On November 1, was Apple TV+’s debut. I finished the new season of Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime, whilst waiting for 3PM, Philippine Standard Time, for the Apple TV+ to activate (midnight Pacific in the US). I was nursing a cold, so I took the opportunity to just relax and watch the new shows.
Apple provides free one-year Apple TV+ subscription if you bought any new qualified Apple device after September 10. Luckily, I activated a new iPad Pro before October. This gave me one full year of Apple TV+, which you get to apply when you first run the Apple TV app on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. If you are on a Family Sharing account, all your family members get the same one year subscription. Neat, huh? One thing, though, do not unsubscribe until after the one year period is up, or you will immediately lose the subscription — this is unlike the other subscription services on the App Store.
Apple TV+ is a streaming service that contains Apple produced/purchased content, i.e., no licensed shows from other networks, not yet at least. Being an infant in this space, compared to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc., Apple TV+ has a very narrow collection of shows, and it makes sense that it is the cheapest as well.
First thing I checked out was the first episode of “For All Mankind”, an alternate-reality space race, where the Soviets beat the US in bringing man to the moon, and Nixon remains the US president. After this, I went to see “See”. These two got me hooked immediately! We (my wife, kids and I) finished the first three episodes of See. I am currently finishing the second episode of “For All Mankind” as I type. Haha.
In between these two series, I checked out “Snoopy in Space” (love it!), Helpsters (Apple TV+’s show with the Sesame Workshop — which did not connect with my 10 year old), and yes, we checked out Oprah’s book club, too (which bored me after 5 minutes). There’s still “The Morning Show”, “Dickenson”, “The Elephant Queen”, and the “GhostWriters”, to check out later today.
Initial verdict — I love Apple TV+. I can watch it on any of my Apple devices. You can even download the episodes for offline viewing (this means that my iPad Pro will get filled with these shows). Will it replace Netflix and Hulu? Netflix, no, but Hulu might be replaced, specially with Disney+ launching in less than two weeks.
Apple TV+ will start to be available today, November 2, in the Philippines. You can watch the first two episodes for free, after which, Apple will ask you to subscribe. So what are you waiting for? It is less than two grande Starbucks frappes a month.