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Apple TV Plus is here: How to get started with Apple’s Netflix rival Apple TV+

Apple TV Plus is a streaming service similar to Netflix, which you'll need to pay a monthly subscription fee to watch

 At a special Apple event in March 2019, the tech giant announced a Netflix rival called Apple TV Plus and, as of 1 November, the service is now live anywhere you can install the standard Apple TV app. This includes Apple devices, certain smart TVs and Amazon Fire TV sticks.

Apple TV Plus, which the tech giant describes as “where the most creative minds in TV and film tell the kinds of stories only they can”, features original shows and films which can only be watched via Apple TV.

Below, we’ve detailed what Apple TV Plus is and more about the Apple TV Plus price and original shows.

Apple TV Plus features: What is it?

Apple TV Plus is a streaming service similar to Netflix, which you need to pay a monthly subscription fee to watch.

Along the lines of Apple Music, this monthly fee gives subscribers unlimited access to the full catalogue of shows. They can also watch on any device with the Apple TV app installed.

Following a recent update, the Apple TV app is available on 2019 LG TVs, Samsung smart TVs, Roku Sticks and Amazon’s range of Fire TV products, as well as on Apple TV, iPads, iPhones and Macs, of course. Support for Sony TVs, older LG TV models, plus the Fire TV Cube, is expected soon.

Subscribers can stream shows, download shows to watch offline, watch without adverts and on-demand. Elsewhere, Apple TV Plus originals will be subtitled and/or dubbed in almost 40 languages, including Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH) or closed captions. Apple TV+ series and movies will also be available with audio descriptions in eight languages.

Apple TV Plus: How to use it

Apple TV Plus is found in the menu of the standard Apple TV app. At the moment, only Apple’s original shows are available to watch, meaning it doesn’t have the breadth of content as Netflix or Amazon Prime yet (but it’s also cheaper), and because these shows are shown alongside Apple TV’s existing, paid-for content, it can be a little confusing to see what’s available on first glance.

An easy way to find content included in the subscription is to look out for the Apple TV+ logo in the bottom left-hand corner of thumbnails. 

Once you’ve selected a title to watch, you will be prompted to subscribe (if you haven’t already). You then have the options to Play episode, Download or Add to Up Next. Other episodes in the selected series then sit below the main image at the top and you can scroll through using the arrows either side of the menu. 

Below the episode listing are trailers, details about the cast and crew and related content. Be warned, though, this related content includes shows that aren’t included in the subscription so check before you click if you don’t want to be separately charged. 

Apple TV Plus release date: When did it launch?

The streaming service launched on 1 November in 100 countries and regions and is available via the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, available to watch online and offline, without adverts and on demand. Shows will also be broadcast online.

Apple TV Plus price: How much will it cost?

Apple TV Plus will cost £4.99 a month after a free seven-day trial and will be available via Family Sharing, meaning up to six family members will be able to share one subscription.

What’s more, anyone who buys either a new or refurbished iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac will get a year of Apple TV Plus for free, with a year’s subscription starting on 1 November. After 1 November, new customers have three months from the date of device activation to claim this offer, of they’ll lose it. 

This includes sales of Apple’s new iPad, the Apple Watch Series 5, the iPhone 11iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max among others.

To subscribe to Apple TV Plus, you have to be running iOS 12.3 or later, tvOS 12.3 or later and macOS Catalina. This is a rolling subscription and it automatically renews at £4.99 per month at the end of the seven-day free trial and every month therein, until you cancel. 

Apple TV Plus original shows

At launch, Apple TV Plus will feature a host of Apple TV Plus originals including: 

  • For All Mankind: Ronald D. Moore imagines what would have happened if the global space race never ended.
  • Helpsters: From the makers of Sesame Street, Helpsters stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems.
  • Snoopy in Space: From Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media, Snoopy in Space follows Snoopy on the road to becoming an astronaut.
  • Ghostwriter: A reinvention of the beloved original series, follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighbourhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.
  • The Elephant Queen: Documentary about the majestic elephant and the species’ future.
  • Oprah Winfrey: The entrepreneur and icon is launching a global book club.
  • The Morning Show: Drama starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, alongside Steve Carell, set in a morning newsroom. 
  • See: Drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind.
  • Dickinson: A comedic coming-of-age story told through the eyes of poet of Emily Dickinson.

More Apple TV Plus originals will be added to the Apple TV app each month.

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