Apple is making a fresh attack on the television market, with a new “unified” TV app that works across iPhones, iPads and its set-top box.
“We want Apple TV to be the one place to access all of your television,” Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said at a launch event on Thursday. “That’s one place to access all of your TV shows and movies, across all of your devices.”
The free app, called simply “TV”, launches in the US before the end of 2016. It aggregates content from video streaming apps such as HBO Now as well as content downloaded from iTunes.
Apple’s virtual assistant will also be able to find live sports and news broadcasts. Users tell Siri what team or channel they want to watch and the app takes them straight to the live video. Subscribers to certain cable channels can authenticate their accounts with a simplified single sign-on.
“There’s really no reason to watch TV anywhere else,” Mr Cook said.
Apple has put a growing emphasis on media and services in its quarterly earnings reports this year. Services revenues, which include the App Store and Apple Music as well as its iTunes store, are now its second-largest source of revenue after the iPhone and grew 22 per cent in the last financial year to $24.3bn.