TBC
- My Glory Was I Had Such Friends: TBC
- Losing Earth: TBC
- Wolfwalkers: TBC
- Pachinko: TBC
- Calls: TBC
- You Think It, I'll Say It: TBC
- A Christmas Carol: TBC
- Killers of the Flower Moon: TBC
- Tehran: TBC
- Custom of the Country: TBC
- Physical: (TBC)
- Extrapolations: TBC
- Lisey's Story: TBC
- Sharper: TBC
- On the Rocks: TBC
Apple TV Plus has plenty shows and movies coming up, a lot of them featuring big-name stars. Take the Scorsese-directed Killers of the Flower Moon, for instance, a 'large-scale Western' starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.
In terms of upcoming shows that are worth knowing about, here are a few highlights. The Shrink Next Door is based on the 2019 podcast of the same name, and it'll star Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd. Foundation is a sci-fi series based on the books by Isaac Asimov, and starring Chernobyl's Jared Harris and Lee Pace. Severance, directed and produced by Ben Stiller, is a dark workplace thriller featuring Adam Scott from Parks and Recreation.
You can also expect second seasons in the future for existing Apple TV Plus shows like Mythic Quest, See, The Morning Show, For All Mankind, Truth Be Told, Home Before Dark, Little America, Dickinson, Servant and Trying.
Apple TV shows: TV series, movies and documentaries you can stream now
Wondering which Apple TV Plus shows are available to stream now? Check out this quick list of what's available to watch:
- The Morning Show
- For All Mankind
- Snoopy in Space
- Oprah's Book Club (factual)
- The Elephant Queen
- Truth Be Told (documentary)
- Little America
- Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet
- Visible: Out on Television (documentary)
- Amazing Stories
- Home Before Dark
- Beastie Boys Story (documentary)
- Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth (documentary)
- Oprah Talks Covid-19
- Fraggle Rock: Rock On
- The Banker (movie)
- Central Park
The shows on Apple TV Plus are hit and miss, but Mythic Quest is the best Apple TV Plus series yet. Fans of sitcoms, videogames, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia will love Rob McElhenney's comedy about the fictional creators of a World of Warcraft-esque MMO. Some comedies take entire seasons to reach the characterization and humour Mythic Quest establishes in its opening episodes. As mentioned, season 2 is on the way.
On the weaker side is See, beautiful visuals - and we're not just talking about Jason Momoa, here - and expensive set design fail to hide a lack of character development in this near future where a virus has annihilated mankind, leaving its survivors blind.
Little America, however, is a diverse anthology of American immigrant stories, all wildly different in time and place, but each heartfelt tale is united by its restless humanity and desire for a better, less-divided world. Don't miss that, Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson, and M. Night Shyamalan's uncanny horror, Servant.
You'll also want to check out Beastie Boys Story, a recent documentary about the band that's worth subscribing for alone.
Apple TV Plus cost: here's the price of the service
Apple TV Plus costs just $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 per month – and, if you buy an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or AppleTV, you'll get a year's subscription for free.
Apple TV Plus free trial: how to get one
Apple TV Plus has a seven-day free trial, and after that you'll be set to recurring billing for a monthly fee. It's easy to grab a trial. Just download Apple TV which contains all the Apple TV Plus content, and you'll be greeted with an ad for the service, as well as an invitation for a free trial.
The free trial gets you everything on the service in that seven days, so make the most of it. You only get one free trial for Apple TV Plus.
Apple TV Plus devices: here's where you can download the Apple TV app
Apple TV is available on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Make sure your firmware is updated so you can access it. The app is also available on Mac. It's also available on third-generation Apple TV devices, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. You can also download it on Samsung Smart TVs from 2018 onwards, Amazon Fire TV, LG Smart TVs and Roku devices.
It's coming to Vizio and Sony Smart TVs this summer, too.
You can watch the service in browsers for PC.
Is Apple TV Plus on Android?
There is no Android app for Apple TV, but you can watch it in a supported web browser on Android devices
Is Apple TV Plus on PS4?
No, Apple TV Plus is not on PS4 right now. The lack of Apple TV Plus on PS4, Xbox One and other games consoles is still an enormous oversight. Apple, though, will bring the app to more devices in the future, which will hopefully include games consoles.
What are Apple TV channels?
In addition to Apple TV Plus, Apple introduced Apple TV Channels, which combines cable subscription services and streaming services like Amazon Prime Video into the Apple TV app. (Unfortunately, however, Apple TV Channels doesn't incorporate Netflix.) Availability varies depending on where you are. Read more about Apple TV Plus channels here.
So Apple TV Plus is like Netflix?
This is where things get a little confusing. While on stage, Tim Cook made it very clear that Apple TV Plus isn't like Netflix – at least not yet. While the service will offer original content by the boatload, Apple TV Plus doesn't offer licensed content like Netflix or Amazon Prime does, which covers all syndicated shows, like The Big Bang Theory, Mr. Robot or Seinfeld. That, though, may change in future based on a Bloomberg report which points towards more licensed shows and films coming to the service.
For now, you'll still have to buy those shows through iTunes or via your terrestrial cable app in Apple TV Channels and turn to Apple TV Plus for its library of originals.
The service really needs to be rolled out on more platforms, too, if Apple TV Plus wants a shot at taking on Netflix. For now, this suite of high-budget originals doesn't really compare. But Apple certainly has the money to mount a proper challenge against the king of streaming services in the long term.
- Disney Plus: the Disney streaming service launched in November 2019