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Apple TV+ Review: Quietly Making Its Way To The Top

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Apple TV Plus continues to improve and is quickly becoming one of our favorite streaming services. While we ultimately still consider Apple TV Plus to be an optional subscription, that is slowly changing.

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Apple TV Plus first launched in November 2019. At the time, Apple’s streaming service was very limited in terms of content and device support. Over the years since, it has greatly improved in both areas. While there is still plenty of room for improvement, we think Apple TV Plus is quietly making its way to the top.

Apple TV+ $6.99
  • Experience
  • Content
  • Features
  • Price
3.5

Streaming Better verdict

Apple TV Plus still isn’t the finished article and some will find the library to be still limited. However, we do find the price and the focus on high quality content makes Apple TV Plus a good subscription to have.

Pros

Cheap
Ad-free
High quality content
Good for MLS

Cons

No ad-supported option
Smaller library
Limited Android support

Overall, Apple TV Plus now offers a much better and more varied library than even before, and with the addition of live sports, it is now an even richer product and more attractive subscription. What’s more, we really appreciate Apple’s attempt to keep the price of its streaming service as low as it has.

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Apple TV+ full review

If you’re still unsure of whether Apple TV Plus is the right service for you, here’s our full review.

How we reviewed this service: Apple TV Plus is one of the services we are subscribed to throughout the year and this review is based on that long-term usage. We primarily use Apple TV Plus on an Apple TV 4K (2022) player, but also tested the service on Android TV and tv.apple.com. We are currently signed up to the $69.99 annual plan.

Apple TV+ specs — what you need to know

Below is a summary of some of the main specifications for Apple TV Plus.

Monthly Price$6.99
Annual Price$69.99
Simultaneous Streams6
Ad Free
On Demand
Live TVSome live sports
Downloads✔ (iOS)
Apple TV+
$6.99 a month
Apple Originals
MLS and Baseball
Up to 6 streams
7-Day Free Trial

Apple TV+ experience — what it’s like to use

The Apple TV Plus experience is both good and bad, depending on the device you are using. Naturally, with this being an Apple service, Apple TV Plus works extremely well with Apple’s other products and services.

If you are already invested in Apple’s ecosystem, then signing up and using the service on an Apple TV Player, iPhone, or iPad is great and relatively straightforward. Not to mention, it is a very polished experience as well.

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If not particularly invested in Apple’s ecosystem, the experience is not quite as good. While Android users can access Apple TV Plus (via the Apple TV app) on an Android/Google TV device, they still can’t download the app on their Android mobile devices.

Regardless of the device, Apple TV Plus is accessed from within the existing Apple TV app. There is currently no standalone Apple TV+ app.

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Once in the Apple TV+ section, subscribers are presented with a similar, but slightly different design and user experience to other streaming apps.

Apple TV Home
Apple TV Home

Instead of focusing on genres, Apple TV Plus is more interested in recommending what’s popular, with Top Charts, Emmy Nominees, MLS Season Pass, and Friday Night Baseball rows.

Apple TV Plus Top Chart
Apple TV Plus: Top Chart

Subscribers are also presented with an Up Next on Apple TV+ row, which is basically Apple’s equivalent to a Continue Watching row.

If scrolling further down, subscribers will be presented with additional rows and filters, including Binge Entire Seasons, Fun for All, and More From the Stars of Apple TV+. The latter of which lets subscribers filter the library by actor.

Apple TV Plus Actor Filter
Apple TV Plus Actor filter

Once on a title page, subscribers get access to a familiar setup, with the ability to Play Episode, Add to Up Next (Up Next is Apple TV’s watchlist equivalent), and browse through any available episodes.

Apple TV Plus Title Page
Apple TV Plus: Title page

Quite often, these titles pages will also offer access to some additional content, including trailers, bonus content, and related recommendations.

Apple TV Plus Title Bonus Content
Apple TV Plus: Bonus content

All in all, we do find the Apple TV Plus app experience to be a little over the top at times. The design, use of large thumbnails, and focus on what Apple TV wants you to watch, can make it time-consuming to dig into the library.

If you just want to watch whatever new show or movie is available, or the latest episode of a show you’ve been watching, Apple TV Plus is easy enough to do. Finding hidden gems, however, can prove a little more tricky.

Apple TV+ content — what you can watch

In the past, the Apple TV Plus library was very limited. While it is still limited today, when compared to other streaming services, it has grown massively compared to those early days. Now, Apple TV Plus offers access to a decent selection of movies, shows, and additional content to stream at any time.

The one point to really note about the Apple TV Plus library is that it is completely stocked with Apple’s original programming. As a result, you won’t find content from other channels or networks here.

If that’s a deal-breaker for you, then Apple TV Plus isn’t the subscription service for you.

Popular Apple TV Plus Originals:

  • Acapulco
  • The Afterparty
  • Bad Sisters
  • Black Bird
  • For All Mankind
  • Foundation
  • Hijack
  • Schmigadoon!
  • Shrinking
  • Silo
  • Slow Horses
  • Ted Lasso

While this focus on its own content is one of the reasons why the library is so limited, Apple seems to be equally focused on producing high quality content. Regardless of whether you enjoy every show and movie offered by Apple TV, you can at least expect it to be of a certain quality, and that’s not something that you can say about every streaming service out there right now.

In this sense, it is somewhat of the polar opposite of Max. While an HBO subscription used to guarantee a certain type (and quality) of programming, the current version of Max now bundles the HBO catalog along with a ton of other content that drastically varies in type and quality.

You won’t get that experience with Apple TV Plus, which feels more similar to a legacy HBO subscription than a current Max subscription, albeit with a vastly smaller library of content than HBO.

Apple TV+ live TV — some live sports

Apple TV Plus doesn’t offer much in the way of a typical live TV experience. For example, there are no linear channels like you get with Paramount Plus and Peacock.

Instead, Apple has been far more concentrated on live sports, and this is where its live TV value really starts to shine through. That said, how much sports you get, depends on how much you pay.

For those just signed up to the main Apple TV Plus plan, the only live sports included with a subscription is Friday Night Baseball.

Apple TV Plus Friday Night Baseball
Apple TV Plus: Friday Night Baseball

Apple TV does also offer access to MLS games (every MLS game, in fact), but this requires an additional subscription, priced at$14.99 a month (or $99 a season).

If you are already subscribed to Apple TV Plus, then you will save a little on the cost of MLS Season Pass, so there is that, but you also don’t need to be signed up to Apple TV Plus to be able to subscribe to Apple’s MLS Season Pass.

Due to this difference, MLS content is not technically located within the main Apple TV+ section of the app. To be clear, some games are listed in the Apple TV+ section for easy access for Apple TV Plus subscribers.

Apple TV Plus MLS
Apple TV Plus: MLS

However, the Apple TV app comes with its own Sports (MLS on some devices) section to account for those not currently signed up to Apple TV Plus.

Apple TV app MLS
Apple TV app: MLS

Apple TV+ value — how much you pay

One of the big selling points with Apple TV Plus in our opinion is the price. At $6.99 a month, Apple TV Plus might not seem particularly cheap when compared to the competition.

With AdsCost p/m
Discovery+$4.99
Paramount+$5.99
Peacock$5.99
Apple TV+$6.99
Netflix$6.99
Disney+$7.99
Hulu $7.99
Max$9.99

However, Apple TV Plus offers an ad-free viewing experience and that massively changes things. When compared to the price of the cheapest ad-free plans offered by other streaming services, the value on offer with Apple TV Plus become very easy to see.

Ad-FreeCost p/m
Apple TV+$6.99
Discovery+$6.99
Starz$9.99
Disney+$10.99
Paramount+$11.99
Peacock$11.99
Hulu$14.99
Netflix$15.49
Max$15.99

A word of warning. Apple seems to have been intentionally keeping the price low while it continues to build out the service. With that in mind, we would expect the price to rise further over time, and possibly eventually even in line with other ad-free plans offered by competing services.

In the meantime, however, the service continues to offer very good value at its current monthly subscription price.

Is Apple TV+ worth it? — what we really think

Yes, we think Apple TV Plus is worth a subscription, but that’s more of a recent change in our thinking. Previously, the service was too light in terms of content to justify paying a monthly charge. With the library having expanded so much over time, we now see plenty of value in paying the monthly fee.

In reality, the library is still limited compared to some other services, so whether you should stay subscribed all year probably depends on how quickly you watch through the existing catalog, or how invested you are in seasonal sports.

For us, we will continue to pay for an annual subscription, as we prefer the additional savings we get for paying for the full year ahead.

Apple TV+
$6.99 a month
Apple Originals
MLS and Baseball
Up to 6 streams
7-Day Free Trial

Apple TV Plus FAQs

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Apple TV Plus.

How much is Apple TV Plus?

A standard Apple TV Plus subscription costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year when paying annually. Apple also offers Apple TV Plus as part of its Apple One service, which offers the option to bundle up to 5 subscriptions together at a cheaper price. Apple One plans start at $16.95 per month.

Is there an Apple TV Plus annual plan?

Yes, Apple does offer an Apple TV Plus annual plan although it is not well advertised. The annual subscription costs $69.99 a year and the easiest way to subscribe to the annual plan is to sign up for the 7-day free trial and then switch the subscription from monthly to annual in the account settings.

How many devices can you watch Apple TV Plus on?

Apple TV Plus can be streamed on up to 6 different devices at the same time.

Can you watch Apple TV Plus on Android?

Yes and no. You can download the Apple TV app (which includes Apple TV+) on Android TV (Google TV) devices but you cannot currently download the Apple TV app on Android mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Can you download on Apple TV Plus?

Yes, you can download Apple TV Plus videos but only on iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices.

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or say hi on Twitter

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