Apple plans on unveiling its own version of a TV guide tomorrow during its Mac hardware event in Cupertino, California, according to Recode. The software will live on top of the Apple TV streaming box, as well as an app on iOS devices, to let users easily search and find shows and movies across a wide variety of apps. The guide will sync with supported streaming services, supposedly with a single login, and offer recommendations. One notable exception to the list of supported partners is Netflix, which Recode reports is not currently involved.
For some time now, Apple has had its sights set on TV as the next big platform it wants to reinvent. However, the economical and logistical compromises required to strike deals with large media companies has proved more difficult than Apple executive realized. That means Apple’s plan to try an offer a skinny package similar to Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue has remained stalled in the negotiation stage, with Apple VP Eddy Cue unable to convince media conglomerates to allow Apple to do to TV what it did to music more than a decade ago.
Apple wants to be at the center of people's TV viewing habits
The next best thing, it seems, is a software overlay that effectively bypasses each individual company’s mobile app and over-the-top streaming service by treating a user’s subscriptions like a single library. That way, instead of traveling over to Hulu to watch The Daily Show or searching Netflix for Black Mirror, you would do so from Apple’s own guide. The company began putting in place the technical infrastructure for this plan in June during its WWDC conference, when it announced a single sign-on option for tvOS so customers don't have to continuously plug in different usernames and passwords.
It all sounds like a more powerful form of universal search, yet it’s not clear at the moment how it will differ from the search option on Amazon’s Fire streaming devices. It’s also unclear why Netflix hasn’t offered its support, given how Netflix has in the past been a partner with Apple on Siri integration and other features. We’ll know more tomorrow when Apple reportedly shows it off during its Mac event. For more information, tune in tomorrow at 1PM ET/10AM PT to check out The Verge’s live blog and all the day's news and announcements from Cupertino.