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apple tv app oct 16 demo

Apple has unveiled a new TV app for the Apple TV, iPhone and iPad. It promises to make it easier than ever to watch all your favourite films and shows and to discover new content.

So what can it do? And how can Siri help you watch telly? Read on for everything you need to know.

1 It has new sections

apple tv app oct 16

Watch Now takes pride of place in the user interface. It's where you'll see your collection of available shows and films from iTunes, and apps like HBO and Showtime.

Up Next displays all the series and films you're currently watching, presented in the order you're most likely to watch them. If you've just finished episode one of 'Mad Men', for example, episode two will automatically appear at the top of the list. At any time, you can just ask Siri to continue watching a show and it'll pick up where you left off. Handy.

Recommended contains a selection of shows and films, that are either trending or have been curated by Apple. You can also browse by categories like Kids, Sci-fi and Comedy.

Library collates your entire collection of iTunes films and TV shows that you've bought or rented, while Store brings together content from different video services in one handy shopfront.

The app stays in sync, so if you start watching on your Apple TV, you can carry on on your iPad or iPhone, and vice-versa. Twitter will be integrated, and will show you tweets relevant to what you're watching. You'll also see audience polls that you can chip into.

2 But it doesn't support Netflix or Amazon Prime Video

netflix devices

Despite all these bells and whistles, there are two rather large omissions. The new TV app is designed to 'unify' your viewing experience, pulling in content from all over the shop. Except it won't support two of the world's most popular streaming services: Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

Apple didn't mention either service during the reveal presentation, and the apps didn't feature in any of the screenshots released. Netflix spokesperson Smith Saran also told Wired: "I can confirm we are not participating and evaluating the opportunity."

Amazon Prime Video also isn't available on the Apple TV streaming box, though Netflix is. Has Apple fallen out with Netflix? Or will it be added at a later date? Watch this space...

3 Live tune-in with Siri

apple tv 2015

You can now tune into live news reports and sports broadcasts using Siri. Even better than that, you don't even need to know what's on – just ask Siri which games are currently playing, and it'll know.

You don't need to specify the entire name of the match, either. Just say, "Watch the Stanford game" and Siri will find it for you. Siri can tell you the score, too. Funny, we never had Siri down as a huge sports fan.

You can also jump straight to live news reports just by saying the name of the app. Say "Watch CBS News" for example, and Siri will fire up the live stream without you having to open the app and find it for yourself. You'll never miss a breaking news report again.

4 Single sign-on for pay-TV apps

apple tv remote app pair

Apple is also making it simpler to sign in to your pay-TV apps. Thanks to single sign-on, you only need to sign in once, and you'll be able to access all of your TV apps without entering any other passwords.

Again, this works across Apple TV, iPhone and iPad.

5 It'll be available in December, but not for us

apple tv remote app iOS

So when can you get your hands on the new app? Bad news, we're afraid – while it'll be available in December for our US cousins, there's no word on a UK launch date yet. So stay tuned for more.

The app and single sign-on will come as free software updates for the fourth-generation Apple TV, iPhone and iPad. Live tune-in with Siri is available to US customers right now.

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