Apple TV+ explained

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What is Apple TV+?Apple TV+/Jack English

Apple TV+ has established itself as a streaming giant to rival the likes of Netflix and Disney+ with its quality of film and TV output.

The iPhone-backed streaming platform has also made its stellar content easy to access, with various opportunities to watch what it has on offer for a steal of a price.

Apple also rolled out its Apple One bundle service as it continued to grow its offering, but with an increasing number of streamers we're all expected to subscribe to, it can be hard to keep track of what's where and you may be thinking twice about adding more to your monthly bill.

But never fear, Digital Spy is here to cut through the jargon, the price tags and the swarm of online streaming content to give it to you straight.

Here's everything you need to know about Apple TV+ and why it might be the platform for you.

Apple TV+ price: What's the cost, and is there a free trial?

zach cherry, britt lower and john turturro in severance
Apple TV

Apple TV+ is one of the cheaper available subscription services in the UK, coming in at just £8.99 a month, making it one of the cheapest options out there. Netflix is £10.99 a month for the standard package, while Prime Video is currently £8.99 a month.

But if you're unsure whether Apple TV+ is worth it, the service offers a one-week free trial as part of its preliminary deal.

And while it's not guaranteed for all original content, many Apple TV+ shows also allow you to watch the first episode for free to tempt you into the full subscription.

As well as this, whenever you buy a new Apple device or upgrade your phone, you're allowed an extended free trial of any other Apple service. So, if you're considering getting an iPad, iPhone or Macbook, you can choose Apple Music, Apple Arcade or Apple TV+ to try out.

Finally, if you're a student and sign up for the Apple Music plan, Apple TV+ comes free as well — for up to four years, which is nothing to sniff at.

Click here for Apple TV+'s free trial

What's the difference between Apple One and Apple TV+?

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Apple One is another service that incorporates Apple TV+ into a full-bundle deal with other Apple services.

The service combines access to Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade and iCloud. Payments start at £18.95 a month.

So, while it's a bit more expensive, it could also be a nice little saver if you're signing up for these things separately anyway.

What shows can I watch on Apple TV+?

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Apple TV+ has stood out in a crowded market of streaming sites for favouring quality over quantity when producing original shows. It's paid off massively, with a number of shows becoming firm favourites since the streamer's launch.

2024 is shaping up to be a big TV year for Apple. In January alone, both Masters of the Air and Criminal Record premiered on the platform.

Masters of the Air came with the producing heft of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, as Austin Butler, Ncuti Gatwa and Barry Keoghan starred in the nine-part World War II tale.

Worlds away from the 100th Bomb Group, Criminal Record was a powerful, character-driven police procedural set in London. Peter Capaldi starred as a no-nonsense, somewhat frightening Met detective alongside Cush Jumbo, who was just as dogged about her police work but fought an uphill battle against race, gender and age discrimination to do it.

More recently, we saw Colin Farrell's mysterious neo-noir private detective arrive on the platform in Sugar. You might have heard wind of the show's major mid-season twist, but if not, you can catch up on all eight episodes now.

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Apple TV+

If you want to get caught up in an ongoing week-to-week drama, Presumed Innocent has just kicked off its summer run on the service. The eight-part legal thriller from David E Kelly (of Big Little Lies and much else) stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Chicago prosecutor Rusty Sabich, who is accused of murdering his co-worker. Stay tuned to find out who actually dunnit, since it seems too obvious to be him.


One of the platform's stand-out successes since launching was the heartwarming Ted Lasso, which followed a Yank tasked with managing the struggling AFC Richmond football team. While the third season of Ted Lasso slightly lapsed in terms of quality, fans remained as passionate as ever about the underdog football team with a heart of gold.

The Morning Show is one of the first shows Apple TV+ launched, and it gained enough of a following to guarantee its future through a fourth season. Based on the inner workings of a morning news studio and its star anchors, the show touts both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

If you're a true-crime nut, there's Taron Egerton in Black Bird. Inspired by a true story, the mini-series centres on Jimmy Keene, who's offered freedom from prison if he can coax a confession and burial location out of suspected serial killer Larry Hall.

But if you like your thrills fully fictitious, there's last summer's sleeper hit Hijack, with Idris Elba tackling a plane hijacking in real time. It's been greenlit for a second season, with Elba returning as Sam Nelson in a "top secret" new mission.

If you're looking for a lighter, brighter Bridgerton-themed spice in your life, the period drama The Buccaneers is the way to go and has also been given a second season.

Looking forward to the rest of 2024, the second season of Severance is finally, finally on the way. After delays due to the Hollywood strikes, Apple TV and Ben Stiller – who directs the show along with Aoife McArdle – confirmed they are "back to work", sharing a moody black and white action shot of the show's star Adam Scott running.

Click here for Apple TV+'s free trial

What films can I watch on Apple TV+?

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Peter Mountain - Apple

Apple TV+ is also chock-full of original movies you can't watch elsewhere. The biggest release to hit the streamer in recent months was Argylle, a big, bonkers espionage thriller starring Henry Cavill as a globe-trotting spy – well within his wheelhouse after The Man From UNCLE.

The most highly anticipated addition to the streaming service of late was Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-winning epic crime drama Killers of the Flower Moon, which got its long-awaited release on Apple's platform at the start of this year. The tale of greed, violence and racism focuses on the true story of the Osage Nation murders.

If you've already churned through that film's chaste three-and-a-half-hour run-time then you can look forward to Lily Gladstone's return to the platform in Fancy Dance. The critically acclaimed movie is set to arrive later this year.

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Apple TV+

High up on the list of Apple TV+'s other original content available right now is CODA, the Oscar-winning film that took home Best Picture at the 2022 Academy Awards. The film follows 17-year-old Ruby, the only hearing member of a deaf family who's torn between duty to her loved ones and her desire to pursue a singing career.

Elsewhere, Taron Egerton returned to Apple's streaming platform after Black Bird for Tetris, a thrilling true-story biopic about how the arcade game was brought into being by hook or by crook. If you've churned through that, another colourful biopic came in the form of The Beanie Bubble which takes us back to the toy craze of the 1990s for a comedy-drama with Zach Galifianakis and Succession's Sarah Snook.

There's also a professional stage production of the musical Come From Away, which centres on the true story of a small town suddenly inundated with people when planes are diverted there following the 9/11 attacks.

Another gem is Cha Cha Real Smooth, which follows a newly graduated aspiring poet (played by Cooper Raiff) as he tries to find his place in the world. He finds it thanks to Bar Mitzvahs and his ability to get a party going – and through the mother (played by Dakota Johnson) of a child he meets at one such event.

You can check out the full Apple TV+ content list here.

Click here for Apple TV+'s free trial

How can I watch Apple TV+ on my TV?

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As with most streaming services now, you can download the app straight onto your telly. Most smart TVs give you the option to do this.

However, if you have an old TV, don't fret: There are other ways to get it on your screen. Streaming service sticks such as Amazon Fire and Roku all have an Apple TV+ add-on option for no extra cost to you and work in the same way as if it were an app on a Smart TV.

Games consoles, including PlayStation and Xbox, also have this available to you.

Alternatively, if you have a Chromecast, you can broadcast Apple TV+ content straight from Google Chrome to your telly. So really, there's no excuse not to give it a try!

Apple TV+ is available on subscription from £8.99 a month, with a seven-day free trial.

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