Take a look inside “The Grand Prize Expo Winners” with the creative team behind the episode. Watch Little America now on the Apple TV app with an Apple TV+ subscription: http://apple.co/_LittleAmerica
Inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, “Little America” goes beyond the headlines to bring to life the funny, romantic, heartfelt and surprising stories of immigrants in America. The first season consists of eight half-hour episodes, each with its own unique story from different parts of the world.
“Little America,” is written and executive produced by Lee Eisenberg (“The Office,” Good Boys), who serves as showrunner, and executive produced by Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, “Silicon Valley”), Emily V. Gordon (The Big Sick), Alan Yang (“Master of None,” “Parks and Recreation”), Sian Heder (Tallulah, “Orange Is the New Black”), Joshuah Bearman (Argo), Joshua Davis (Spare Parts) and Arthur Spector (The Shack). Heder also serves as co-showrunner alongside Eisenberg.
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A mystery inspired by the reporting of a real nine-year-old journalist. When a young girl and her family move back to the small town her father left behind, her pursuit of the truth leads to the unearthing of a long-buried cold case.
The series is created and executive produced by Jon M. Chu and showrunners Dana Fox & Dara Resnik; written and executive produced by Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner; and executive produced by Steve Golin for Anonymous Content, Joy Gorman Wettels, Rosemary Rodriguez and Sharlene Martin.
“This has opened my eyes in ways that only books can do.” Watch Oprah host a raw and revealing conversation around American Dirt. Watch the latest episode of Oprah’s Book Club on Apple TV+ http://apple.co/_OprahsBookClub
Your Apple TV is much smarter than you might think.
If you own HomeKit accessories and an Apple TV, you may have asked yourself, why isn’t there a Home app for my sweet home theater? Sure, you can use the universally acclaimed Siri remote to send your HomeKit commands via voice, but sometimes, it would be nice to just dim the lights or view the cameras with a click on the touchpad. Thankfully, there are apps available that can help fill the void! Here’s some of the best HomeKit apps currently available for the Apple TV.
HomeCam, the premier HomeKit camera app that is available for iOS, iPadOS, and Apple Watch, also happens to be on the Apple TV. This app puts your cameras just a click away at all times, and it even includes controls for accessories that are in the same room, hiding all of the others that are not relevant.
If you have multiple cameras, you can set the app to auto-cycle through all of your feeds, keeping you aware of all the action but giving you the biggest full-screen view possible. If you prefer to be in control, you can simply swipe the remote to switch between all of your cameras, which is just all sorts of cool.
HomeCam for HomeKit brings all of your cameras to the big screen. This app strips away all fluff, and puts your cameras front and center, making them quick and easy to access.
HomeCenter for HomeKit
Sitting at the opposite end of the HomeKit control spectrum is HomeCenter for HomeKit. This app gives you access to all of your HomeKit accessories in a familiar grid view, including cameras, putting your entire home in the palm of your hand.
HomeCenter also supports fine adjustments, such as lighting levels, colors, and temperature adjustments. A Favorites view allows you to put passive sensors like air quality and humidity accessories into view, making your entire TV feel just like a giant command center.
HomeCenter is the ultimate HomeKit app for those looking for complete control directly from the TV. This app is the only one around on the TV that comes close to matching a potential Home app.
Thermo Watch is an Apple TV app specifically tailored to controlling your home’s heating and air. This app works with HomeKit thermostats, like ecobee, and gives you access to temperature adjustments, changing modes, and even toggling on the fan, right from the Siri remote.
In addition to HomeKit, Thermo Watch also works with select Nest thermostats, which is huge for those who have been patiently waiting for support for Apple’s smart home platform. If that wasn’t enough, Thermo Watch is available on all of your iOS devices and the Apple Watch, making it quite the bargain.
If you want a simple way to adjust your HomeKit thermostat, then look no further than Thermo Watch. Large, simple to use controls makes cooling the place down easy, and additional sensors put data like humidity on the big screen.
DayView – Personal Dashboard
As its name suggests, DayView is a clever app that turns your Apple TV into a whole home dashboard. Up to six widgets can be added to the app, including local weather, news, stocks, calendar, clock, commute times, Twitter, and of course HomeKit controls and camera feeds.
The best part of DayView is that it is completely free! No in-app purchases, subscriptions, or limitations are to be found here. The only downside? DayView is no longer supported, which means that it may not work in future versions of tvOS, so get it while you can!
DayView transforms your big screen into a personalized dashboard, filled with the widgets like weather. HomeKit controls and cameras are also along for the ride, making it one of the best utility apps around.
If controlling your HomeKit lights is all you need, then Emblazee may be the right app for you. Optimized for TVs, Emblazee has quick toggle controls, and a large color selection tool for setting the perfect mood right from the comforts of your couch.
Emblazee also comes with an iOS, iPadOS and Apple Watch app, keeping everything familiar if you like its clean design. Additional features such as scheduling, scenes, zones, and groups are all available on the smaller screens.
HomeKit lights are just a few clicks away using the Emblazee app on your Apple TV. This app has easy to use controls, such as a large color selector that works by sliding your finger across the Siri Remote.
Streamie is another HomeKit camera focused app that helps you to keep an eye on everything in and around your home. Using a classic grid camera view, this app can display up to 16 cameras at once, including those that are outside of the HomeKit world which use the RTSP protocol.
This app doesn’t just show you cameras though, it can actually pan, tilt, and zoom into your feeds, and snapshots can be saved directly to an iCloud Shared Photo Album. The app is free to try, limiting you to just one camera, but if that is all you have, then this is a great way to see just how useful your Apple TV can be.
Streamie brings the classic closed circuit video feed view to the HomeKit world through Apple TV. This free to try app can display up to 16, yes 16, cameras all at once, and it can even let you interact with it if your gear supports it.
What are you using?
Which HomeKit apps are you using for your Apple TV? Know of an awesome one that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Apple’s plans to participate in the SXSW 2020 Film Festival to premiere new original Apple TV+ content have been dropped due to concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in the United States and other countries.
Variety reports has been planning to premiere three new Apple TV Plus originals at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, including Spike Jonze’s documentary film “Beastie Boys Story.” Also was scheduled was a discussion of Apple’s “Little America,” with docuseries creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Those have now been canceled.
Apple is the latest company to pull out of SXSW. Other companies no longer participating in the festival include Amazon Studios, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Panasonic, SAP, Mashable and Intel.
Despite those firms canceling their SXSW-related activities and the circulation of a Change.org petition calling for SXSW to be canceled, SXSW organizers continue to insist the festival will still take place.
SXSW traditionally attracts over 100,000 folks from around the world and is so far the biggest event to not yet be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Apple on Tuesday released the fourth beta of tvOS 13.4 to developers and beta testers for testing. The new betas come one week after the third beta release.
The tvOS 13.4 beta is compatible with fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. The new beta can be downloaded to a compatible Apple TV that has the proper profile installed. The public beta is also available.
The beta includes minor design changes to streamline the look of the TV app interface. It also introduces Family Sharing integration to allow users to access iTunes content purchased by family members without having to leave the app.
It also includes the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements. If we hear of any other new features, we’ll be sure to fill you in right here.
As usual, MacTrast and Apple both warn users to not install any betas on your daily driver Apple TV, instead only install betas on a device set aside for testing purposes.
2019 was a defining year for the German TV and video market, with mass market resistance to premium digital video finally falling away and paving the way for this month’s launch of Disney+.
As the German market undergoes reinvention, newly released figures from Futuresource Consulting show total spend on video entertainment will reach nearly €10 billion in 2020.
“2019 was a year of structural change,” said David Sidebottom, Principal Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “With Disney’s acquisition of Fox, and private equity group KKR’s acquisition of both Tele München and leading independent Universum Film, there’s an increased industry focus on producing content for a wider array of platforms. This is helping to drive the shift to digital consumption, pushed along by the German launch of Apple TV+ in November 2019, closely followed by Joyn Plus+. Factor in Netflix’s continued ascendance as it closes the gap on Amazon Prime Video and we’re going to see a groundswell of consumer engagement throughout 2020.”
Recent consumer research carried out by Futuresource suggests that the launch of Disney+ in Germany won’t have as much market impact as it did in the USA, but the firm’s forecasts show it will still become a leading player behind Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in a relatively short space of time. Growth is expected to be boosted by telco and pay-TV bundling and distribution, with leading pay-TV operators and telcos likely to integrate the service onto their platforms. In addition, churn will be controlled by Disney’s extensive and popular back catalogue of movie content, which is set to remain part of their services indefinitely once introduced.
“German consumers have generally lagged behind their UK counterparts by two years in terms of premium digital content consumption,” said Sidebottom. “However, that’s beginning to change. SVOD and transactional digital video are both performing well. The strong catch-up TV culture also provides a bedrock for future paid-for premium digital video growth. With the raft of new services and the continued growth of Netflix, we’re expecting to see SVOD uptake increase from less than 1.5 services per SVOD household in 2018, up to more than two in 2022. Combined with robust pay-TV subscription performance and growth in music streaming subscription services such as Spotify, we’re seeing an increased appetite for premium subscription content.”
Consumer spend on SVOD exceeded €1 billion in 2019, with Futuresource expecting total spend to reach €2.5 billion by 2023. Pay-TV hit €6 million in 2019, largely due to the increased ARPU, up by €1.1 billion from 2014.
“Market movements have ushered in a new digital era for Germany,” said Sidebottom. “The full value of service launches will be felt across 2020 and beyond, with the TV and video market culminating in a value of almost €11 billion in 2023.”
Its current footprint might be small, but Apple TV+ is well-positioned to become a valuable Hollywood player in the years to come.
There are a lot of video streaming services on the market with others expected to launch in 2020. Though it’s not the largest or most publicized, Apple TV+ could eventually have the most lasting impact among the growing list of web-based content providers.
The reason? Apple TV+, which launched in November, is focused exclusively on developing and airing original content, while everyone else hopes to lure subscribers largely by offering older titles. In the long-run, this difference could prove significant, especially as users grow tired of paying multiple susbscriptions for home entertainment.
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With TV+, you can watch well-produced, big-budget TV shows from famed directors, and starring award-winning actors and actresses across all your Apple devices and with up to six members of your Family Sharing group.
Not about reruns
Like many of my generation, I grew up on “Friends,” the 30-minute comedy that ran for 10 seasons on NBC and launched the careers of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, and the four other Central Perk inhabitants. When word leaked that a “Friends” reunion would launch on the upcoming HBO Max premium video service, there was undoubtedly a collective cheer around the world.
And then Apple CEO Tim Cook told shareholders there was no chance that “Friends” would ever have shown up on Apple TV+. As he explained, “We love ‘Friends,’ but it’s not what Apple TV+ is about. Apple TV+ is about original programming. It doesn’t feel right for Apple to just go out and take a rerun.” In other words, Apple’s all-in on Aniston (who also stars in Apple’s “The Morning Show,”) but not her past character, Rachel Green.
Reruns play a massive role in every other streaming service. At least for now, this has been enough to sign up the masses. Take Disney+, for example, which also launched late last year. Thanks to its already large library of Star Wars, Marvel Comics, and of course, Disney-branded content, the service has fast become one of the most popular in a short time.
Netflix, which currently spends more cash than any other company on the most number of original titles each year, also counts on older series to keep it moving full steam ahead. Until December, when it left the service, for example, “Friends” was Netflix’s second-most viewed series behind the early 2000s workplace comedy, “The Office.”
HBO Max, which launches in May, like others before it, will also rely heavily on older titles to gain early adopters and maintain monthly subscribers, as will Peacock, NBC’s entry into the web-based premium video market.
And yet, here’s Apple, once again thinking differently. From “Little America” to “See” to the recently launched “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet,” everything on Apple TV+ is new. Additionally, in a surprising move, the company is offering Apple TV+ free for a year to anyone who purchases an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac. And that subscription, which is usually priced at $4.99 per month, is shareable with up to six family members at no additional cost.
This one-two punch (a year-long freebie plus a regular low price) makes sense given the slow release of Apple TV+ content. However, by the time Apple TV+ celebrates its first anniversary, its library of original content for current and new subscribers alike will be secure. Better still, by that point, Apple TV+ will be available in more places than ever before.
It’s all about the app
As I previously noted, Cupertino isn’t just offering the Apple TV app (and hence access to Apple TV+) on Apple TV hardware and its mobile devices. Instead, it’s taken the unusual step (for Apple) of offering the app on smart televisions from LG and Samsung, and also making it available on Fire TVs and Roku devices.
Apple TV app content is also available to stream from mobile devices to AirPlay 2–enabled TVs from Sony, VIZIO, and older LG and Samsung devices, and through web browsers.
And the content
Circling back around to the Apple TV+ content, it’s clear Apple isn’t afraid to spend what it feels is necessary to become a leader in original programming.
Back in August, The Financial Times reported Apple had initially planned on spending $1 billion to get Apple TV+ off the ground. That number had risen to over $6 billion at that point, however.
And has often been reported, the Apple TV+ content features some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Besides Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Brie Larson, Meryl Streep, Spike Jonze, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, and many others, are on board for various projects.
A bright future
People are growing tired of paying monthly subscriptions for everything from web-based content to magazines to music. This exhaustion suggests most consumers won’t subscribe to more than one all-compassing streaming video service among Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and the like.
However, given its reliance solely on original programming, Apple TV+ is poised to take a different path and continue to add subscribers while others could ultimately fail. Stay tuned!
What about Apple TV+
Do you enjoy Apple TV+? Is there something about the service you don’t like? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.