Apple may not be building its own TV, but it at least has its own TV guide. Sort of. The company unveiled a new app — simply named TV — at its Mac event today, promising users it will unite of all their digital TV content in one place. The app brings together content from different services, as well as iTunes purchases and live content.
The app is free, available on iOS and Apple TV, and works with Siri, so you can use voice commands to find shows and control playback. It also integrates the single sign-on feature Apple introduced for tvOS earlier this year, meaning users only have to sign in once to access content from different services. It'll be available for download in the US some time at the end of the year.
A TV app might sound basic, but it could be a clever way around some of Apple's problems in the industry. The company has been trying to do for TV what it did for music for years now, serving up its own package of content to consumers, but it's been stymied by negotiations with media execs, who have reportedly balked at Apple's aggressive negotiating style.
By creating an app that unifies different streams of content, Apple places itself between users and the people who control the content — making the iPhone maker and its services more integral. On stage, Apple CEO Tim Cook also noted that there are already some 1,600 Apple TV apps from content providers. If anything, that's too many, and funneling all that content into one app makes sense. It remains to be seen how useful the app is in practice, but it certainly looks slick, and it's another step forward for Apple's TV ambitions.
Correction October 28th, 02:08AM ET: A previous version of this article stated Apple's TV app included content from Netflix, but that is not the case. We regret the error.