The new streaming service from Apple debuts this week with a starting price of just $4.99/mo.
And no, you don’t need to buy a $179 Apple TV streaming device to watch Apple TV+. In fact, you probably already have everything you need right in your living room.
Apple TV+ will be available through the Apple TV app, which works with almost every streaming device and many smart TVs, but some options are simpler than others.
Here is everything you need to know to watch Apple TV+ when it launches this week.
Apple TV+ will work with most streaming devices
Apple TV+ will work with nearly every major streaming device. Here is the list of its compatible devices so far:
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire TV
Notably absent from this list is Google’s Chromecast streaming device. This allows users to cast apps from their phone, tablet or laptop to their TV. Unfortunately, your options for watching Apple TV+ will be more limited if this is your streaming device of choice.
You’ll only be able to cast the streaming service to your TV through a Google Chrome web browser. As of right now, the Apple TV app does not support Chromecast, so you won’t be able to use your phone or tablet for casting.
When Apple announced its streaming service back in March, it promised that “in the future, we’ll be bringing the Apple TV experience to even more smart TVs, streaming boxes and streaming sticks.” Since then, it has released apps for Amazon Fire TV and Roku, but there’s still no word about Chromecast.
Smart TV compatibility is hit or miss
As of right now, the only smart TVs that will let you download the Apple TV app directly are Samsung models from 2018 or later. That said, many other TV manufacturers are beginning to support AirPlay 2 compatibility, meaning you can stream content from your Apple device to your TV. Here are the smart TVs that we know will be offering AirPlay 2, but not the Apple TV app directly:
- Sony (2019 or newer)
- LG (2019 or newer)
- VIZIO (2016 or newer)
The user experience probably won’t be as good on these models as it would be if the app was built into the TV directly, but it should still be pretty simple to watch Apple TV+ as soon as it launches.
Unsurprisingly, given Apple’s competitive relationship with the Android operating system, Apple TV+ won’t work at all with Android TVs at launch. However, users should still be able to cast from a Chrome browser to their Android TV, as cumbersome as that process may be.
According to a recent report, about one in 10 smart TVs sold today run on the Android TV operating system.
Not available on any gaming consoles
Unfortunately, anyone who relies on video game consoles for their streaming apps will be left out from Apple TV+. The new streaming service will not work with Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch, and there are no signs that things will change anytime soon.