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Apple's TV app has changed how I watch television

Apple's TV app has changed how I watch television
When Apple first announce the TV app for tvOS and iOS, my first thought was, "meh." Especially after learning that it isn't even compatible with Netflix, which is one of the few streaming entertainment services I subscribe to.
Considering I don't subscribe to any cable services, it didn't seem like it would benefit someone like me, a "cord-cutter."

Then it launched. I had to check it out — it's my job — and I was surprised at how much it opened my options. TV.app recommends shows based on my previous TV and movie watching activities, and suggests new stuff to watch, even from channels I didn't know I could access. I now have a lot more to look forward to than rewatching Always Sunny in Philadelphia again (which I could do forever).

More channels to watch, more shows to discover

If you visit the Store tab of the TV app, you'll see a section called "Start Watching Now." This lists a number of the most popular services that offer content without a cable subscription, either paid or free. Some have their own bite-sized monthly costs, like HBO Now, Showtime, and Starz, but others provide free content that can be watched without any kind of subscription whatsoever, like ABC News and PBS.

The TV app will start recommending shows from other apps you have installed.

When you find a channel that looks interesting, download its app onto your Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad. Once it's installed, open it and confirm permission for Apple TV to access your activities on it. Then, the TV app will start recommending shows to you from that app.

When I first started, I was only offered content from Hulu. But, after downloading and installing a few channel apps on my Apple TV, I was recommended shows and movies from Fox and NBC, both of which offer limited free content that I can watch without a cable subscription.

Get right to it!

The Up Next feature in the TV app is like my dream come true. Sometimes, I'm watching something on Hulu, sometimes, I'm watching something on the CW. It used to be that, I'd sit down to watch some TV and I'd think, "What was I watching yesterday?" Or even worse, "Which app had that show?" I'd jump into the Hulu app, search around my recently watched list, not see it, jump into the CW app, search around for it, maybe find it. Then, I'd finally start watching TV.

With Up Next, you open the TV app and see everything you want to continue watching.

With Up Next, I just open the TV app and browse my recently watched content across all of the apps I watch stuff in (except Netflix). Sometimes, I'll have forgotten that I was watching a show and can pick it up without missing a beat thanks to Up Next.

It's so much less frustrating and time consuming than having to search around a variety of apps looking for something to watch. I used to spend 15 minutes (or more) looking for something to watch. With Up Next, I spend less time looking for something and more time just watching.

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