The Apple TV has a new app, called simply TV, that promises to help make sense of the 1600 video content providers that have apps on the platform. It looks useful and great, but it’s missing two key pieces toward becoming a truly useful streaming sifter: Netflix and Amazon.
Amazon’s absence is no surprise, given that Amazon Video has never been on Apple TV, and seems unlikely to show up any time soon. (If you need any further indication of Amazon’s feelings about Apple’s streaming box, keep in mind that it not long ago removed it, as well as Chromecast, from its digital shelves.)
Netflix comes as a bit of a surprise, though, as it’s long been a stalwart of streaming boxes, and was previously a participant in Apple TV’s universal search feature. The service didn’t appear in Apple’s presentation today, though, and the company has confirmed that it won’t be involved, at least at launch. “I can confirm we are not participating and evaluating the opportunity,” says Netflix spokesperson Smita Saran.
Netflix is still on Apple TV, of course, and this does not preclude future involvement in Apple’s new TV app, but a new service that’s meant to call up all of your streaming options that leaves out everything from Orange Is the New Black and Narcos to the slate of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars movies that will join the Netflix catalog over the next three years seems like it will fall short of its aspirations.
Another caveat? While Apple showed off lots of live streaming through the app, including plentiful news and sports, most of those services require a cable log-in to authenticate. The TV app should help declutter, but not cord-cutters. Between that and the absence of two of the biggest streaming players, it’s maybe best to view it as an added convenience, but not a true TV replacement.