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Apple TV Plus Australia review
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Almost a year has passed since we first took a look at the then-fledgling Apple TV+ service, which beat the Disney+ Australia launch by a couple of weeks. Despite being categorised as a streaming site/service, Apple TV+ still doesn’t have enough content to justify the ongoing price of admission.
While Netflix led to the death of video rental stores, in its current form, Apple TV+ is best viewed as a digital return to the video stores of old: as a rental service only. While a one-week trial likely won’t be enough to get through everything, if you’re a dedicated binger, you won’t have a reason to stay subscribed beyond a month or two.
Apple TV+ Australia price
Apple TV+ costs $9.99 per month with each subscription available for up to 6 family members via Family Sharing. That's a little cheaper than Disney Plus and more expensive than Prime Video's $6.99 price point. It's a cheap monthly cost as far as streaming subscriptions go but with the lightweight content offering, it's hard to imagine Apple charging anything more.
That said, this service really should be cheaper. Unless you’re treating it as a monthly rental, it’s tough to justify the ongoing cost, especially in comparison to other streaming services.
Apple TV+ Australia free trial
There’s currently a 7-day free trial available, followed by the $9.99 monthly subscription cost. Alternatively, you can get a free year of subscription when you buy a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or Apple TV from Apple or an Apple authorised seller. Tertiary students will be able to get free access to Apple TV+ when they subscribe to the Apple Music Student Plan.
And how does the Apple TV+ launch price, free trial and features weigh up against the competition? Let's take a look.
Max. Video Resolution
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|View Plans||$6.99||4K||3|| ||30-day free trial|
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|View Plans||$9.99||4K||6|| ||7-day free trial|
|View Plans||$13.99||4K||4|| ||Save over 15% with annual subscription|
|View Plans||$25 - $35||HD||3|| ||7-day free trial|
|View Plans||$6.99||HD||1|| ||7-day free trial|
|View Plans||$6.99||HD||1|| ||7-day free trial|
|View Plans||$25 - $104||HD||2|| ||10-day free trial|
|More info||$8.99||HD||5|| ||7-day free trial|
|–||$8.99||HD||3|| ||Read more|
|More info||$10 - $18||HD||4|| ||Read more|
|–||$10 - $21||4K||4|| ||Read more|
What's new on Apple TV+?
At launch, we bemoaned the slim pickings of just eight shows which, admittedly, included some of our top picks. Fast-forward to today, and the service is in a better place.
By our math, there are 82 TV series, limited series and docuseries. That's more than double the size of the Apple TV+ library last time we checked in with the service, though it remains minuscule compared to the content catalogs available on Netflix, Disney+ and Stan.
In the early days, Apple TV+ struggled to crack into double digits when it came to movies. In 2022, the film library still isn't huge. However, it does have a little bit of everything. The current Apple TV+ film catalog is spread across fifteen movies, fourteen documentaries and ten specials.
There are also plenty of new shows coming soon, though, with around 84 more movies, TV series, and documentaries in the works for Apple's streaming service.
Apple TV+ content in Australia
What content is available in Australia?
While you’ll be able to access the full collection of Apple TV+ TV shows, series and movies in Australia, you may find its library very underwhelming compared to the number of options available on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or even Disney Plus Australia.
Apple TV+ TV shows
So, is it really worth subscribing to get a hold of these original Apple TV+ shows and series?
The good news is that the top-tier stuff on Apple's streaming service rates among the best when it comes to the entire streaming landscape. Ted Lasso, The Afterparty and Mythic Quest are some of the best (and most original) comedies to come out of the past few years, while dramas like Severance and Pachinko stand head-and-shoulders above the vast majority of the Netflix when it comes to quality.
For the kids, Apple TV+ has on offer the full series of Ghostwriter, Helpsters and Snoopy in Space. Other dramas, such as Servant and Truth Be Told, are also there to watch.
The bad news is that the diversity of the catalog sometimes works against it. For every genre, Apple TV+ tends to have one or two really good one of those. For example, science fiction fans will probably love For All Mankind and Foundation. However, once you've finished those, there isn't much else to justify sticking around for.
It may also disappoint some that most TV episodes will be released weekly, so if you were hoping to take the opportunity to binge-watch as many new series as you could on your 7-day free trial, you’re out of luck.
There are now 82 series on Apple TV+, with a number of comedies, dramas and docuseries in the mix. Check out the full list of Apple TV+ TV shows below:
- 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything
- Amazing Stories
- Becoming You
- Black Bird
- Carpool Karaoke: The Series
- Central Park
- Defending Jacob
- Doug Unplugs
- Dr Brain
- El Deafo
- Earth At Night In Color
- Five Days at Memorial
- For All Mankind
- Fraggle Rock
- Fraggle Rock: Rock On!
- Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock
- Get Rolling with Otis
- Greatness Code
- Harriet the Spy
- Hello, Jack! The Kindness Show
- Helpsters Help you
- Home Before Dark
- Lincoln's Dilemma
- Lisey's Story
- Little America
- Little Voice
- Losing Alice
- Long Way Up
- Lovely Little Farm
- Make or Break
- The Morning Show
- Mr Corman
- Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet
- Now and Then
- The Oprah Conversation
- Oprah Talks COVID-19
- Oprah’s Book Club
- Pinecone & Pony
- Prehistoric Planet
- Pretzel and the Puppies
- Puppy Place
- Snoopy in Space
- Slow Horses
- Ted Lasso
- Tiny World
- The Afterparty
- The Big Conn
- The Essex Serpent
- The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
- The Line
- The Long Game: Bigger Than Basketball
- The Me You Can't See
- The Mosquito Coast
- The Problem With Jon Stewart
- The Shrink Next Door
- The Snoopy Show
- They Call Me Magic
- Truth Be Told
- Watch The Sound With Mark Ronson
- Wolfboy and the Everything Factory
- Visible: Out on Television
Apple TV+ movies
The Apple TV+ movie catalog isn't quite as big as what you'll find on Netflix or Stan, but as with the TV side of things, it's more about quality than quantity.
The streamer made the history books earlier this year, after CODA won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars. Beyond that headline hit, the Apple TV+ includes a decent but not decadent number of films. Still, the sparse lineup here remains one of the biggest weaknesses if you're looking to choose between Apple TV+ and most other streaming services.
Here’s the full list of the movies available on Apple TV+ right now:
- 911: Inside the President's War Room
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- The Banker
- Beastie Boys Story
- Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry
- Boys State
- Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You
- Cha Cha Real Smooth
- Cherry CODA
- Come from Away
- The Elephant Queen
- Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds
- Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
- It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special
- Mariah's Christmas: The Magic Continues
- On the Rocks
- Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne
- Snoopy Presents: It's The Small Things, Charlie Brown
- Snoopy Presents: To Mom (and Dad), With Love
- Swan Song
- The Sky Is Everywhere
- The Tragedy of Macbeth
- The Year Earth Changed
- The Velvet Underground
- Twas the Fight Before Christmas
- Who Are You, Charlie Brown?
Apple TV+ app and user interface
It’s unsurprising that the Apple TV+ homepage has been designed to feel seamlessly integrated with Apple’s full range of products and services, featuring Apple’s signature minimalist aesthetic. At first glance, the homepage isn’t dissimilar to a page you’d find up on the Apple Store or the App Store. There’s a whole lot of white space and the clean design is certainly appealing to the eye.
That’s where the pleasantries end. Back in 2019, attempting to stream any show via web browser during peak WiFi usage times (say post-dinner around 8pm) is nearly impossible. And you won't be able to watch anything for more than 10 seconds before your video crashes.
In 2022, this isn’t an issue, though browser viewing feels buggy. It worked in Chrome on my laptop but not in Chrome on my desktop, and Edge viewing on my desktop had moments where clicks were delayed, didn’t register, or it would sometimes open a new browser window just to access content.
To add to that fire, when I tried accessing the Apple TV+ web browser on my Mac, it asked me to verify my credit card details again to authorise my web viewing. And no, it didn’t let me use my debit card and I don’t own a credit card, so that’s kind of game over. But what Apple user wouldn’t be using the Apple TV App right?
While we’ve all heard about the high streaming quality Apple TV+ is boasting, there’s a caveat to that: although Apple TV+ offers 4K HDR on all compatible platforms, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision are only supported on its own devices. Those streaming via AirPlay won’t be able to watch anything in video quality greater than 1080p anyway.
While it’s much easier to quickly browse through the entire range of Apple Originals on Apple TV+ in one swipe via the app, it’s hard not to notice the extensive range of TV shows and movies that you could rent or purchase for only around $2.99-$5.99 (and who knows, you might feel like splurging on such an accessible collection of all 30 seasons of The Simpsons for $34.99 per season, but you could just sign up for the Disney Plus free subscription trial that Apple links from the store).
To be frank, while the TV shows that you stream through Apple TV+ may be entirely ad-free, the Apple TV+ platform blatantly entices you to hire, buy or go watch the latest and greatest movies and TV shows via other streaming services with open arms. The $9.99 per month price tag for Apple TV+ seems like a hard sell when you compare that with Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, which have over 3000 titles across movies and TV in each library at any one time and a much wider range of original TV shows and films already cocked and loaded in their arsenal. Find out more with our guide to the best paid and free streaming services for TV and movies in 2022.
While there are definitely some exciting series to look forward to in Apple’s large line-up (see our content section below for more details), you're not getting bang for your buck with Apple TV+ .
The layout is less clustered compared to the row-by-row, square tile format that Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Stan have all adopted, which is less overwhelming but also frustrating if you want to browse across multiple categories of TV shows and films in one glance.
If you’re impatient like me, Apple’s habit of creating ‘endless scrolling’ pages of content gets tiring pretty fast. That said, “endless” isn’t applicable here because you’ll reach the bottom of the content page surprisingly fast. It makes it hard to find the show you’re looking for without having to go through the entire Apple Originals range available, in the order that Apple has decided to showcase them. While aesthetically pleasing, practical, easy navigation trumps in this case and this is where the Apple TV site, via web browser at least, is sorely lacking.
As mentioned, without any search bar tool available via the Apple TV+ web browser, it’s impossible to find the video you’re exactly looking for without scrolling through or running your search through Google first. This is likely going to become more of a problem as the movie and TV catalogue gets built out over the coming years.
It also doesn’t seem to have a convenient way to continue watching where you left off; sure, there’s a resume function, but you have to scroll to your content to continue. You also can’t add content to a personalised list, which feels like an oversight, but may be indicative of the lack of stuff to watch.
Navigation isn’t as much of a problem on the app, the issue is more so getting distracted and overloaded by all the other content being pushed on Apple TV (which, spoiler alert, is mostly not coming to your screen for free).
Another big omission is the lack of any rating/review system being displayed on each TV show/ movie page. Netflix champions their own user rating system while other streaming services have opted to display the IMDB score, which do vary in usefulness and objectivity but at least there’s something up there. If you’re a consumer usually curious to see how a new TV show or movie has fared with critics and fans, this feature might massively irk you as it did me. And having to go and search up the reviews for your next binge-watchable film on Google yourself is not very comprehensive of Apple TV+ and simply a waste of your time.
Apple TV+ accessibility features
If you’re watching Apple TV+ on an Apple device, you’ll already get access to in-built accessibility features that you can play around with in your settings, including for audio descriptions, subtitles and closed captioning. On both the Apple TV+ app and via web browser, you’ll see which TV shows and movies have descriptive audio and closed captions available. Currently, most original titles have these features available.
Apple TV+ has a pretty standard audio description function on offer. There’s nothing major to complain about here, although there’s no in-built option for voice customisation. Using Apple’s VoiceOver function available on all Apple devices, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of voices, modify the speech rate, verbosity and pronunciation and opt to activate braille support if needed (using the iPhone's haptic feedback).
Subtitles and closed captions
With Apple’s closed captions feature, there are several caption styles to pick from and in several languages. In your Apple device settings, there’s more room to create your own caption style and customise font, background and text elements.
For Apple users utilising Accessibility Shortcut, you can easily control VoiceOver, colour filters, zoom, voice control and other accessibility tools by triple-clicking your iPhone’s side button, or the menu button if you have an Apple TV. This is a handy addition for Apple users and makes it simpler to turn on and off the accessibility features that are important to you. Again, this is a standard hardware feature, not a service feature.
Apple TV+ device compatibility
While Apple has added more supported devices since launch, it still feels limited. For instance, a three-year old LG OLED TV C7 isn’t supported. These are currently the supported ways to watch Apple TV+ natively (you can find a full list here):
- Apple TV (4K, HD, 3rd gen)
- Selected Samsung TVs (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
- Selected LG TVs (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
- Selected Vizio TVs (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
- Selected Sony TVs (2020, 2021, 2022)
- NVIDIA Shield TV
- Amazon Fire TV
- iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
- Windows PC, Chrome OS, Android devices (via browser)
Streaming from devices that aren’t natively supported will likely result in a drop in video quality. Apple’s answer to this is to incentivise you to buy an Apple TV 4K device, which includes a free year of Apple TV Plus.
Apple TV+ Family Sharing
Apple TV+ is offering up to 6 simultaneous streams per subscription, meaning you could either share your Apple ID (which you might not want to do with friends and family) or opt for setting up Family Sharing.
With Family Sharing, you’ll be able to access your group members’ App Store purchases and Apple subscriptions without giving out your Apple ID information. So it's a little more complicated than just sharing your Netflix login with a friend.
Getting this sorted might take an extra step but the upside is that anyone with a supported Apple device running iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite or later can join your family, or you can accept an invite to join a family. You can only be part of one family group at a time though.
Is Apple TV+ worth it in Australia?
As far as features and quality of the experience goes, Apple TV+ rates among the best streaming services out there.
If you're at all interested in any of Apple's original content, such as Ted Lasso or Severence, then Apple TV+ is absolutely worth trying out. There's a generous free trial, and even if you stay on after that, the service is significantly cheaper than most of the other streaming services out there.
While the library of content here remains small, there's something to be said for the quality over quantity approach that Apple TV+ embodies. Like Amazon Prime Video, it's a perfect second streaming service to round-out something with more substantial catalog like Netflix or Stan.
Apple TV+ FAQs
Apple TV is an app that lets you watch movies and TV shows on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV. Apple TV+ is a streaming service that gives exclusive and original content to watch on that app.
If you're confused about the two, the easiest way to tell them apart is to remember that Apple TV as it exists today is pretty similar to how the movie and TV show section of iTunes used to work.
The library of movies and TV shows you can access on Apple TV Plus is the same whether you’re in Australia, US or in any of the 100+ countries where Apple TV Plus is available in.
If you didn’t already have one, you’ll need an Apple ID to login and purchase Apple TV Plus. You can sign up here or via the Apple TV App which comes installed on your Apple device with the latest iOS/macOS.
Yes, everything is available for offline viewing. Otherwise, you can stream your shows and movies via the Apple TV app on supported Apple devices or via the web browser.
Yes, Apple TV+ supports 4K HDR on all platforms. Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision are only supported on Apple devices.
Most titles on Apple TV+ offer audio descriptions, subtitles and closed captions. With an Apple device, you can also access a wider range of customisable accessibility options such as VoiceOver, subtitle modification and braille support.