Apple’s TV app for iPhone didn’t get any new features with the iOS 17.1 software update, but iOS 17.2 is a whole different story. There are big changes to playback controls, your channels, store content, and more.
Many of the new features and changes in the Apple TV app also appear on iPadOS 17.2 for iPad. Both iOS 17.2 and iPadOS 17.2 are in beta and won’t be available as a stable release until late November or perhaps even sometime in December. If you want to try these features for yourself now and before everyone else, join the iOS 17.2 or iPadOS 17.2 beta.
1. New navigation buttons
A few bottom navigation buttons got a new look in iOS 17, and it looks like Apple isn’t quite sure what it wants yet.
- On iOS 17.2 beta 1, the Watch Now tab had a TV icon instead of a triangular play icon inside a circle. And the triangular play icon has been moved to the stack icon of the “Library” tab.
- On iOS 17.2 beta 2, the Watch Now tab is now called “Home” and returns to the triangular play icon, only within a rounded rectangle instead of a circle. But the “Library” tab also keeps its new play icon. Interestingly, the “Apple TV+” tab also gets a new design, with an enlarged Apple TV+ icon without the restrictive box. The name has also been changed from “Originals” to “Apple TV+”, which is a bit repetitive.
2. New icons for your TV channels
The My Channels section of the Home tab is called My TV on iOS 17.2, and that’s not the only thing new about it. You’ll immediately notice that the round icons with channel logos are no more, replaced by large rectangular cards with channel logos and album art for featured TV shows.
3. Your TV channels show non-Apple subscriptions
The first part of the new My TV section shows your most used Apple TV channel subscriptions. But it doesn’t stop there. On iOS 17.2, it also includes other commonly used streaming video apps and channels that you subscribe to directly through the channel or a cable provider.
So if you subscribe to AMC+ and Paramount+ through Apple, and Disney+, Max, and Hulu through those services, directly or through a cable subscription, with their apps installed, you’ll see them together here.
As you scroll through the list, ‘More channels to try’ is now just ‘More TV’. Your less-visited Apple TV channels and services you subscribe to directly or through a cable subscription appear here first. Then, as you scroll through all those channels, the alphabetical list of channels you haven’t paid for will appear.
Previously, channels only appeared to which you could subscribe via Apple TV. Channels appear behind your Channels, but now there are also apps that you can connect to the TV app, but can’t subscribe to directly through Apple. The latter should have a ‘Connect’ button with a note that ‘a subscription may be required’.
You can find a list of all your streaming video apps and channels by tapping your profile photo and selecting “Connected Apps.” To remove one from the list in My TV or the first part of More TV, disable the service and choose an option to disconnect, with or without saving your playback history.
4. Info + Next via Playback Controls
When you’re playing a video, tap the screen to reveal the playback controls, and you’ll see new links below the timeline bar for Info and Next.
Info gives you the content description, genre, runtime, Rotten Tomatoes rating, parental guidelines rating, etc. It also has a “Details” button, which moves the video to Picture in Picture and the content page in the TV app opens. as a “Play from beginning” button, which restarts the media.
Up Next shows a vertical list below the video of your saved queue. You can quickly jump to another video from here. And you can tap a title’s ellipsis (•••) or long-press the title to see options to visit the show/movie page, share it, remove it from Up Next, and save the movie or all You can mark episodes as watched.
5. More changes to playback controls
Also among the playback buttons, you will now see the AirPlay button at the top left next to the Picture in Picture button instead of at the bottom right.
In landscape orientation, the More Controls (•••) button at the bottom right is not always visible. If not, there will instead be icons for individual features supported by the current media, such as playback speed, languages and subtitles. And the More Controls button may still contain other functions, such as Lookup.
This change also applies to the default video player in Safari and third-party WebKit browsers.
6. Glyphs for genres in library
On iOS 17.2, if you go to Library -> Genres, you will no longer see blue text for each genre. Instead, there are new blue symbols for each genre to the left of the now black or white text (depending on light/dark mode). For example, Kids & Family has a balloon icon, Thriller has a shark, and Horror has a Jason-style hockey mask.
7. Aggregated Store Content
The Shop section in the Apple TV app also sees a change on iOS 17.2. Instead of tabs at the top for movies and TV shows, which let you limit content by type, the tabs are gone and merged. So movies and TV shows occupy the same now-expanded page slots and sections below.
Additionally, when browsing collections in the store, the back button now simply says “Shop” instead of “Movies” or “TV Shows.”
8. Add channels and apps from the Store tab
With the redesigned Store tab in the TV app, you’ll also find a new “Add Channels & Apps” section, which shows the new cards for apps and channels you can subscribe to. Unlike the Home tab, you probably won’t see many apps or channels here that you currently have or subscribe to. It mainly contains apps and channels that you can subscribe to via Apple or download and connect to the TV app.
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