With the release of Apple TV+ and Disney+, and the planned releases of HBO Max and NBC’s own streaming site, we’re entering the War of the Streamers. Their goal? To convince you they have the best content, so you’ll be willing to subscribe. But are streaming services really cheaper than cable? Tap or click here to find out.
It can be tough to know who to go with, but we’re happy to help you decide. Today’s streamer of choice: Apple TV+, one of the more recent runners in this race.
Read on to learn what Apple TV+ is, what content it has, what sets it apart from other streamers and how you can get it yourself. In fact, you may get Apple TV+ free for a full year.
Apple TV+ basics
Apple TV + launched November 1, with a slew of original content. Apple TV+ offers the drama “The Morning Show,” starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell, an action show starring Jason Momoa and a documentary series from Oprah Winfrey.
Promising new originals every month from similarly large names, Apple TV+ has quite a slate coming up, but perhaps a relatively light library compared to Disney+, Hulu and Netflix.
You can stream Apple TV+ on your Apple TV box, whether it’s the 4K, HD or third generation. You just need the latest version of tvOS/Apple TV software for it to work.
If you don’t have an Apple TV device, you can access Apple TV+ by getting the app for your smart TV, or the channel for your Roku or Amazon Fire TV devices. You can also download the app version for your smartphone, tablet or your Mac, as well as streaming the service through the web at tv.apple.com.
What sets it apart?
One of the big draws to Apple TV+ right now is it’s the cheapest streaming services available. At $4.99 a month, it beats Netflix, $9 a month at the lowest, Disney+, $6.99 a month and Hulu, at $5.99 a month, but it comes with commercials, while Apple TV+ doesn’t.
It also has content coming from some of the most notable artists in Hollywood. Steven Spielberg has a project coming to the platform, as does JJ Abrams and M. Night Shyamalan.
We already mentioned the star-studded cast of “The Morning Show” and Jason Momoa’s “See,” but there’s also “Dickinson,” a comedic show starring Hailee Steinfeld about the early life of Emily Dickinson, as well as Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell starring in an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” that will release soon.
Apple TV+ also has a few kids shows, like their original “Helpsters,” which features celebrity cameos and puppets working together to help people in need.
It seems this streamer is really riding on having prestigious original content. You won’t find so-bad-it’s-watched-by-everyone content like Netflix’s “A Christmas Prince” and its sequels here. You’re getting quality shows from huge stars at a very low price point.
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However, the library for Apple TV+ is building slowly, and with shows releasing episodes weekly, it doesn’t easily allow for binge-watching. That’s a smart system for something still building its library, but if you prefer to discover shows, and watch them all the way through at your leisure, you won’t like Apple TV+ very much.
This system might be best for those who want a low-commitment addition to their basic cable. Unlike Netflix and Hulu, it can’t take cable’s place.
How to sign up
If you like Apple TV+’s setup, its stars and creators, or just the content it has coming up, you’ll need to know how to sign up. You also probably want to know how you can get a year of the streaming service for free.
To sign upfor Apple TV+:
- Download the Apple TV app, or go to tv.apple.com.
- Open the app and select “Watch Now,” then pick a show. Or, on the webpage, click “Start Your Free Trial.”
- Follow the prompts to sign up for the 7-day free trial, providing your Apple ID and password. That’s the login information you use for app store and iTunes purchases and iCloud, if you have other Apple devices.
- Confirm your billing information from your Apple ID. Agree to the terms and conditions.
- Start watching Apple TV+! Your first week will be free, and you’ll be charged $4.99 a month going forward.
Note: If you have Family Sharing, everyone in your Family network will have access to Apple TV+, so only one person needs to sign up.
Step 5 is only accurate if you don’t get the free year of Apple TV+. To get the free year of the streaming service:
- Buy a new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV or Mac.
- Turn on the device, and sign in with your Apple ID.
- Make sure you have the latest OS running on your device. If you don’t, update to the latest version.
- Open the Apple TV app, and accept the offer you see there. If the offer doesn’t appear, you can also go to a the Apple website to access it.
- Tap or click “Enjoy 1 Year Free.”
Buying a new computer or iPhone will quickly end up costing more than just paying $4.99 a month for Apple TV+, but if you’re already getting a new device, or if you already want to invest in an Apple TV for renting and buying shows and movies, this free year deal could give you a good bonus.
But ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to subscribe. Does the streaming platform interest you? Do you think it stands out in the streaming landscape, or do you think it’ll eventually crumble? We’re certainly interested in seeing how things shake out. Tap or click here to see a comparison between Apple TV+ and Disney +.
In the meantime, we’ll keep you informed on new developments to the platform. The more information you have, the more informed decisions you can make. With so many streaming platforms out there, you need to make sure you’re spending money on things that’ll make you the happiest.