The time has finally come: Apple has released its flagship streaming service, Apple TV Plus, at the tech giant's star-studded keynote event at the Steve Jobs theater in San Cupertino, California.
With a parade of Hollywood actors and directors, including Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Aniston (and even Big Bird from Sesame Street) taking the stage to promote their exclusive Apple TV Plus shows, Apple seems to focus on the popular Originals from Netflix. programming.
So how does the new streaming service differ from Netflix? And can it really pose a threat to the world's most popular streaming platform? Read on for our view of Apple's first introduction to the world of TV and film streaming.
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Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: overview
Aside from being the world's most popular streaming service, Netflix has become a cultural icon, even its own lexicon inspiring – we all know what it means for ' Netflix and relax ' (if you don't, ask a suitable adult) and most people have an uncontrollable ' Netflix binge ' behind.
With a wide mix of original and licensed shows and films, Netflix ' s huge variety of content, as well as ease of use, have created the cult of binge watching.
Apple, on the other hand, will have another way to go if it wants to remove Netflix from its throne with Apple TV Plus, the new ad-free subscription service, which it says is coming "in the fall" – so between September and November this year.
However, with a large number of exclusive programs attached to it with some very famous faces, Apple could potentially match Netflix Originals – if it could match the massive production of Netflix.
From the sounds of things, Apple will release "new additions" every month, but it has not confirmed how much new content we can expect each month.
Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: price and availability
Apple TV Plus will be launched in the new and improved Apple TV app, which in turn will be released in May for a wide range of smart TVs, as well as set-top boxes and streaming sticks from rival companies such as Roku and Amazon .
We learned in January that the Apple TV app came to a number of smart TVs – in series from Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio – in addition to Apple ' s own set-top box and streaming player, the Apple TV .
This means that Apple TV Plus will not be limited to Apple TV devices – and moving the app to competing devices is a risky move from Apple because it can reduce the number of consumers that purchase Apple TV hardware. We wonder if Apple is looking to phase out this hardware to focus on the improved Apple TV app.
There were rumors that Apple's new streaming service would slightly undercut Netflix's monthly subscription fees, but no price was mentioned in the March 25 keynote.
The cheapest Netflix plan has recently risen by $ 9 / £ 5.99 / AU $ 9.99, while the standard HD plan (the most popular) costs $ 13 / £ 7.99 / AU $ 13.99.
For fans of Ultra HD streaming, the 4K Premium subscription is available for $ 16 / £ 9.99 / AU $ 17.99.
Netflix is available for use on a large number of devices that will also synchronize with each other – this means that you can watch, pause and retrieve a program in your desktop browser at exactly the same place when you log in again on your large screen TV.
Depending on the plan package you choose, you can view Netflix on up to four screens at the same time.
In addition to your computer, game console and built-in TV applications, there are Android and iOS apps, as well as a whole range of set-top streaming boxes that give you access to the Netflix video library.
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We still don't know exactly how to view Apple TV Plus; Tim Cook did not mention devices such as Android TV, PC desktops and laptops, game consoles and non-Apple tablets during the launch event.
If Apple TV Plus is downgraded to Apple devices, apart from the aforementioned smart TV & streaming boxes, it's hard to see how it can be a real rival to Netflix, which is available at an abundance to devices and operating systems.
Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: functions and user interface
One of the best things about Netflix is how it adapts its content to you, with the recommendation algorithm learning your preferences while you watch. The result is that it is then able to adjust how the content is positioned on your home screen, recommending shows and movies that you like based on your viewing habits.
Although we do not know how the Apple TV Plus section of the Apple TV app works, we do know that the updated version of the app ' machine learning ' used to display programs that you want to view close to your home. screen … just like Netflix.
Another reason for Netflix's popularity is its intuitive user interface, which allows you to easily navigate through shows and movies that you find in your ' list ' , and with which you can easily search by genre, director, actor and more.
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Again, while we don't know what the Apple TV Plus part of the app will look like, the rest of the redesigned Apple TV app looks attractive. At the top of the screen are categories such as & apos; Movies & apos; and & apos; Sport & apos;, where you can choose where you can get your content from different & apos; Apple Channels & apos;.
You may want to watch drama series and exercise through your cable provider through Hulu – these are part of Apple ' s & apos; s & apos;, which exist separately from Apple TV Plus (so you must purchase a subscription from any provider or platform, you must view its contents).
On the technological side, Netflix's dynamic scale flows mean that you don't have to choose the quality level you want to pay attention to. If your bandwidth is low, it only delivers the standard definition versions, but if you have the hardware and capacity, it goes up to 4K Ultra HD resolutions if necessary.
Apple has not yet reported 4K support for Apple TV Plus, but we would be very surprised if the original content was not available in Ultra HD – after all, Apple has done a lot to promote the "' the world's most celebrated creative artists ", and it would be a huge anticlimax if these artists & apos; work could only be viewed in & apos; normal & apos; HD.
In addition to higher resolutions, with Netflix you can also download selected shows and films for offline viewing. Downloads remain in your library for 30 consecutive days and then expire automatically – even if it is on a device that is not connected to the Internet.
Apple says that content on the Apple TV app is available & offline ' is, and we assume that this also includes Apple TV Plus content.
Apple TV Plus versus Netflix: content
Netflix has a huge range of exclusive products, originals and classics to stop and is well on its way to becoming a respected distributor of original films and TV series. Netflix Original Roma won the prize for best cinematography, best director and best foreign film at the Oscars earlier this year.
The best known original series consists of Orange Is The New Black, Bojack Horseman, Stranger Things, Daredevil, Maniac and House of Cards.
It is these shows that Apple wants to rival with its own original programming via Apple TV Plus, with a parade of Hollywood stars in force during the launch event to introduce their new exclusive shows from Apple TV Plus.
Steven Spielberg has announced that his & apos; Amazing Stories & apos; anthology series that first appeared on the screen in the mid-1980s, while Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell debuted & apos; The Morning Show & apos;, a series showing the ' complex relationships between men and women in the workplace ' investigates in the context of a morning news.
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Other series announcements are Jason Momoa and the dystopian thriller & apos; See & apos; from Alfre Woodward, where the world is blind after a virus has destroyed sight and most of humanity, as well as Kumail Nanjiani & apos; s & apos; Little America & apos;, which will depict short stories of immigrants.
There is also something for children, with a new spin-off show on Sesame Street, called Helpsters, it's all about coding.
While these shows may sound great, it doesn't seem like Apple can match Netflix's huge amount of content at launch – and there's a big, gaping film-shaped hole in the new streaming service. However, if Apple publishes new content every month as it says, and some original or syndicated movies appear on the platform, this can be quickly traced.
Of course it's not just about original content; much of Netflix's success is based on the vast variety of syndicated content it spreads, from gritty thrillers such as Breaking Bad to adult pornography such as Rick and Morty – not to mention the extensive range of children's programs ' s and movies.
Apple TV Plus, on the other hand, does not offer licensed content at all. For the time being you still have to buy those programs ' s a la carte via iTunes or via your cable app on Earth in Apple TV channels.
At such an early stage, there is no way to really know if Apple TV Plus will pose a real threat to Netflix – but given the lack of syndicated content and (for the time being) little programming, it is unlikely to catch up soon.
However, Apple TV Plus can be a problem for Netflix in terms of quality; Apple has a strong line-up of famous creatives behind the original programming and a real focus on high-quality content.
Of course, Netflix also emphasizes quality with its recent Oscar win for Roma, but we all know that there are some really horrible movies and shows on the platform and we doubt Apple will follow in this regard.
Although we know that the Apple TV app will come in May 201 for a wide range of smart TVs, as well as set-top boxes and streaming sticks from competing companies such as Roku and Amazon, we still don't know if it will be available for watching on Android TV, PC desktops and laptops, game consoles and non-Apple tablets.
We don't even know how much it will cost – and this will probably be a big difference between Apple TV Plus and Netflix. If Apple can offer a low subscription price than Netflix, that could be the advantage.
Either way, we'll have to wait until later this year to find out if Apple TV Plus will steal Netflix ' s position as the best streaming platform.
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