Will the Now TV app for Apple TV ever get an update?
The current version is complete rubbish and makes me regret ever getting a Now TV pass.
Unless there is an update my Now TV experience will be very short indeed.
So here we are... about to hit November, and nearly the 11 month point since the AppleTV app was released (11 months and 1 week before the Firestick one was released 🙂 )
There have been several updates to the app in the last 11 months.
Most recently an updated look with content displayed in the top of the screen, brining it visually more in line with Netflix etc.
However... none of theses updates have managed the oh-so-tricky task of providing a 5.1 soundtrack.
... or have they....
... as we all know that the "live" streams via the apple TV app work perfectly well in 5.1 (on an app which officially is unable to supply a 5.1 soundtrack) and yet this eludes the capabilities of the on demand content.
Anyway, my annoying theory carries on... an arbitrary (contractually agreed with Amazon) period of functional disadvantages until it magically starts working for on demand content.
I still think its 1 year. I still think that it will miraculously be fixed in December... Do I get a prize for predicting it? 🙂
I know this is a bit far fetched, but when we dont get any concrete information from Now despite asking over and over and told that its going to be fixed "soon" (remember that line in December last year?)... you have to start making up your own theories and reasons.
The fact remains that although we are not supposed to have noticed this... the App is providing 5.1 very easily and happily on Live content. There is NO reason that the on demand content cant also stream in 5.1 is there..... and this has been the case for a few months now.
.. Just waiting for that switch to be flicked in Now HQ to allow on demand in 5.1 on the AppleTV app.
Apple has just signed an agreement to allow Apple TV+ content on there Sky Glass and Sky Q platforms and from next year to allow Sky Go on Apple TV. Expect as part of that agreement Now Apple TV app has to be brought up same standard as Firesticks at least I hope it does taken long time for agreement to be sorted.
Here’s the announcement:
So maybe waiting for this to happen is what has been delaying “those missing things” that we tv users of NOW have been complaining about since pre-beta (but who knows!)
Whilst I don’t own an Apple TV, I do own a few Apple products however. The announcement of Sky Go joining Apple TV as an app, really is a massive game changer.
Definitely shows that they could be aiming to launch it on more “Smart TV” enabled devices.
Like some have already said, this should be the kick in the back to get the NOW app fully functioning with 5.1 and all the bells and whistles!
Really they ought to be 1 streamlined version of the app across all of its Smart TV enabled devices it supports.
What exactly is Sky Go as i've never been able get the full Sky package i just know it's something you get on full Sky and i guess Sky Glass as well.
Maybe they will also finally make a Sky Sports Box Office Apple TV app never quite got why Box Office has never had a proper TV app except on the NowTV sticks/boxes. They finally updated the Sky News app to one made this decade at least a month or so back.
But yeah Apple surely will want want a proper version of Now app full feature version on there Apple TV box if they are developing a Apple TV app for Sky Glass/Q. Maybe the Live Pause feature will finally work which they have advertised the Apple TV box having for months now and has never worked.
At last - I long suspected this was the final hurdle to 5.1 Now on AppleTV. We'll find out soon enough.
BTW, I've still not seen any Now 5.1 content on my AppleTV, live or streamed.
Sky Go works on PS4/PS5 and laptops.
Basically it allows you to stream the Sky content that’s part of your subscription from the app.
You can always get Sky TV and not bother with the box itself, which is what I did for a brief period.
Managed to find a list of the channels you can stream with Sky go.
It is effectively the bulked up channel version of NOW.
However and I stress this, it’s only output at 720p and it’s adverts is worse than NOW. This I know as I borrowed a friends Sky go to watch something on Alibi and I gave up cause I might has well have watched it live with the number of adverts I had to watch.
The principle is definitely there. Although massive improvements are needed to make it a decent enough replacement.
Hopefully this might encourage them to bring 4K to Now tv I'm not holding my hopes up though, but with the new Apple Tv it might make a certain amount of sense. I also hope that Picture in Picture on IOS devices might come to the Now TV app
Not sure why - I can replicate it over and over. Just pick a Movie with a 5.1 soundtrack... or at least one you are sure should have a 5.1 soundtrack, and go to the TV guide and stream it as live.
That always gives me a 5.1 sound stream (according to my Sonos system)...
However, If I choose 'watch from start' or pick that movie from the usual on demand section, then its strictly 2.0.
Don't hold your breath!
If its been hard enough to get 5.1 working imagine 4K and Atmos.
BUT, they will have to keep NOW as a separate entity and proposition to what is now Sky Glass.
Sky Glass seems to me to be basically the AppleTV app but for Sky's content and needing a subscription to use with the bonus of it being a 4K and Atmos stream (well Done Sky for catching up with Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+ who have been doing this for years).
You'll need the Sky Glass TV, and a minimum sub of £26 per month for the privilege.
Now is always the poor mans Sky. They will always want to upsell you a Sky Glass £26 per month option and will entice you with the 4K and Atmos quality.
Now will always be at the low end, and we should think ourselves lucky that 1080p and 5.1 are a possibility but id be shocked if it ever became more - unless one day Glass and Now merge.
Remember its not a technical limitation... more a business decision. (much the same as the "missing 5.1" is on the current AppleTV app until December!)
Oh I'm aware it's a business decision but it might be that apple might push for it to become 4k as part of the deal
No I disagree because Sky and Now are 2 distinctly different entities for the foreseeable future.
IF there is an agreement for Sky to leverage their content on Apple Devices then it will be focused on the afore-mentioned Sky Go app which is just an extension of the full-fat Sky/SkyQ subscription stuff. Not Now.
Now will remain as it is.
If anything gets the gold standard treatment it will be the Sky Go app that will conceivably offer 4K and Atmos although it doesn't at the moment..
Technically ultimately Sky Glass could and should become just an app available on platforms the same as all other streaming is and the same in reverse that Apple do by developing an AppleTV app for other platforms to enable them to reach as many Apple TV subscribers as possible across as many platforms as they can.
So, although for Apple this is a good thing to get closer to Sky... I doubt that it will materially effect Now's offering HOWEVER they could, would, and should polish up that Now app as its embarrassing for Now to be so hamstrung on the Apple platform. Now should be the best it can be on Apple, the same effort that has gone into the Firestick app.
I dunno it seems from the press release Now Tv is very much part of this deal so I don't think it's without hope
I admire your optimism however as I mentioned now and sky are separate services with separate customers and pitched differently.
The only mention of now in that press release was enabling Apple to be used in order to subscribe to now. This is in line with many other services on Apple and it is attractive to Apple as they take a cut of the subscription fee. This is more a concession from sky using now as a scapegoat and allowing Apple to take a cut of their NOW subscriptions.
this will in my opinion only leave now lower down the pecking order than sky as it already is as the sky will be looking to premium subscriptions attracting them to Skyglass in order to offset the losses that they will suffer allowing subscriptions to now via the Apple ecosystem.
I would love for now to be a higher quality service. I accept that it is and only will be an HD and 5.1 service. I have the choice as a consumer to have a better service but that is why Skyglass exists. I very much doubt there is significant crossover between now and the more expensive Skyglass offering .
They are unlikely to say we are going to improve the app and give it loads of features in the press release. But with Apple now taking revenue from Now TV being paid through the app then surely Apple would want it to be as high quality as possible to increase the number of subs being taken out through Apple TV. We might get a total bout turn where Now Tv on Apple TV is the best experience on any platform.
I totally agree with your logic there and what you say makes perfect sense.
Yes, the NOW app should become a higher priority on the AppleTV platform given this new agreement it would be a little embarrassing for the current situation to continue where the Apple app is a poor second relation to the fire stick.
I still completely believe that the fire stick app is better than the AppleTV app on purpose and we are coincidentally coming up to the one-year point after this happened.
I would reiterate though that as much as you think now can polish the app it will only go so far as you cannot have the NOW service on a par or exceeding that of the much higher paid sky services out there.
The best we can hope from this is that they finally update the Apple app and discover how to 5.1 stream via the app which of course we already know it can do for live content therefore that switch that they need to flick will be flicked sooner rather than later .
One interesting point that springs to mind is that nows adoption of integrating their service with the Apple TV TV app was a surprise as basically this gives AppleTV users a very similar experience or possibly even superior to that which is about to be launched on sky glass. For me the aggregation of streaming services into one app is a massive, massive selling point of the Apple TV as a streaming platform. This function alone has enabled me to ditch more expensive sky subscriptions. let’s hope that now do not realise this and break that integration as functionally it treads all over the toes of sky glass however I think sky have Apple to thank for their inspiration for Skyglass!
I agree i don't think this deal will be a revolution in terms of app but it will likely bring it up to the level of the Firestick app at the least and maybe give us live pause which apparently it has had for months but it never worked. Sky Go App on Apple TV sounds good but can't imagine great as it sounds like a worse version of a mini box for an alternative TV but you still need main Sky Q/Glass sub
Point being that the Sky Go app is of no use to pure NOW subscribers.... we can't use it. Its a supplementary app for SkyQ customers to access their subscription content that's all.
A Sky Go app is fine for AppleTV but arguably why's it not on there already? This new deal seems somewhat irrelevant for that but hey... as I say as a NOW subscriber its of no relevance to me.
Having said that then yes... there's no excuse for NOW to be a second rate app on the Apple hardware now - integrating with the TV is a huge thing and appreciated... and we've had that for a while though the app itself leaves a lot to be desired and needs a lot more polish to make it less embarrassing for NOW on the platform.
At the very least, this announcement means that NOW subscriptions are possible via the Apple mechanism, and of course nobody is going to use that mechanism if the app they are being provided with is sub-par and doesn't fully support all the functionality such as 5.1 etc - you'll just go elsewhere for a better app.
Roll on December for the magical fix 🙂
…when using through a TV app (as opposed to iPhone or iPad version) does anyone else have trouble with position syncing? For instance an episode shows on the Up Next queue but if I watch the episode it won’t register (and I therefore need to manually mark it as watched), or if I stop watching halfway through an episode
the Up Next queue doesn’t register that it’s part-watched: if I then resume the episode the NowTv app does remember position. This is only an issue on the TV app, not iPad or iPhone version.
Still having this issue from Oct 2021.
Not sure why that was such a spoiler 🙂
Anyway, yes the TV app does have its idiosyncrasies..... or better known as bugs.
It does a pretty good job considering the aggregation job it does across multiple content providers different apps but sometimes weird stuff happens.
I find Channel 4 to be the worst offender - sometimes it incorrectly shows the wrong next episode then worst still it seems to reset your viewing and tells you that something 8 seasons ago is your next episode AND for some reason the TV app doesnt allow you to 'mark all episodes as watched'. Thats a pain. Ive had to remove shows altogether sometimes and re-add them THEN mark all as watched and sometimes even then it doesnt work.
Must admit ive not seen issues with NOWs content in this way.