Apple TV review 2023
By Aaron Howdle | Tuesday, April 25th 2023
Apple TV has been around for quite some time as a way to buy or rent movies and TV shows over the internet, or watch streaming services like Netflix, via it’s set top box. In late 2019, Apple launched its own streaming service Apple TV+, an ad-free subscription service promising quality original content. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
Apple TV+ is a streaming service from Apple. You don’t need an Apple TV box to watch Apple TV+ and you don’t need to subscribe to Apple TV+ to use an Apple TV box to rent or buy movies and TV shows. It is a fair bit cheaper than competing streaming services and has high technical specifications with 4K, HDR video and Dolby Atmos sound where available. If you buy a new Apple product you get three months of Apple TV+ for free. Everyone else can watch free for seven days by signing up for a free trial.
When it launched in 2019, Apple TV+ only had a handful of shows, but they were all original series, with none of the previously aired boxed sets most streaming services use to bulk out their catalogues. The selection on Apple TV+ has grown but is still very small compared to the competition.
During 2020 Apple TV+ added a little extra bought-in content to its service like Peanuts cartoons and Fraggle Rock. But this was partly because it halted new productions during Covid-19 lockdowns. Despite the criticisms levelled at Apple TV+ for its small selection, it is worth bearing in mind that its productions are high quality, expensive TV. Perhaps, Apple’s riches allow it to play a long game.
Since then, Apple TV+ has gone from strength to strength, gaining interest with hit shows such as Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Severance and the recent hit show Ted Lasso.
Subscribing to Apple TV+
If you would like to watch Apple TV+ you will need to set-up a subscription. You can do this on the Apple TV+ website, or via the Apple TV app on your iPhone, iPad, streaming device or smart TV. You can also now use the app on Android devices and Chromecast. You will need to use your Apple ID, or create a new Apple ID on the Apple website or in the app. You also need to give payment details if you are signing up for the free trial. Apple TV+ requires a credit card. Debit cards are not accepted.
What can I watch on Apple TV+?
Apple TV+ Originals
The selection of shows on Apple TV+ is small compared to Netflix or even Disney+. However the content is almost all original shows created for Apple TV+ with the exception of a couple of shows bought in while productions paused during the Covid pandemic.
The current crop of original shows on Apple TV+ includes costume-drama comedy, Dickenson. For all Mankind, an alternative-timeline version of the race to the moon in which the USSR got there first. The Morning Show, which is about the cut-throat world of breakfast TV. There are also original movies like the beautifully animated Wolfwalkers and Fireball, where Werner Herzog explores meteor impacts around the world.
One show that has really thrust Apple TV+ into the limelight recently is the widely acclaimed Ted Lasso, a comedy drama about an American soccer coach who comes to manage a failing football club in the UK. Starring Jason Sudeikis, it has won a stream of industry awards.
Where can I watch Apple TV+?
You can view Apple TV+ the following ways.
- On a computer or laptop – You can log into Apple TV+ on your computer or laptop via your web browser
- iPhone, iPad, or Android device – Download the Apple TV+ app from the Google Play or App Store to get started.
- Smart TV – Modern Smart TVs have a selection of apps which can be installed, among them is Apple TV+, As a relatively new service, you might need to update to the latest version of your smart TV’s operating system
- Apple TV – It should come as no surprise that you can watch Apple TV+ on an Apple TV box. They are very advanced and capable, but they are also comparatively expensive compared to Roku, and the like
- Smart Stick – Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast sticks all feature the Apple TV+ app
Our final verdict
- Some great Apple Originals
- Cheap compared to Netflix
- Best video and sound quality of any service
- Not a lot of content
- Content quality varies
- Episodes are released weekly
Apple TV+ is typical of many Apple products in focussing on quality rather than quantity. 4K HDR video and high quality audio are standard on Apple TV+. It is also cheap compared to other streaming services, and free if you just got a new Apple product, so it is pretty painless to see if you like it.
The downside of Apple TV+ is that it won’t take long to watch all the content that appeals to you. However, this is likely to change with time. In the meantime, you can always choose to cancel for a while if you’ve watched everything you like for now. Another possible downside is that most content is aimed at adult audiences, without a great deal on there for the kids at the time of writing.