Apple TV Plus UK | what you need to know

It is safe to say that Apple should no longer be considered as simply a manufacturer and distributor of the newest iPhone or iPad. As of March 2022, subscriptions to Apple TV Plus are estimated to have reached 20 million, with no sign of slowing down.

There are two significant components to Apple TV: the Apple TV app, where you can rent, purchase and stream a wide collection of movies and shows, and Apple TV Plus, the streaming service that offers a broad range of award-winning original content for a monthly subscription cost.

What’s in this Guide?

What is Apple TV Plus?

Launched in 2019 by tech giant Apple to challenge the monopoly of streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and counter the emergence of Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus is a streaming service designed primarily for an Apple device. Initially, its goal was to create an entire catalogue of original shows and content in a model similar to that of HBO.

Armed with substantial financial backing and celebrity partnerships from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston, it was greeted with much fanfare, with an initial run of eight original shows. In 2020, it tweaked its strategy and began to acquire legacy content, available via the Apple TV app, to bolster its library in an attempt to retain new subscribers.

Upon its launch, Apple TV Plus offered extended free trials to customers who purchased valid and eligible Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, or Mac). These offers continued until mid-2021.

Today, new Apple TV Plus customers can receive three months free upon purchasing an eligible Apple device.

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Apple Originals

Apple’s library of original content is considerable and covers all types, from compelling dramas to pulsating sci-fi series, with new Apple originals added each month. Below are just a handful of the shows currently on offer from Apple TV Plus, or check what’s on Apple TV Plus this month.

  • Ted Lasso – comedy starring Jason Sudeikis about a college football coach thrust into the role of managing an English Premier League soccer team despite having no knowledge or experience of the game. Honoured with four Emmys in 2021, you will not want to miss this award-winning series.
  • The Morning Show – drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon about a famous news anchor desperate to retain her job amid scandal while also dealing with the rise of an unorthodox rival reporter.
  • Mythic Quest – comedy starring Rob McElhenney about a fictional game studio and its smash-hit title Mythic Quest. However, trouble ensues between the studio members as they attempt to replicate the success with the sequel.
  • For All Mankind – sci-fi series starring Joel Kinnaman explores an alternative universe in which the Soviet Union landed on the moon first, and the space race never ended.
  • Finch – an Apple TV Plus exclusive post-apocalyptic survival film starring Tom Hanks as a robotics engineer desperate to protect his dog for when he is no longer around, with his solution being to invent a robot who goes on to learn about the beauty of life.
  • Acapulco – comedy starring Enrique Arrizon as a young Mexican man who receives a life-changing opportunity to work at Acapulco’s most prestigious resort but soon finds the role trickier than expected. It received an Emmy nomination for Best Foreign Language Series.

What is the Apple TV App?

Introduced as the replacement for the iTunes app, the Apple TV app acts as the central hub for all Apple TV content, including both original shows and films and licensed content from elsewhere available to rent or own. It can also stream content from other streaming services such as Disney+ and Amazon video via Apple TV and other Apple devices.

Its most impressive functionality comes when used with Apple TV and Apple TV 4k devices. It is the only app needed when keeping track of what you have already watched and where you are up to within a series by supporting a wide range of additional services.

It is also available on most modern smart TVs, including an Amazon Fire smart TV and Samsung smart TVs, as well as Xbox series games consoles and Roku devices.

How Much Does Apple TV Plus Cost?

Without the purchase of an eligible Apple streaming device, new customers will receive a seven-day free trial, after which time a monthly subscription fee of £4.99 is applied. There is also the option of an annual subscription cost of £49.99. Customers can cancel at any time, though access to services will end if the cancellation is made during the free trial period.

Aside from the standard Apple TV Plus plans, Apple One is another possible option. With Apple One, you will gain access to five additional Apple services on top of Apple TV Plus, including Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, and iCloud+. Individual plans start from £14.95 per month, with alternative plans for additional family and premium options.

Apple TV Plus Plan

  • New customers: 7-day free trial
  • 3 mos free when you buy an eligible Apple device
  • Monthly
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • 4K HDR included
  • Up to 6 simultaneous streams
  • $4.99/mth
Min Cost - £4.99 over 1 month

How Much for Non-Original Shows and Movies?

Apple TV Plus continues to increase its catalogue of additional content available to rent and purchase via the Apple TV app. Users can buy TV shows and films to watch offline at their leisure, or they can rent content and be given 30 days to start watching. If a user rents a film and begins watching it, they will have 48 hours to finish before losing access.

Its range of titles is considerable, ranging from those fresh off the big screen to more classic titles.

This is often reflective of the price, with recent blockbusters available to rent for £15.99 and many older titles available to purchase for as little as £3.49.

Best Ways to Watch Apple TV Plus

For the most optimal home entertainment experience from Apple TV Plus, watching on an Apple TV or several devices such as an iPad or iPod Touch is suggested. An Apple TV 4k box is also recommended as this will allow users to stream Apple originals in 4k with Dolby Digital surround.

Many other smart TV brands are capable of supporting the service, including Amazon Fire TV and most Android devices. There is currently no dedicated support for Windows. Other streaming devices such as PlayStation and Xbox games consoles also support the Apple TV app.

Apple TV Plus is a great source of content for the whole family, with top-notch kids’ entertainment being added regularly. However, there is no need to worry about them accessing shows and films not intended for them as a user can easily apply parental controls to the service.

All you need to get started is a validated Apple account.

Are There Alternatives to Apple TV Plus in the UK?

There is now a huge range of choices for UK viewers when it comes to streaming services.

While Apple TV Plus is making great strides with its original content, with several of its shows attracting loyal audiences and picking up numerous award nominations, its back catalogue of additional shows and films still needs beefing up.

Disney Plus allows users access to its vast range of original animated films and exclusive content from Marvel and Fox, to name a few.

Netflix continues to hold its own with curated collections of TV and film that have been amassed over several years now.

HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Britbox TV are also worth a look at.

Click here to compare and contrast each streaming service on offer.

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