After Josh Centers looked into the Reelgood and JustWatch video discovery services (see “A Million Streams and Nothing to Watch? Reelgood and JustWatch to the Rescue!,” 21 June 2019), I stumbled on not one but two partial solutions to the problem of Netflix assaulting us with autoplay previews (see “#DeathToAutoPlay—No More Audio and Video That Plays Automatically!,” 6 February 2019).
Reelgood to the Rescue, Sort Of
It turns out that Reelgood publishes an Apple TV app as part of its iOS Reelgood app. Although the app is simple—it doesn’t let you do any of the searching or browsing that you can do in the iOS app or the Web app—it does provide one key feature: you can open a movie or TV show on one of your Reelgood watchlists in Netflix directly from the Reelgood app (with a brief pause for you to select your account if you have multiple Netflix accounts).
That means you can use the Netflix app only for watching, and you don’t have to subject yourself to Netflix’s user-hostile interface just to get to your show.
I say the Reelgood Apple TV app is a “partial” solution for two reasons. First, although it can open a movie or TV show episode in the Netflix app, and it’s easy to return to Reelgood afterward by pressing the Menu button, the Reelgood app doesn’t know you finished watching. So you have to mark each one as watched when you’re done by clicking the Seen It button. When you do that, Reelgood moves movies to the Watched list or, for TV shows, presents the next episode.
Second, although we also watch some shows in Amazon Prime Video, Reelgood can’t perform the same trick to open shows in the Amazon Prime Video app. That’s disappointing since it means we can’t just initiate all watching from the Reelgood app.
Watch Better with WatchAid
While I was doing my background checking on the Reelgood app, I ran across a mention of WatchAid, another app that lets you search for TV shows, add them to a queue, and then initiate watching directly from the app. As with Reelgood, WatchAid provides an iOS app with an Apple TV adjunct. Unlike Reelgood, you can use WatchAid’s Apple TV app entirely on its own, or sync it with your iOS devices. If you put WatchAid on the top row of your Apple TV’s main screen, it even shows preview thumbnails for your shows when you have the icon selected.
Initially, WatchAid seemed like a complete win for us, since it can open shows in both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (plus other services), and when you exit out of the destination app by pressing the Menu button, WatchAid asks if you’d like to mark that episode as watched.
WatchAid also lets you populate your queue from within the Apple TV app. It lacks a category or genre browser, and its search capability is fussy due to the standard Apple TV search interface, but when you do find a show, you can follow it or view episodes to pick up in the middle. Just select the show you want to watch next, and WatchAid asks if you want to mark later shows as not yet watched.
On the downside, WatchAid’s database is less complete and less accurate than Reelgood’s. For instance, WatchAid thinks 3rd Rock from the Sun is available with a Netflix subscription (it’s not) and doesn’t realize it’s available with an Amazon Prime subscription (it is). WatchAid also doesn’t yet know that Netflix has just released season 3 of Glow. Plus, the WatchAid app frequently fails to connect to its server and requires clicking a Retry or Cancel button. Minor, but annoying.
But the real reason WatchAid is only a partial solution to the Netflix auto-play preview problem is that it works just with TV shows, and not with movies. Most of our viewing is TV, so that’s not a dealbreaker for us, but it may work less well for those who primarily watch movies.
So if you’ve become fed up with your streaming video apps pushing TV shows and movies you don’t want to watch, or you dislike being bombarded with autoplay previews, give WatchAid’s Apple TV app a try. It’s not perfect, but it’s a better experience than fighting with Netflix. And if WatchAid doesn’t float your boat and particularly if you already use Reelgood, perhaps its Apple TV app would be more to your liking.
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See everything that's on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO, and over 100 other subscription, TV everywhere, and free streaming services. Join the millions using Reelgood for searching, browsing, watching, and tracking TV shows and movies across all their streaming services in one app
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- Select your streaming services from the over 50 available on Reelgood
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Ratings and Reviews
4.7 out of 5
Brilliant. Robust. Perfect Film App!
For all of you passionate movie-watchers out there like me, it’s sometimes hard to find those unknown gems that spark excitement and real joy. The Reelgood App is a MUST HAVE for everyone, from novices to the aspiring film-buffs/wannabe Siskel & Eberts!
Search, save, and sort your favorite movies and TV shows in the matter of a few clicks. Find out what streaming service they’re on within another few clicks. Learn about other related movies and shows with just a few more clicks!
Honestly, during the pandemic, this has been one of my most used Apps to browse and note all of those great, highly rated movies, that I never knew about and would later realize that I wouldn’t have found it without the Reelgood App. Best App to casually waste time on, but later come to understand that you’re actually heavily investing into your free-time and screen time. If you like film, get the Reelgood App now.
Hands down the best iPhone App that I’ve found and used in 2020..! #NQ
If you have a Roku, ReelGood will change your life.
No more wasting time hunting for something to watch or where to watch something. I spent 1 hour adding TV shows and movies to my watch list and now I’ve got enough to watch for at least a year and I’ll save god knows how many hours over that time not wasting my time looking for something to watch every time I turn on the TV.
With ReelGood I know if something is available on any of my services for free. I don’t have to hunt around in each of my services to see if it’s available. And, ReelGood will notify me if anything in my watch list becomes available for free on any of my services.
By far, though, the best best best part of ReelGood is that I can tap on something to watch in the app and it will just start playing on my Roku. I don’t have to go the channel on my Roku and search for the thing I want to watch. Instead, ReelGood launches the channel and starts playing it on my Roku for me.
My only nitpick is that I wish I could set defaults to get something playing on my bedroom Roku with one tap. We have 4 Rokus in the house so it asks me each time which Roku I want to play something on. 99.9% of the time I’m watching on the bedroom Roku. And, I’ll never want to play something on my daughter’s Roku in her bedroom. Also, if I tap to watch something on HBO it asks which version of HBO we have every time (HBO Go, HBO Now, Etc.). I don’t really care. We have HBO Now so just play it there.
Great with a Couple Suggestions
This app does most of exactly what I was looking for in a TV/Movie organizing way. There are a few improvements I would like to see. 1) The app consistently kicks me out if I use it for more than a few minutes, at least it has saved everything I’ve done to that point. 2) Shows that I’ve seen and no longer tracking need to go in a separate place. Most of the suggestions were things I had already seen and I had marked as such. This way if I want to see them again I know where to find them without them clogging my suggestions. 3) In the summary section maybe include a little more information. Can’t really get a sense of some descriptions maybe the top cast. FYI The Odd Couple original and newer version episodes are smushed together. Some dates are wrong but I know y’all are working on that. Keep up the good work!
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Apple TV Plus, Apple's subscription video service has Ted Lasso, the comedy that won a stack of Emmys on Sept. 19; See, a big-budget fantasy starring Jason Momoa; and Foundation, the sci-fi show based on Isaac Asimov's classic book series, plus other originals. But Apple TV Plus is a little different than Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus and other subscription streaming services. For one, Apple TV Plus doesn't have its own dedicated app (or channel). Its shows live inside the Apple TV app. (And the Apple TV app is different from the Apple TV streaming device. Yeah, it's confusing.)
Apple TV Plus also lacks a deep library of licensed shows and movies to dive into. The service has original programming almost exclusively, with an emphasis on big-budget, prestige shows. Its lineup of high-end originals has grown to more than five dozen titles since it launched almost two years ago, including Ted Lasso; See; Foundation; The Morning Show, its big-budget drama series starring A-listers Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon; and The Problem with Jon Stewart, the comedy host's return to current-affairs TV; among others.
Still, most other subscription streaming services have thousands of hours of programming to watch.
Here are the main things to know about Apple TV Plus.
How can I watch Apple TV Plus?
Every Apple TV Plus title -- including Ted Lasso, Foundation, See and the rest -- is available to all subscribers. Apple TV Plus has only a single, $5-a-month tier, and it unlocks the full catalog of original programming.
But unlike Netflix and other subscription streaming services, Apple TV Plus doesn't have its own dedicated app. Apple TV Plus programming resides inside Apple's TV app, which overall serves as a hub to watch programming from other video subscriptions, and to rent or buy movies and shows a la carte. That can be a little confusing, but the TV app has a tab dedicated just to Apple TV Plus originals, so you can find them all in one place without other stuff that requires separate payments.
Apple's TV app (and, by extension, Apple TV Plus) is available on:
- Apple devices that can stream video including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV streaming boxes, iPod Touch and Macs
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android TV
- Google TV
- Samsung smart TVs
- LG smart TVs
- Vizio smart TVs
- Sony smart TVs
Apple TV Plus is also available to watch on the web at tv.apple.com.
Android users (and anybody with anything other than an iPhone and iPad), take note...
If you want to watch on an Android phone, or any mobile device besides an iPhone or iPad, you'll have to watch in a web browser. Apple's TV app isn't available on any mobile devices except the ones Apple makes itself.
How much does Apple TV Plus cost?
Apple TV Plus costs $5 a month, or $50 for an annual subscription. By comparison, Disney Plus is $8 a month, with a library of movies and shows that dwarfs Apples. And Netflix, the world's biggest subscription streaming service that also won the most Emmys of any company Sunday, prices its most popular plan at $13 a month in the US; it offers other tiers at $9 and $16 a month.
Apple is also including Apple TV Plus with its Apple Music student-discount plan, now offering both streaming services in the $5-a-month deal at no extra cost.
Apple TV Plus is also available as part of a discount bundle of services called Apple One. Apple One ranges in price from $15 to $30 a month for different combinations of subscriptions. Apple TV Plus is included in all tiers of Apple One. Depending on the tier, Apple One bundles may also include Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, storage service iCloud and the guided-workout service Apple Fitness Plus. (Disney Plus had offered something similar by packaging that service with both Hulu and ESPN Plus.)
Stay up-to-date on the latest news, reviews and advice on iPhones, iPads, Macs, services and software.
Does Apple TV Plus offer a free trial?
Apple TV Plus offers a seven-day free trial standard for any new subscriber.
As of July 1, Apple TV Plus offers an extended, three-month free trial to people who buy an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod Touch or Mac. This extended free trial applies to both new and refurbished models, including devices from the iPhone Upgrade Program, and it's not restricted to any specific sales channel, so it applies to both Apple Store purchases and those at resellers. It's available in all countries where Apple TV Plus is operating.
Back when Apple TV Plus launched in November 2019, the company offered an extended, one-year free trial for anyone who bought a qualifying Apple gadget. Even though Apple TV Plus is among the cheapest subscription streaming services of its kind, the generous promotion compensated for its lightweight library, which had only nine total titles to watch at the beginning.
Then as Apple TV Plus slowly worked to widen its catalog of original programming, Apple kept extending those yearlong free trials past their expirations multiple times. Many subscribers had never paid for the service as long as it existed up through July 1. One analyst estimated that 62% of Apple TV Plus accounts were freeloading with some sort of promotion.
But that changed in July. Apple began charging anyone who had been on a free trial longer than a year starting July 1, and any new subscriber who wants to unlock an extended free trial with an Apple gadget purchase gets only three months free now, not an entire year.
Free trials were long the industry standard, but they are becoming more rare. Services like Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Peacock have all phased out their standard free trials for new members. And Apple's one-year free period for gadget owners was atypically long.
When is Ted Lasso's second season finale?
Ted Lasso's second season -- now being released one episode a week -- is expected to wrap up with a finale available at midnight ET on Oct. 8, which is 9 p.m. PT on Oct. 7.
The premiere of the latest Ted Lasso season became available to stream on Apple TV Plus on July 23, and the show is expected to have 12 episodes. Three episodes remain to be released in this season.
When do new episodes and movies hit Apple TV Plus?
New episodes and films become available to stream on Apple TV Plus at midnight ET at the very start of the day they're scheduled to come out. That means new titles are actually available at 9 p.m. PT the night before their published release date.
So, for example, the premiere of The Morning Show's second season became available to stream at midnight ET Friday, which was 9 p.m. PT Thursday.
The vast majority of Apple TV Plus titles are released like this, at midnight Fridays ET / 9 p.m. Thursdays PT, so the latest episodes of See, Ted Lasso and almost everything else are first available to stream then too. There are some exceptions -- The Problem With John Stewart will premiere at midnight ET on a Thursday (that is, late Wednesday PT), for example.
What other big shows and movies are coming?
Apple has a steady drumbeat of new programming in the pipeline. Generally, most Apple TV Plus series release their episodes one at a time every week:
- Oct. 8 -- Acapulco, a bilingual comedy series starring Eugenio Derbez about a 20-something man (not Derbez) whose dream comes true when he's hired as a cabana boy at the hottest resort in Acapulco.
- Oct. 8 -- Get Rolling With Otis, an animated series based on the book series about Otis the Tractor and his friends on Long Hill Dairy Farm.
- Oct. 15 -- The Velvet Underground, a documentary by director Todd Haynes about the iconic rock band.
- Oct. 15 -- Puppy Place, a live-action family series based on a best-selling book series about the adventures of dog-loving siblings who foster puppies.
- Oct. 22 -- Invasion, a sci-fi series that follows an alien invasion through different perspectives around the world, which will release two episodes at its premiere followed by a single episode weekly.
- Oct. 29 -- Swagger, a drama series from Kevin Durant inspired by the NBA superstar's experiences in youth basketball, exploring the lives of players, their families and coaches.
- Nov. 5 -- Finch, a post-apocalyptic film starring Tom Hanks about a robotics engineer's quest to create a companion for his beloved dog after he's gone.
- Nov. 5 -- Dickinson (season three), a comedy based loosely on the life of poet Emily Dickinson, with this season taking place in the midst of the American Civil War.
- Nov. 12 -- The Shrink Next Door, a limited series starring Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell and Kathryn Hahn about a psychiatrist to the stars and his longtime patient, inspired by true events.
- Dec. 17 -- Swan Song, a film starring Mahershala Ali set in the near future about a father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an option to shield his family from grief.
What other shows and movies does it have?
Apple's shows run the gamut of drama, comedy, documentary -- even undefined deals with a single big star attached. It's also spending big to get top Hollywood names: Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams and other heavy hitters are on board. Apple also struck an exclusive deal with Alfonso Cuarón for the famed director's first television projects.
Since Apple TV Plus resides in Apple's TV app, you can check out the selection there before signing up. You can also browse the catalog through third-party services like Reelgood.
Apple's press site also rounds up all Apple TV Plus original titles, including some that have been announced but aren't released yet.
Apple planned to give theater runs to some of its films before streaming them on Apple TV Plus, but the coronavirus pandemic has stifled those plans for the time being.
How do I sign up?
Apple TV Plus is associated with Apple ID, which is the same log-in you'd use for iCloud or downloading apps from its App Store. If you don't already have an Apple ID, you can create one here.
If you already have Apple's TV app on an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, you simply need to open the app and navigate to any of the places where Apple is prominently promoting its original shows. On newly purchased iPhones, for example, the app already knows you've purchased a new gadget to qualify for the deal. Whether you're starting Apple TV Plus with a year free or just the standard one-week trial, the shows start playing in the app after a few taps.
You can also sign up and watch online with a web browser at the Apple TV Plus site.
What devices can stream Apple TV Plus?
Apple's programming is available on all its devices with the Apple TV app.
In addition, Apple TV Plus is available on some competitors' devices. Apple's TV app is available on Roku and Fire TV, two of the most widely used streaming devices in the US, and for smart TVs from Samsung and LG. You can watch it on Sony and Vizio smart TVs via AirPlay, and the TV app should be available for those smart TVs now.
Apple widened support for Apple TV Plus to game consoles in the fall. In October, Sony said its Playstation 5 would support Apple TV Plus at launch. A couple of weeks later, Microsoft said Apple TV Plus would be supported on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
Subscribers will also be able to watch Apple TV Plus on the web at tv.apple.com.
But the Apple TV app isn't available on any mobile devices except iPhones or iPads. That means Apple TV Plus subscribers with non-Apple phones -- meaning, the huge population of people with Android phones -- need to stream to their mobiles via the web, rather than in an app.
How do I cancel Apple TV Plus?
The simplest way for you to cancel Apple TV Plus, regardless of how you signed up or what device you're using, is to sign in with your account's Apple ID at tv.apple.com. Click or tap the small circular account icon in the upper right corner and select Settings. Then scroll down to Subscriptions and, finally, tap the link to Manage. From there, you can choose to cancel your subscription.
How do I check the time left in my free trial?
You can check the remaining time of your free trial at the same Settings page described above, under the Subscriptions section. CNET also has an article explaining other ways to find the expiration date of your free trial on your iPhone or your Apple TV streaming box.
How does Apple TV Plus compare with Netflix, Disney Plus and other subscription video services?
Apple TV Plus is a subscription streaming service to watch the company's original series and movies exclusively. Like Netflix, it doesn't have ads.
Unlike Netflix, it doesn't have a big library of licensed shows or movies, nor will it release full seasons of its shows all at once in a binge-able bunch (for the most part). Most Apple TV Plus series premiere a small cluster of episodes, often three, followed by one new episode every week. Full seasons of some series drop all at the same time, though.
Apple TV Plus is available in more than 100 countries and is also part of Apple's family-sharing feature, which allows you to add up to five family members to share a plan. Apple originals are available in 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision, and most titles also offer Dolby Atmos sound, according to this Apple support page.
Apple is a gadget giant. Why does it want to become Netflix?
Apple is taking aim at original video because it could be a crucial enticement for people to buy more iPhones and other gadgets. You can't overstate the importance of the iPhone to Apple. The phone, one of the most popular in the world, still accounts for more than half its sales and was critical to Apple's march to become the first US company worth $1 trillion.
Apple quickly established its bona fides in subscriptions businesses with Apple Music. But the content on Apple Music is essentially the same as every other music service. They all have tens of millions of songs. Apple Music has been successful largely because of its presence on the iPhone, already in the pockets of millions of people. It hasn't been nearly as successful working the other direction, acting as a lure to buy the latest Apple gadget.
Original video from big-name stars and creators you can't watch anywhere else, however, could be different.
Apple clearly has a hunch it will be.
Top 5 TV shows on streaming: Ted Lasso season 2 from Apple TV+ takes the lead
The weekend numbers are in and Reelgood has the Weekend TV Show Box Office report! Unsurprisingly, Ted Lasso season 2 from Apple TV+ takes the lead. Let’s see which other shows made the top five.
Reelgood is a cool streaming hub that is free to use. The app gathers all the content from your streaming services for you to track what you’re watching, what you want to watch, what’s trending, and more! You can learn more about it, HERE.
These days there seem to be one too many shows available to stream across Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Apple TV+, and so many others! That said, it can be a bit overwhelming, even for the biggest TV fans. This is why we love sites like Reelgood, to keep track of what’s popular so we know what to watch instead of spending time searching for the next hit series.
According to Reelgood, Apple TV+ was the streaming champ of the weekend as Ted Lasso season 2 set a new record for the streaming platform on Reelgood– and we believe it, Ted Lasso is one of our favorite shows!
The source goes on to share:
“Ted Lasso season 1 debuted with 1.9% shares of weekend streaming on Reelgood from Aug. 14 to 16, 2020. Last week, season 2 got a much warmer reception, with 4.6% shares of weekend streaming.”
That’s amazing growth! Let’s see which other shows made the Top 5:
Ted Lasso is No. 1 on Reelgood, image courtesy Reelgood
Ted Lasso is the most-watched show on streaming
Reelgood points out that Apple TV+ is slowly, but surely, making its way to the top. There are many more new and returning shows and movies coming soon, so it’s definitely a platform you want to keep an eye on.
Heist from Netflix comes in at No. 2, The White Lotus on HBO Max is No. 3, Loki is staying strong at No. 4, and Manifest is hanging in there at No. 5.
I love seeing Manifest continue appearing on these lists. Last we heard, there are still talks about saving the series for another season, but nothing is official yet.
How many of these five shows have you streamed?
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Now. Vlad, how are you. Are you serious. Absolutely.