Apple TV Overview Updated April 23, 2021

Apple TV

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1,471 'Apple TV' stories

September 2010 - May 2021

The Apple TV is Apple’s set-top-box that runs tvOS. The company currently sells the 2015 Apple TV HD and the 2021 second-generation Apple 4K models. Alongside the product, Apple also has the Apple TV app, which is available also for Android users and lots of smart TV owners, and Apple TV+, the company’s video streaming service with exclusive original content.

History

The first-generation Apple TV was unveiled in September 2006. The product, which would be called iTV, couldn’t have this name since the British terrestrial broadcast network ITV already held the right to the name in the UK and threatened to take legal action against Apple.

Shipped six months later, the first Apple TV had a 40GB HDD, and a 160GB HDD option was later released.

The second-generation Apple TV was announced in September of 2010 and was the first model to run on a variant of iOS. In a smaller, all-black case, it was one-quarter the size of the original Apple TV. The HDD was replaced by 8GB of internal flash storage, enough for buffering purposes. Also different from the first set-top box, this one was only used for streaming content. It also supported output up to 720p over HDMI only.

The third-generation Apple TV was released almost two years later in March 2012. It included the A5 chip and support for 1080p output. As of 2021, the third-generation set-top box still works with streaming services including Apple TV+, Apple TV Channels, Amazon Video, and Netflix.

The fourth generation, or the Apple TV HD, was the biggest revamp to the set-top box in years, and it launched in September 2015. With a brand-new black remote charged via Lightning cable, it introduced the tvOS operating system with an App Store allowing downloads of third-party apps for video, audio, games, and other content. This device includes the A8 processor and support for Dolby Digital Plus.

Two years later, in September of 2017, Apple introduced the fifth-generation Apple TV, or the Apple TV 4K, which supports 2160p output, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and includes the A10X Fusion processor. This model is similar to the fourth-generation model with the only difference being the addition of vents on the base and the removal of the USB-C port.

The sixth-generation Apple TV, or the second-generation Apple TV 4K, was introduced in April of 2021. With a similar design to its predecessor, the main change is the A12 chip and the second-generation Siri Remote.

Specs

Currently, Apple sells the fourth and fifth-generation of its set-top-box

Apple TV HD (fourth-generation)

Launched in 2015, the Apple TV HD uses the A8 chip with 64-bit architecture. It supports videos up to 1080p and 60 fps. Only available in 32GB storage option, the set-top-box uses the Siri Remote, featuring Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, an IR transmitter, and a Lightning connector for charging.

These are its ports and interfaces: HDMI 1.4, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, IR receiver, USB-C for service and support, built-in power supply.

The fourth-generation Apple TV runs the latest tvOS software, currently on 14.4 with 14.5 already being tested.

Apple TV 4K (sixth-generation)

Launched in 2021, the second-generation Apple TV 4K uses the A12 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture. It supports videos up to 2160p and 60 fps, HEVC Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos technologies. Available in 32GB and 64GB storage options, the set-top-box uses the second-generation Siri Remote featuring Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, an IR transmitter, and a Lightning connector for charging.

These are its ports and interfaces: HDMI 2.1ax, 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 with MIMO; simultaneous dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5GHz), Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, IR receiver, and Built-in power supply.

The sixth-generation Apple TV runs the latest tvOS software, currently on 14.5. You can learn more about the second-generation Siri Remote here.

Pricing

The Apple TV pricing starts at $149 on the HD model and goes up to $199 on the 4K model with 64GB of storage.

  • 32GB, HD model: $149
  • 32GB, 4K model: $179
  • 64GB, 4K model: $199

Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.

Apple TV app

The Apple TV app holds Apple Original shows and movies from Apple TV+. It also includes the Apple TV Channels, with over 30 streaming services ready to be subscribed within the app.

With personalized and curated content, it’s easier to discover new shows. You can also search for your own library while also being able to buy or rent content from the iTunes Store.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ launched on November 1, 2019. It features Apple original TV shows and movies. Here’s what’s on Apple TV+.

At its 2019 September iPhone event, Apple officially announced launch details for its premium TV service: $4.99 per month for a family subscription. Customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, or Mac can enjoy one year of the service for free.

Apple has been honored with a total of 345 awards nominations and accolades, and 91 awards wins since its global launch just over a year ago including Critics Choice Awards, Critics Choice Documentary Awards, Daytime and Primetime Emmy Awards, NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe Award and more.

2021 Apple TV 4K release

The new set-top-box launches on the second half of April. Orders start on April 30. Soon, we’ll publish a review about the product.

In our opinion article about the previous Apple TV, is its simplicity that people love the most:

The Apple TV is the true TV hub for the streaming era, especially for Apple fans. In many ways, it’s the simplicity of the Apple TV, with an ad-free experience and a range of 4K HDR content, via iTunes Store that makes people still own this product after all this time.

Deals

Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the Apple TV and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.

Apple TV Stories May 6, 2021

Apple TV+ orders ‘Hello Tomorrow!’ series starring ‘The Morning Show’ actor Billy Crudup

As awards season is ending, Apple TV+ continues to announce its catalog for 2021 and beyond. Hello Tomorrow! starring Emmy Award winner Billy Crudup has been ordered as an Apple Original.

Apple TV Stories May 5, 2021

Apple TV+ thriller ‘Servant’ nominated for 2021 TV Choice Awards

Servant is one of the most popular shows on Apple TV+, with its second season now available on Apple’s streaming platform. This week, the company announced that Servant has been nominated for the 2021 TV Choice Awards in the Best Drama Series category.

Apple TV Stories May 4, 2021

Apple TV+ roundup: Peabody nominations for ‘Ted Lasso’ and ‘Stillwater,’ ‘Big Man on Campus’ docuseries ordered

Apple TV+ received Peabody Award nominations today for Ted Lasso and Stillwater. The company also announced a new docuseries.

Apple TV Stories April 30, 2021

New Apple TV 4K vs old Apple TV 4K
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The second-gen Apple TV 4K has arrived, and it comes with a number of upgrades, including the A12 chip, HDMI 2.1, Thread, high frame rate HDR, a totally redesigned Siri Remote, and more. Follow along for a look at the new Apple TV 4K vs. the old Apple TV 4K.

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Apple TV+ Guide: Here are all the Apple TV shows and movies available now

Apple TV+ offers exclusive Apple original TV shows and movies in 4K HDR quality. You can watch across all of your screens and pick up where you left off on any device. Apple TV+ costs $4.99 per month. Here’s every Apple original television show and movie available now on Apple TV+, as well as the latest trailers …

Apple TV Stories April 29, 2021

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Update (May 2nd): Apple appears to have changed something on the backend as now Siri refuses to attempt to find the Apple TV remote, and responds with a ‘That type of device can’t be set up in Find My’ message.

In a rather curious discovery, Siri seems to believe that the Apple TV Siri Remote will have some kind of Siri integration. If you ask Siri on iOS 14.5 to “Find my Siri Remote” or “Find my Apple TV Remote,” it will reply that it cannot find any Siri Remotes associated with the iCloud account. (Thanks to William from Maryland for the tip-off.)

However, the fact that it attempts to execute your request at all is interesting. Asking for other unsupported devices (like an Apple Pencil) will result in a different failure response stating that this type of accessory cannot be used with Find My. So why does Siri believe the Apple TV remote can?

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Apple TV Stories April 28, 2021

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The awards season is still going for Apple Originals. Although the company didn’t win an Oscar last week, its productions, Little America, Tiny World, and Earth at Night in Color, have been nominated for BAFTAs.

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Apple TV Stories April 26, 2021

Apple TV could launch soon in China following government approval

China could see the first Apple TV being launched in the country in more than 15 years, according to Chinese blog Sina and Weibo leaker Voooolks.

Apple TV Stories April 25, 2021

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Last week, Apple unveiled the new Apple TV 4K during its ‘Spring Loaded’ event. After almost four years since the last upgrade on its set-top-box, the company is finally bringing more power and a redesigned Siri Remote to the product. Are you planning to buy it?

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‘Ted Lasso’ Apple TV+ shortbread recipe now deciphered online, here’s how to bake it

During Apple’s ‘Spring Loaded’ event the company unveiled some new hardware as well as a sneak peek from Ted Lasso’s upcoming season, which is airing July 23 on Apple TV+. By the end of the event, Apple showed a little Easter egg, teasing it was about to reveal Ted Lasso’s secret shortbread recipe.

Apple TV Stories April 22, 2021

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Along with the new sixth-generation Apple TV announced during Apple’s special event on Tuesday, the company introduced a new version of the Siri Remote. Despite the new design, the new Siri Remote lacks some sensors that may be missed by some users: the accelerometer and gyroscope.

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David Attenborough documentary sets record for Apple TV+ as it announces more unscripted content

As reported by Deadilne, Apple TV+’s latest film ‘The Year Earth Changed’ has set new viewership records for the company’s unscripted content. The documentary is the most viewed documentary or docuseries currently on Apple TV+ in the US and in many regions around the world.

Apple TV Stories April 21, 2021

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Apple this week introduced the sixth-generation Apple TV, which comes with the A12 chip, a new Siri Remote, and an HDMI 2.1 port with support for higher refresh rates with HDR content. During the presentation, the company demonstrated a new feature to balance the colors of the Apple TV, but it turns out that this feature is also available for older Apple TV models as well.

Read on as we explain how to balance the colors of your Apple TV.

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Apple TV Stories April 20, 2021

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Today, Apple unveiled its new Apple TV 4K. Almost four years after its original release, the company introduced the new set-top-box with the A12 chip, a new Siri Remote, and HDMI 2.1 support for a better 4K HDR experience.

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After several rumors, Apple today finally introduced the sixth-generation Apple TV, which comes with the A12 chip and a newly redesigned Siri Remote. At the same time, the company made some changes to its set-top box lineup, which no longer includes the previous-generation Apple TV 4K.

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During Apple ‘Spring Loaded’ event today, the company announced the release date of tvOS 14.5.

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After several rumors, Apple today finally announced the sixth generation Apple TV, the company’s set-top box. While keeping the same design, the product comes with the more powerful A12 chip, a new Remote, and more.

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Apple today released the first trailer for the highly-anticipated second season of Apple TV’s ‘Ted Lasso’. The second season will debut on the service beginning July 23rd.

You can watch the trailer after the break …

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Apple TV Stories April 17, 2021

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The successful Apple Original ‘Wolfwalkers’ scores another win in an award ceremony, this time, the animated film won five Annie Awards, including Best Indie Feature and Best Direction.

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Apple TV Stories April 16, 2021

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Earlier this week, Roku made some Apple-related announcements including HomeKit and AirPlay 2 coming to its HD streaming devices and a dedicated Apple TV+ button coming on the Voice Remote Pro. However, it looks like early buyers of the remote won’t necessarily see that change due to a last-minute deal between the companies.

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Apple TV Stories April 15, 2021

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Apple announced today it has bought the rights to the documentary “Fathom,” which follows Dr. Ellen Garland and Dr. Michelle Fournet, two scientists focused on the study of humpback whale songs and social communication.

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Apple TV Stories April 14, 2021

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Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Apple is working on a new smart home product that would combine an Apple TV and a HomePod, and add in a camera for FaceTime support. While the idea of this product sounds incredibly intriguing, the question on everyone’s mind is price…

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Apple and Skydance Animation announce ‘Blush’ short film coming to TV+

Apple TV+ has announced the animated short film “Blush,” the first project to come from its expansive multi-year partnership with Skydance Animation.

Apple TV Stories April 13, 2021

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Apple TV+ has announced its latest original film: “Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong.” The company describes this as the “definitive” documentary about Armstrong.

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A new study reveals that Apple TV+ has the highest-quality content when compared to Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu. The analysis from Self Financial uses IMDb scores with US customer data.

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Apple TV Stories April 12, 2021

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With the latest round of HomePod rumors from Bloomberg comes a particularly big one. Apple is looking to combine the Apple TV and the HomePod into a singular product. They’re also testing ways to incorporate a FaceTime camera into the device for calls in the living room. While our concept imagines what this product might look like, it’s truly a shot in the dark. A product like this might require an entirely new design from Apple rather than some kind of Frankenstein monster made up of different pieces of the HomePod and Apple TV 4K. We tried putting the best of each together to imagine a product that would feel familiar to customers.

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Apple TV Stories April 11, 2021

Apple TV soundbar
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Much has been said about the demise of the HomePod, and also the state of the Apple TV hardware box. I owned every Apple TV that’s been produced, and while I agree that it’s overpriced at the current levels, I still believe it’s the best way to stream content on the market. Yes, Roku and Fire Sticks offer similar apps, but so does Android, and most everyone reading this site prefers iOS. Even Apple’s content is available on Roku and Fire Sticks. Apple fans generally prefer the Apple experience. I’ve ended up with five of the current Apple TV boxes, but I need another one for our small TV on our screened-in porch. I can’t justify pulling the trigger on one at this time, though. We have an old Roku out there currently, but it’s still on 802.11n, so the Wi-Fi struggles to keep up with HD content at times. As I was browsing around for low-cost options, I saw exactly how Apple should build out its TV box strategy. Read on to learn more about why an Apple version of the Roku Streambar should be on Apple’s roadmap.

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Apple TV Stories April 10, 2021

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In the aftermath of Apple’s cancellation of the big HomePod, there’s been a lot of speculation about Apple TV’s future. After releasing the tvOS version of the Apple TV in 2015 and the 4K version in 2017, Apple has largely been silent on the platform’s future. Despite tvOS receiving continual software updates, the hardware has remained stagnant. Even without modern hardware, the Apple TV is nearly the perfect digital signage device, thanks to Apple’s mobile device management integration.

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Apple TV Stories April 8, 2021

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Actress and writer Adepero Oduye is now joining the cast of the upcoming series Five Days at Memorial, which is being produced by Apple TV+. The news was confirmed on Thursday in a report by Variety.

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Apple TV Stories April 7, 2021

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Apple TV+ has announced more details on its highly anticipated original series with Jon Stewart. Apple says that the show will be titled The Problem with Jon Stewart, and it will debut on Apple TV+ this fall. The show was first reported back in October 2020.

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Apple TV Stories April 6, 2021

Apple TV+ original ‘Mythic Quest’ bonus episode coming ahead of season 2 premiere

Fans of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet will appreciate knowing that the Apple Original will receive a post-pandemic bonus episode ahead of the season 2 premiere. This comes after the popular “Quarantine” episode from a year ago…

Apple TV Stories April 5, 2021

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We’ve been hearing rumors about the next-generation Apple TV for over a year now, and although more evidence has been found, Apple’s plans for its set-top box remain unknown. However, 9to5Mac found references to 120Hz support in the tvOS 14.5 beta code, which is something that wouldn’t work on the current-generation Apple TV due to hardware limitations.

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Jason Sudeikis scores Screen Actors Guild award for ‘Ted Lasso’

Apple Original Ted Lasso just scored another award. This time, Jason Sudeikis won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series.

Apple TV Stories April 2, 2021

How to reset the Apple TV app on your smart TV

Back in 2019, Apple announced it would launch the Apple TV app on Samsung’s smart TVs. With time, other manufacturers joined the club, such as LG and Sony. If you have a television with the Apple TV app and are wondering how to reset it, it’s really simple.

Apple TV Stories April 1, 2021

Report: Apple in talks with SK Telecom to distribute Apple TV+ content in Korea

Apple TV+ isn’t available to South Korean Apple customers yet but the company is preparing to launch in the region later this year. According to a new report from Money Today Network, Apple is in talks with SK Telecom to boost distribution of its content.

Apple TV Stories March 31, 2021

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Update: This appears to be an alternative Apple TV Remote that Apple worked with cable companies to make. As the report below explains, this remote was designed for cable companies, hence the Guide button. It may not be sold by Apple directly, but instead was designed in collaboration between Apple and cable companies. It is being distributed by Universal Electronics.

Rumors about a new Apple TV Remote have been around for a while now, and earlier today, more evidence was found that Apple is in fact working on a new Remote for its set-top box. 9to5Mac has now obtained an image from tvOS 14.5 beta 6 showing this new Remote, which is internally identified as B519.

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Latest tvOS beta hints at redesigned Apple TV Remote with a new ‘center button’

Earlier this week, 9to5Mac revealed that Apple is developing a new Remote for the next-generation Apple TV, which is expected to be introduced sometime later this year. Now it seems that more evidence about a new Remote has been found, this time in the internal codes of tvOS 14.5 beta 6.

Apple TV+ expands creative team with hire of veteran entertainment exec

Apple TV+ has made another notable hire for its development team. As reported by Deadline, Apple has hired Zennen Clifton as a creative executive.

Apple TV Stories March 29, 2021

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We’ve been hearing rumors about the next-generation Apple TV for a while now, but we don’t know when the company plans to officially announce it. Now 9to5Mac has learned that Apple is developing a new Remote for Apple TV, which corroborates some previous rumors about Apple updating the Siri Remote.

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In celebration of Earth Day 2021, Apple announced that is launching a new documentary special ‘The Year Earth Changed’ which examines how changes in human behavior, as a result of the pandemic, affected wildlife and nature.

‘The Year Earth Changed’ will be released on April 16. Apple TV+ will also be releasing new episodes of its documentary series ‘Earth At Night in Color’ and ‘Tiny World’ on the same date.

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Apple TV Stories March 27, 2021

Apple TV+ original ‘The Banker’ wins NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture

The start of 2021 has been great for Apple TV+ originals. Following the Academy Award nominations for “Wolfwalkers” and “Greyhound”, the film “The Banker” has now earned an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture.

Apple TV Stories March 25, 2021

Dolby Vision on Apple TV 4K
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It’s time for a new Apple TV. That could be the whole story, but it won’t be. Since the end of 2017, when the Apple TV 4K launched, we haven’t heard another word from Apple about a new set-top box. The Apple TV has become an essential device for many Apple users, particularly during a pandemic, and this naturally begs the question of whether an update is coming.

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The next interview on The Oprah Conversation is set to debut on Apple TV+ tomorrow, March 26. In this episode, Oprah talks with the youngest ever US inaugural poet Amanda Gorman who shares about her process for writing, literary heroes, how her mother and other women encouraged her writing, and more.

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Apple TV Stories March 23, 2021

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Apple has seeded today beta 5 of tvOS 14.5 and HomePod 14.5. After four betas, the company seems to be approaching the final release of the tvOS for the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K, as well as HomePod 14.5 for the HomePod and HomePod mini.

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Apple TV Stories March 22, 2021

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Over the last week, YouTuber users have been reporting an error message claiming that “something went wrong” when trying to load a video on the YouTube app on the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K. YouTube says it is aware of this issue and investigating a fix.

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Apple TV Stories March 19, 2021

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To celebrate today’s season finale of the Apple TV+ show “Servant,” Apple has partnered with two Los Angeles pizzerias to deliver free pizza to fans exclusively through Grubhub this weekend. Starting today, as of 5 p.m. PST, people in Los Angeles can order one free pizza from Gjelina or Milo and Olive.

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Apple TV Stories March 18, 2021

Apple TV app for iPhone and iPad now integrates discoverable AR lunar objects from ‘For All Mankind’

Last month Apple released its first augmented reality experience for the Apple TV+ video service, starting with For All Mankind: Time Capsule. Users catch up with what happened between seasons 1 and 2 and explore news events that happened in the alternate timeline. A new experience was launched today to further connect items in the show to viewers through AR.

Apple TV Stories March 17, 2021

Apple TV+ inks first-look deal with Natalie Portman and Sophie Mas production company ‘MountainA’

Apple TV+ has inked a new first-look deal with Natalie Portman and her production partner Sophie Mas. This multi-year deal will give Apple a first look at television shows that are developed through the MountainA production company founded by Mas and Portman.

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