Apple TV + launched in 2019, backed by big celebrities, though it didn’t exactly come off with a bang. There’s a reason Apple is giving away a free year of service with select hardware purchases. Subscriber numbers grew slowly, especially when compared to giants like Netflix and Hulu.
So is it worth subscribing to Apple TV + now? Maybe not. With so many streaming services out there, you might want to save your money. Here are all the reasons you might want to avoid subscribing to Apple TV +.
1. Not enough content
While Apple TV + has some licensed content, most of the service’s shows and movies are original. This is great because it means you won’t have to scroll through tons of things that you’ve seen elsewhere.
However, it also means that Apple TV + just doesn’t have a lot of content. You will likely blow everything you want to see in a month or two, if that is the case.
It didn’t help that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed filming of more original productions. Although Apple bought rights to films like Tom Hanks Greyhound to fill the void, it still hasn’t been as much as rivals like Disney + and Netflix have been able to pump out.
Over time, Apple TV + will get more programming, but right now it may not be enough. Apple TV + launch shows like The Morning Show and Dickinson have had multiple seasons and more original content is slowly emerging.
2. Episodes debut weekly
These days, the idea of waiting a week to see the next episode of your latest favorite series seems archaic. When Netflix publishes a show, all episodes are deleted at the same time. That means you can watch at your own pace. For many, this means binge watching.
So Apple TV + does not play, but to publish new episodes every week.
Apple would likely claim that doing this will help build hype and anticipation and let you enjoy the show. But it really just keeps you tied to your subscription longer.
3. Some devices are not supported
If you own a modern smart TV, game console, or streaming stick, you’re in luck – there is likely an Apple TV + app.
However, if you have a device from 2018 or earlier, chances are Apple TV + doesn’t support it. For example, while you can download an app for any streaming service under the sun on your 2018 Samsung Smart TV, Apple TV + isn’t one of them.
Perhaps you own an Android phone or tablet; the operating system has over 70% market share. Well, there is no Apple TV + app. You can watch in the browser, but the experience isn’t as smooth as with a dedicated app. It’s unfortunate that Apple chose to cut off such a large number of users.
4. No user profiles
If you want to share your Apple TV + account with others and are not part of the broader Apple ecosystem, good luck.
While you can use Apple’s Family Sharing feature to link Apple IDs together, this is nowhere near the convenient in-app solution that most streaming services offer for creating profiles.
This means that it is impossible to maintain individual playback progress when multiple people in the same household are watching Apple TV +.
5. Too complicated account system
If you plan to use Apple TV + on some devices, the account system can become unnecessarily confusing.
You’ll need to create an Apple ID, which is fine, but some devices require additional verification. You’ll need to download, install, and verify your account through iTunes – but it’s a hassle when you’re not using the program.
Also, it is best to hope that this process does not run into an error preventing you from accepting the iTunes account terms, since then you will have to contact Apple Support to resolve the issue.
6. Missing regional programming
When Apple TV + hit the market, collaborations with partners like Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Aniston made headlines. While the big names are impressive, the content on Apple TV + is clearly Hollywood.
Unlike Netflix, which produced foreign language shows like Squid Game and Narcos and made them global hits, Apple TV + lags behind in terms of global representation.
While it’s slowly improving, like the Spanglish comedy Acapulco, it still has a long way to go.
7. The user interface can be confusing
If you didn’t know Apple TV and Apple TV + were two different things, don’t worry. You are not the only one.
Apple doesn’t make it easier to understand because by default on some devices it merges Apple TV and Apple TV + content, the former consisting of buyable and rentable content outside of the latter’s subscription. Even if you switch to the dedicated Apple TV + tab, the change isn’t permanent – you’ll have to do this again later when you open the app.
The app’s home page looks nifty, but it’s not as easy to navigate as it should be. Whole rows are dedicated to individual shows or films. Undoubtedly, this is supposed to obscure the lack of content on the service, but it is a waste of space. In fairness, the consistent position of the “Continue Watching” line is something that Netfix, Amazon Prime Video et al. would be good to learn.
Unfortunately, the app is also not good at remembering your position when you are looking at something. If you pause playback halfway, turn it off, and come back later, playback will likely start from the beginning. That’s annoying enough, but the less-than-ideal fast-forward controls make the problem worse.
Is Apple TV + Right For You?
These are all the top reasons you might want to save $ 5 a month and avoid subscribing to Apple TV +. There are plenty of other streaming services out there that you can spend your money on.
Then again, maybe these negatives aren’t a big deal to you? Apple TV + also has many positive benefits. You can always sign up with the free trial version to take a spin.
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