Apple TV+ will be available in Australia from November 1st, priced at A$7.99 a month, with a seven-day free trial. You will be able to access it on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, Apple TV (3rd generation), iPod touch and Mac, provided you are running iOS 12.3 or later, tvOS 12.3 or later, or macOS Catalina on a Mac.
As of now, purchases of any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac will come with a whole year of Apple TV+ access for free.
And through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share one Apple TV+ subscription.
The latest AirPlay 2-enabled Samsung and LG smart TVs will also be able to play AppleTV+ and to mirror Apple TV+ originals from the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac directly to their smart TVs. Some Sony smart TVs will also be able to enjoy AirPlay 2 support later this year, as will Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.
What seems most remarkable is that Apple describes it as "all-original", in the same way that all the games to be made available on its new games subscription service Apple Arcade will not be platform translations, but entirely new games not available anywhere else. Most Apple TV+ series will premiere with three episodes available, and one new episode to roll out each week. Full seasons of some series will be available all at once.
Yet this will surely limit the quantity of content, making it initially a pitch for quality over sheer quantity. All-original content is also an expensive way to run a subscription channel. On the other hand it allows Apple to quality control its shows from source, and they will be available (subject to your bandwidth) with video in 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision, and most titles also with sound in Dolby Atmos.
Apple+ vs Disney+
All this also puts Apple right up against the launch of Disney+, set for November 12 launch in the United States, with Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands on a promise for the service to begin before the end of that month. It will be priced here at $8.99 a month, also operating across multiple platforms including AppleTV and iOS iPhones and iPads, on Android TV and Android devices, also PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and desktop browsers.
What will Disney+ offer? Well of course Disney and Pixar movies and TV shows, but Disney also owns the Star Wars franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, National Geographic and now 21st Century Fox, which includes The Simpsons. And its biggest strength may come from denying much of this content to competing streaming platforms, including, apparently, AppleTV+... despite the ties between the companies.
So what does Apple have? The following Apple TV+ originals will debut on the Apple TV app on 1 November:
- “See,” an epic drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, is set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind. When all humanity has lost the sense of sight, humans must adapt and find new ways to survive.
- “Morning Wars,” a cutthroat drama starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and starring Steve Carell, explores the world of morning news and the ego, ambition and the misguided search for power behind the people who help America wake up in the morning.
- “Dickinson,” a darkly comedic coming-of-age story, explores the constraints of society, gender and family through the lens of rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson.
- “For All Mankind,” a new series from Ronald D. Moore, imagines what would have happened if the global space race never ended and the space program remained the cultural centrepiece of America’s hopes and dreams.
- “Helpsters,” a new children’s series from the makers of “Sesame Street,” stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems. It all starts with a plan.
- “Snoopy in Space,” a new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media, takes viewers on a journey with Snoopy as he follows his dreams to become an astronaut. Together, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew take command of the International Space Station and explore the moon and beyond.
- “Ghostwriter,” a reinvention of the beloved original series, follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighbourhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.
- “The Elephant Queen,” an acclaimed documentary film and cinematic love letter to a species on the verge of extinction, follows a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming.
- Oprah Winfrey joins the world’s most compelling authors in conversation as she builds a vibrant, global book club community and other projects to connect with people around the world and share meaningful ways to create positive change.
More Apple TV+ originals will be added to the Apple TV app each month, including:
- “Servant,” a new psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.
- “Truth Be Told,” a gripping new series starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Emmy Award winner Aaron Paul, explores America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and navigates urgent concerns about privacy, media and race.
- “Little America,” inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, brings to life the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America.
- “The Banker,” a feature film inspired by a true story, stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two African American entrepreneurs who try to circumvent the racial limitations of the 1950s and quietly provide housing loans to the African American community in Jim Crow Texas. Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult also star.
- “Hala,” a feature film and official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.
More trailers can be viewed now through the Apple TV app.