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Apple Introduces TV, An App for Tracking Online Shows and Movies

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The living room streaming world is full of apps, with viewers shuffling from Netflix to Amazon to Hulu, then trying to remember where their favorite shows are located. It's a problem Roku and Amazon have already tried to alleviate, and now Apple has taken a stab. (The rumors were true, it turns out.)

At a press event today, the company debuted TV, an app to simplify online viewing. The app gathers information from multiple online video sources so viewers can see their options all in one place. Make a selection and the correct app opens automatically. TV includes a Watch Now section for movies and shows the viewer is currently watching, and offers alerts when new episodes are available. It recommends titles and posts curated collections. The app will be available for Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad in December.

One other thing about the TV app: It doesn’t aggregate Netflix's library, so it's not really that useful. Without the main OTT provider, it's just an exercise in grouping things. Maybe that's poetic justice for the many times the tech industry joined together on an initiative—with one big Cupertino-sized holdout.

Siri gains some new abilities, letting viewers use voice controls to open live news and sports events across apps. Viewers can also ask Siri for current sports scores or open an app's live video stream just by requesting it.

Also in December, Apple will roll out a previously announced feature called Single Sign-On which reduces the headache of pay TV app authentication. People will only need to input their credentials once. While it won't support all pay TV companies, DirecTV and Dish subscribers will appreciate it.

The Apple TV app library now includes over 1,600 apps from video publishers.

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