Apple TV+ launched in 2019, supported by big-name celebrities, though it didn’t quite do it with a bang. There’s a reason Apple gave away a free year of service with certain hardware purchases. Subscribers grew slowly, especially when compared to giants like Netflix and Hulu.
So, is it worth subscribing to Apple TV+ now? Maybe not. Since there are so many streaming services available, you may want to save your money. Here are all the reasons you might not want to subscribe to Apple TV+.
1. Not enough content
While Apple TV+ has a few licensed content, most of the shows and movies on the service are original. That’s great because it means you don’t have to scroll through tons of stuff you’ve seen elsewhere.
However, it also means that Apple TV+ doesn’t have as much content as competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. While there are some great shows to watch on Apple TV+, you’ll probably burn through everything you want to watch in a month or two.
It didn’t help that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the filming of further original productions. Even though Apple bought rights to movies like Tom Hank’s Greyhound to fill the gap, it still wasn’t as much as competitors like Disney+ and Netflix could pump out.
Over time, Apple TV+ will get more programming, but right now it may not be enough. Apple TV+ launch shows like The Morning Show and Dickinson have had multiple seasons and more and more original content is emerging.
2. Episodes Debut Weekly
These days, the idea of waiting a week to watch the next episode of your latest favorite show seems archaic. When Netflix releases a show, it drops all the episodes at once. It means you can watch at your own pace. For many, that means binge-watching.
Binge-watching has its pros and cons, but that’s not how Apple TV+ plays, opting to release new episodes every week.
Apple would probably argue that this helps build hype and anticipation, and lets you enjoy the show. But it actually keeps you committed to your subscription longer.
3. Some devices are not supported
If you have a modern smart TV, game console or streaming stick, you’re in luck: there’s probably an Apple TV+ app.
However, if you own a 2018 or earlier device, chances are Apple TV+ won’t support it. For example, while you can download an app on your 2018 Samsung Smart TV for every streaming service under the sun, Apple TV+ won’t be one of them.
Maybe you have an Android phone or tablet; the operating system has a market share of more than 70%. Well, there is no Apple TV+ app. You can look in the browser, but the experience is not as smooth as a dedicated app. It’s a shame that Apple chooses to shut down such a large number of users.
4. No User Profiles
If you want to share your Apple TV+ account with others and you’re not involved in the wider Apple ecosystem, good luck.
While you can use Apple’s Family Sharing feature to connect Apple IDs together, it’s far from the convenient in-app solution that most streaming services offer for profile creation.
It means that if several people in the same household are watching Apple TV+, it will be impossible to track the progress of individual viewing.
5. Annoying Recurring Mistakes
When Apple TV+ works, the experience is smooth. Unfortunately, Apple TV+ is prone to errors, seemingly much more than other streaming services.
One of the most common is Apple TV’s “video not available” error, which shows up with no rhyme or reason and frustratingly results in not being able to watch anything.
Another is that it often logs you out of your account, which is especially annoying on devices like smart TVs – sure, it only takes a few minutes to log back in, but it’s annoying when it happens repeatedly.
6. Lack of Regional Programming
When Apple TV+ launched, collaborations with partners such as Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Aniston made headlines. While the big names are impressive, Apple TV+ content is definitely Hollywood.
Unlike Netflix, which has produced foreign language shows such as Squid Game and Narcos and made them global successes, Apple TV+ falls short when it comes to global representation.
While it is slowly improving, like the Spanglish comedy Acapulco, it still has a long way to go.
7. The interface is confusing
Don’t worry if you didn’t know that Apple TV and Apple TV+ were two different things. You’re not the only one.
Apple doesn’t make it any easier, because on some devices it merges Apple TV and Apple TV+ content by default, the former consisting of for sale and rental content outside of the latter’s subscription. Even if you switch to the dedicated Apple TV+ tab, the change isn’t permanent — you’ll have to do it again when you open the app later.
The app’s home page may look classy, but navigating it isn’t as easy as it should be. Entire rows are devoted to individual shows or movies. This is no doubt meant to mask the service’s lack of content, but it’s a waste of space. Frankly, the consistent position of the “Continue Watching” row is something Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, et al. would do well to learn from.
Unfortunately, the app isn’t very good at remembering your position when you’re looking at something either. If you pause halfway, go back, and come back later, chances are the playback will start at the beginning. That’s annoying enough, but the less-than-ideal fast-forward controls exacerbate the problem.
Is Apple TV+ Right For You?
These are all major reasons why you might want to save $5 a month and avoid an Apple TV+ subscription. There are plenty of other streaming services you can throw your money at.
But then again, maybe these negatives aren’t that important to you? Apple TV+ also has many positives in its favor. You can always sign up with the free trial to give it a try.