Last month, Apple announced that its new Apple TV app would begin rolling out to over 100 countries, including South Africa.
This new application is available for iPhones, iPads, Apple TV devices, and certain Samsung smart TVs.
The Apple TV app was rolled out with the free iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 software updates, and allows users to subscribe to Apple TV channels from within the app.
Apple also said that users would be able to watch on-demand content directly in the app, and added that Apple TV+ – Apple’s original video subscription service – will be available in the Apple TV app later this year.
As the iOS 12.3 update is available for iPhones in South Africa, we tried out the new Apple TV app to see which features made it into the South African version.
Features and services
The Apple TV app is meant to include a number of features, although many might not be available in South Africa due to a lack of content licensing or channel availability.
In the United States, Apple TV channels include HBO, Starz, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, and more, and can be accessed with an Apple TV subscription.
In-app subscriptions are now supported along with Family Sharing, which allows up to six family members to share the same subscriptions.
Apple has also stated that users worldwide can access over 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows, including the largest collection of 4K HDR titles available to browse, buy or rent.
The app includes a Watch Now section with an Up Next feature to continue watching their favourite shows, as well as a Library tab which includes all of their purchased movies and shows.
Local features tested
After updating to iOS 12.3, the new Apple TV app was automatically installed on our iPhone, and we opened it up to see the difference between the local and US versions of the app.
We noticed immediately that there was a distinct lack of channels and no option to purchase a subscription within the app.
Instead, the Watch Now tab acted only as a portal to browse movies which could be rented or purchased, after which they would be added to the My Library tab.
After renting a movie, you have 30 days to start watching it. As soon as you play your rental, the video will be available in your library for 48 hours.
Below are the prices for some new movies available for purchase within the Apple TV app in South Africa:
|A Star is Born||R169.99||R44.99|
When it comes to filtering content, users can filter by four categories: Movies under R60, Movies under R80, Movies under R100, and Movies under R130.
While the selection of content may be limited to movies for the moment, many of these films are available in high-quality 4K versions with HDR support.
The Apple TV app is great for South Africans who plan to purchase or rent movies on their smartphone, and it may receive new content or features depending on the availability of Apple TV+ in the country.