If you've missed watching Jason Momoa on Game of Thrones or Oprah Winfrey on her own self-titled long-running show, you can catch both plus more Hollywood stars on Apple TV Plus. Apple's premium video-streaming service opens with a modest nine shows, with more coming, the company says. You can watch Apple TV Plus on a variety or Apple devices as well as a selection of smart TVs and streaming boxes. And while Apple is pricing the service at $4.99 a month, the company is offering a variety of ways to watch everything for free for the next 12 months.
Apple TV Plus is an important part of the company's push into creating compelling services. Earlier this year, Apple launched two subscription services -- the $9.99 a month Apple News Plus and $4.99 a month Apple Arcade -- that join the $9.99 a month premium version of Apple Music and paid plans for iCloud storage. Services are a growing part of Apple's business plan to bring in and hold on to customers: In its most recent fiscal quarter, Apple said it had 450 million paid subscriptions for its services, up 36% from a year ago.
Here's what you need to start watching shows on Apple TV Plus.
When is Apple TV Plus' launch date?
You can watch now: The service opened Nov. 1.
Which devices can I watch on?
With the Apple TV app, you can watch Apple's streaming service on an iPhone ($500 at Best Buy) or iPod touch ($250 at Amazon) running iOS 12.3 or later, an iPad ($460 at Best Buy) running iPadOS, an Apple TV 4K ($110 at eBay) and HD running tvOS 12.3 or later and a Mac running Catalina. The 2018, 2019 and newer Samsung TVs and a streaming box that can run the Apple TV app, including select Roku and Amazon Fire ($47 at eBay) devices, should also work. No news on an app for Android devices. If you don't have a compatible device, you can watch with a Safari, Firefox or Chrome browser at tv.apple.com.
How much does Apple's service cost?
After a seven-day free trial, Apple TV Plus will run you $4.99 (£4.99, AU$7.99) a month. Apple is also offering a $49.99 annual plan, that you may be able to switch to by going to where you manage your subscriptions. (On iOS and Apple TV devices, find it in Settings. On a Mac, it's in the App Store.)
What about a family plan?
Through the service's Family Sharing plan, six family members can share one Apple TV Plus subscription. Each family member can watch with their own Apple ID.
How do I watch for free?
If you purchased a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch on or after September 10, Apple will give you a free year of its premium streaming service. The offer includes devices purchased from Apple or an Apple authorized reseller and refurbished models.
To claim your free year to Apple TV Plus, make sure you are signed in with your Apple ID on your new device and open the Apple TV app. Apple notes you should be running the latest version of your device's OS and you may need to update the Apple TV app to see the offer.
After opening the app, Tap the Enjoy 1 Year Free button and follow the instructions. You should be ready to go for a year.
If you are a college student with an Apple Music student subscription, you can get Apple's premium TV service bundled with your subscription for no additional cost. A student subscription to Apple Music is $4.99 a month.