Apple is finally unifying the TV streaming experience with new app

Tim Cook once infamously stated that the future of TV was apps. He was wrong. It turns out that it’s one app – it’s called 'TV' and Apple introduced it to the world at Thursday's 'Hello Again' Mac event.

The TV app collects content from different sources like HBO Now, CBS All-Access and FOX NOW into a single spot. 

"The TV app is coming to Apple TV and iOS app via a software update for free beginning in the US by the end of the year," Tim Cook said on stage at Thursday's keynote.

The app was demonstrated on stage by Apple designer Jen Folse and looks, a bit, like your standard Netflix or HBO Now app. There's an Up Next queue which picks up on shows you might not have finished during a previous session which sits inside of the Watch Now section that highlights shows in a series that you've been binging on. 

One example Folse gave on stage was for the show The Big Bang Theory. After watching the previous few episodes, the TV app predicted she'd want the latest episode available in the Watch Now section.

Scroll down and you'll find the Recommended section that highlights shows Apple TV thinks you're going to like based on your previous watching habits.

Finally, the Library and Store sections will allow you to watch shows and movies from your iTunes library and purchase new TV shows and movies from Apple directly. The Store section will also feature shows and applications that you may not have downloaded, which might uncover even more content that you might otherwise would not have known about.

Neither Folse nor Cook stated how many apps would be integrated into the TV app, but near the beginning of the presentation Cook had stated that there are some around 1,600 video streaming apps available on the service. 

Interestingly, however, Netflix was never mentioned by name during the presentation, which means it might be missing when the app launches later this year.

Coming to you live from Apple TV

One other major talking point at this morning's event was the ability for Apple TV to tune into live events – either by asking Siri directly or by navigating to the all-new Twitter experience to watch NFL, MLB and NBA games.

One way in which you might use the new Siri integration is by asking something like "Which games are on right now?” After listing all games available to watch through your installed streaming apps, you can then say things like, “Watch the Stanford game.”

You can also tune directly to live video by just saying the name of the app, for example “Watch CBS News” without having to navigate to the live stream from within the app. 

While the TV app won't be available until later this year, the live tune-in function will be available starting today.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.