Apple has released iOS 12.3 for iPhone and iPad bringing a new TV app on iOS 12.3, tvOS 12.3, and Apple TV Software 7.3. The new TV app includes Apple TV Channels, a feature that simplifies streaming video subscription services by bringing them all into a single app.
The billing is handled by Apple, and all of the content is hosted by Apple and viewed in the TV application itself.
At launch, Apple TV Channels supports the likes of HBO, Showtime, Stars, Cinemax, Epix, Smithsonian, Acorn TV, and more. As time progresses, more services will be added. Most of the services include free trial periods.
Other changes in the new TV application include a refreshed interface with a focus on curation and personalised recommendations, as well as a new dedicated Kids section with handpicked content safe for viewers of all ages.
Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV channels using just their Apple ID and password. Subscribers can watch and download shows and movies both online and offline, making the Apple TV app the first and only place where HBO subscribers can download movies and shows such as “Game of Thrones” for offline viewing.
Starting today, the Apple TV app offering Apple TV channels and iTunes movies and TV shows will also be available on all 2019 Samsung smart TVs and select 2018 models.
Also starting today, customers with AirPlay 2-enabled Samsung smart TVs can effortlessly play videos and other content from their iPhone, iPad or Mac directly to their smart TVs. Customers must update to iOS 12.3 or macOS 10.14.5 to play or mirror to AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs.
Customers with eligible VIZIO, LG and Sony smart TVs will be able to enjoy AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support later this year.
iOS 12.3 also features bug fixes and improvements for Apple News+, Apple Music, Apple TV Remote, AirPlay 2, CarPlay, and more.
In addition to iOS 12.3 and the Apple TV updates, Apple today is also releasing watchOS 5.2.1. That update will further expand the ECG and irregular heart beat notifications of Apple Watch to Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Iceland.
Apple has also released HomePod OS 12.3 today, which includes support for joining “some types of enterprise networks that require unique credentials.”
Lastly, Apple is releasing macOS 10.14.5, which focuses primarily on bug fixes and performance improvements. The Mac won’t gain its own TV application until later this year with macOS 10.15.