After months of rumours that Apple is creating its own bundle of TV channels, it looks like the company’s sights have shifted a little lower.
According to Recode, the iPhone giant now plans to create a TV guide app which will let you know what’s available right now on all the video apps you have installed on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
The idea is simple. At present, if you have (say) NowTV, BBC iPlayer and Netflix installed, you have to go into each individual app to see what’s available at the moment. Apple’s TV guide would show you what the options are at the present time, potentially including both live channels and on-demand shows.
The latest Apple TV already has the ability to search for programmes using Siri. However, what it can’t do is show you what’s on now via streaming, or tell you when a programme will be being shown on a particular channel. The TV Guide app would fix this, letting you not only find your favourite programmes on catch-up services but also see when the next real-time broadcast is happening.
Although the move makes sense and would undoubtedly be a better experience for users, it represents something of a climbdown from Apple in terms of its TV plans. Apple had been rumoured to want to create its own TV service with a bundle of channels, but it’s understood that it shelved those plans last year after failing in negotiations with US TV companies.
Watching TV using apps over the internet is proving to be increasingly popular as fast broadband becomes more ubiquitous. In 2015, over 1.2 million people in the US watched the NCAA American Football Championship on WatchESPN, which represented a 127% increase over the previous year.