Sure they could. There was nothing stopping them. And loads of other software gets beta trials on new platforms.
The reason they didn't beta test it is because of the secrecy of the deal with Amazon.
And it begs the question... something that bugs me having participated... is what value did the beta testers add to the new AppleTV app when they basically released whatever it was they wanted and ignored the vast majority of the feedback anyway.
They clearly didn't need to beta test the firestick version... and that app was released very polished. They did
waste our time beta test the AppleTV version and yet look at it compared to firestick!
@Dean0989 interesting questions.
Firstly the differences:
The Firestick app has the same look and feel of the AppleTV app - this is on purpose and the main reason the appleTV version is poor. Rather than play to each platform's strengths, NowTV stubbornly make each app look the same - as much as possible - even at the sacrifice of functionality.
You can understand the rationale - after all they want their experience to be familiar regardless of how and where you choose to watch...
However that said.. the Firestick is far superior given that it does support 5.1 (to those who care) but also the remote is a big factor. You can easily FF/RW on the Firestick as it has dedicated buttons. On the AppleTV it has a very good mechanism for this in the swipe left / right thing but it relies on the app developer properly coding for and supporting the suppled AppleTV remote. Most do - but not all. For example the best ones show a thumbnail as you scrub back and forth and its super easy to find the part of the show you want. Iplayer, and Britbox to name two do not have the thumbnail when scrubbing but at least they support the general mechanism.
NowTV does not. At all. And because it doesn't, in conjunction with it wanting the interface to be the same regardless of the implications... we get a terribly awkward FF/RW experience. This was fed back on the beta but ignored.
I probably could think of others but this is the main one.
Does it look completely different? No. And that's by design. Is it a nicer and easier experience? Yes very much so. Sadly. The AppleTV could be amazing and better still - but it isnt.
Is it worth the paltry £30 for an HD firestick to get the best experience and full HD / 5.1 support? Yes. Very much so. And a hell of a shame for AppleTV but as I said before this seems to be by design and solely to allow Amazon to sell more hardware on the back of the deal to cross pollinate with Sky. I strongly believe the delays launching the new AppleTV app in conjunction with the very suspiciously timed release (1 week later) of the surprise and superior FireStick app were all designed to keep the AppleTV app less popular than the FireStick one and drive NowTV customers to Firestick with the benefits of sales and traffic to Amazons services. Way too suspicious.
How long can NowTV last?
Well, that's complex. right now.. NowTV has unique content not available from other providers. They know this. And that's part of the problem. If they had to work a bit harder to entice subscribers then maybe we would be better served by them to provide ancient HD and 5.1 as standard across the board and in maybe even expect to get advancements to 4K and Atmos / Dolby Vision / HDR content.
Its actually a problem... and something we shouldnt be encouraging frankly. Great.. new services...new competition... but at what cost.
At the moment, you can get a pretty good spread of new content by having NowTV covering the Sky1/Sky Atlantic exclusives and the Movie Channels.... Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Disney+.
We are already starting to see Sky Cinema losing new movies to other services. They still get the lions share but more and more you are finding first run movies on Disney+, Amazon Prime, and Netflix.
OK, so we introduce HBO Max, and others....
But... content you are interested in starts to be spread more thinly across more services.. AND you have to subscribe to each and every one of them.
More services = higher monthly subscriptions... and there will come a point where its just too much. You'll have multiple subscriptions yet probably only want to watch a few things on each per year. Of course you can start and stop each one as appropriate but its going to get very complicated very soon.
Isn't that the point of no contract streaming services though? You subscribe when there's something you want to watch?
There's nothing on Entertainment that interests me right now. Actually, that's not quite right as Walking Dead season 10 is available. But given the current debacle with Boost randomly not working across multiple devices I can't watch in on NowTV. But its available for £8.50 on Amazon ..
I'm currently watching The Madalorian. Just finished For All Mankind. Next on my list are latest seasons of Better Call Saul, and Ozark.
Movies can be worth a subscription .... I tend to watch stuff that I wouldn't ordinarily rent/buy from iTunes, and that can sometimes be pleasantly surprising e.g. Le Mans 66, Bloodshot, Brightburn. Great movies that I wouldn't have otherwise watched. But its only a handful .... and is it worth the subscription? Marginal .... (and with dodgy Boost, not worth it). So I think this month I'll cancel Ents and Movies. Might chuck a fiver at StarPlayz - quite fancy The Stand, Mr Mercedes, Pennyworth.
Can NowTV survive? Sure - for as long as people want to use it as a poor man's substitute for SkyQ it'll have an audience. For people looking for value, to occasionally complement other streaming services, it looks pretty ropey right now.
A couple of things I'd like to say firstly, I don't tend to use swipe on many apps on Apple TV as I actually don't find it that good and prefer the very light tap on the remote and hope the next generation has a couple more buttons, especially mute. I also actually use the TV remote for my fire stick so I just have one remote for that and honestly switching between now TV on Apple TV and fire stick I don't find horrendous.
On the future of sky/now TV what I can see happening is sky becoming a sort of aggregator so they might offer you prime, netflix, Disney HBO etc as a big package at a reduced rate to getting them all individually and using the sky platform to view them. The key for them though is sports rights if they lost football rights specifically they would hemorrhage customers like there is no tomorrow
You are absolutely right.
Most if not all of these are monthly no commitment subs. Start, pause, cancel at any time depending on what interests you and when.
In an ideal world of course you can pay £5-10 as a one off, binge all the series you want, then stop.
Of course.. the annoying thing about this.. and how these services entice more money out of you... is they have the annoying habit of releasing one episode per week.
If you are a spoilerphobe like me... you have to have the sub running so you can watch the latest episode when its released.
So much of stuff lately has necessitated a longer sub. Mandalorian 2 months worth on Disney+, Star Trek Discovery 3 months of Netflix.... etc etc. Both series would be spoiled. Especially the Mandalorian - of course the 'thing' at then end of season 2 was fantastic to watch not knowing what was coming - but just minutes after it was all over YouTube and the internet - im so glad I didn't know.
Upcoming we have huge high profile marvel shows including Wandavision and Falcon and Winter Soldier - all of which are bound to be weekly drip-feeds too.
They aren't stupid 🙂
If I wasn't worried about spoilers... the sensible thing to do is wait till a series has finished then take a 1 month sub and watch it all in one go.
You are right with the future of sky becoming an aggregator - they already are having offered Netflix and now Amazon access via their SkyQ platform.
However, that's their premium subscription service and leased hardware.
I very much doubt that this would be possible under a single NowTV banner.
I love the AppleTV TV app - the aggregation service they provide is so very helpful - I just wish both Netflix and latterly NowTV played nice with it (as they promised they would!). Of course you still have to subscribe to all these services individually but using them as a whole is made so much more convenient.
I do like the Apple Tv app but there are a few changes I'd like to make to it such as having a live TV tab or having more control over which services appear.
I can certainly see movies and entertainment being combined into 1 and also sky may have to invest in more of their own exclusive content rather than buying from other services.
As all my TV, live and streaming is now via apps on the AppleTV, I agree that a live TV thing would be useful but it would have to work across all the "live broadcast" channels and provide an aggregated TV guide.
I noticed something on my Firestick which is a very interesting step in that direction. They now have a 'live TV' section and at the moment the only service that plays nice with it in the UK seems to be "My 5" and therefore only Channel5's channels appear. This works well and has customisation options but they need to get iPlayer, ITV Hub, and All4 added to make it a great live TV service.