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Plex begins beta testing integration with Apple’s TV app [U]

The popular media hosting and streaming platform Plex has started testing Apple TV app integration. Once it’s fully developed, this feature will allow users to find Plex content through the TV application on their iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.

Update: A Plex employee on Reddit has explained more about what this means:

“This feature will only work with our free on demand movies and TV shows. We’d love to integrate personal media as well but that’s not technically possible for a couple reasons. To make this work we provide Apple with a list of content we have available for streaming. As detailed in our privacy policy, we don’t know what content our users have in their personal media libraries.”

The TV app serves multiple purposes, and one of those purposes is to serve as a hub for content from other streaming applications. The Apple TV app can surface content from apps such as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, making it easy to track what you’re watching in a single app, then jump out to individual apps to actually watch the content.

Plex’s testing of TV app integration was first spotted by friend of the site Will Sigmon, who shared it on Twitter yesterday. The TV app integration has surfaced in the latest TestFlight beta of the Plex app.

What this means is that content that you have in Plex will now appear in the TV app and in places like your Up Next queue. When you connect Plex with the Apple TV app, you’ll see the following explanation:

Start watching by connecting Plex.

This participating app will share what you watch with Apple.

Your playback, searches, purchases, and device trust score are used to personalize your experience, improve that of others, send you notifications, and prevent fraud.

The integration does not appear to be fully rolled out just yet. Sigmon reports that content he has stored on his Plex server doesn’t consistently show up to play through with the TV application.

One possibility here is that Plex is only planning on integrating content that it offers through its streaming service with the TV app, not content that users store on their servers. Plex debuted its own streaming service in 2019, offering users a variety of free TV shows and movies, and it could be that it is only planning on making that content available through the TV app, not user-hosted content from individual servers.

Unfortunately, the TestFlight beta for Plex is at capacity and no additional users can be added. It’s unclear what Plex’s timeline is for a release to the general public, but it should be available when version 7.14 is released to the App Store.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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