Apple TV Plus is now live: can it pull square eyes away from Netflix?

(Image credit: Apple)

Are you ready for a blind caveman version of Jason Momoa? Good, because See, the new sci-fi show in which he stars, starts screening alongside a host of other programmes as Apple TV Plus is now live.

This is Apple's long-awaited entry into the TV subscription space and it's available anywhere you can get the Apple TV app. So that's pretty much all current Apple products with a screen, plus a few third party partners such as Samsung TVs, Amazon Fire TV devices and Roku sticks.

Apple TV Plus (or Apple TV+, to use Apple's own styling) will cost $4.99 / £4.99 / AED 19.99 a month, but everyone has access to a seven day free trial. Buy a new qualifying Apple product – including an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac or Apple TV streaming box – and you get a year's worth of free access to the service. 

That's backdated to devices bought since September 10, 2019, too. Accounts give access to six people's simultaneous streams as part of Family Sharing – it'll be interesting to see how many "families" look to take advantage of that before Apple lays down the ban hammer.

Downloads, formats and shows

If you're watching on a macOS or iOS device, you'll also get access to offline viewing for shows, with most of the Apple series being served up in premium 4K resolution, complete with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos overhead surround-sound options.

Apple's range of content is solid, and the production values for shows like See, Helpsters, For All Mankind and The Morning Show are high. But there's no legacy content and only a small library to begin with, so those shows better really draw viewers in if Apple wants to retain custom.

Services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have a massive headstart, not only with installed users, not only with the huge wealth of in-house programming and movies they've produced, but also in having signed up hundreds of hours of external studio's movies and other network's TV shows as part of their subscription packages. 

At launch at least, Apple is banking on the appeal of its exclusives, but it'll lack the comfort of being able to turn to a recognisable franchise or film series that so many viewers crave. They'll remain sold separately.

We'll be delivering our full Apple TV Plus review in the coming days, so keep your eyes locked on TechRadar for our launch verdict. In the meantime, find everything you need to know about the service below:

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.