The Apple TV 4K is going to look slightly different in the coming months: the latest tvOS software discontinues the long-lived iTunes TV Shows and Movies apps, as Apple trades out those outdated spaces with the more modern Apple TV app.
The newest firmware, tvOS 17.2 (which is still in beta and only available to developers), aims to draw users to the TV app for all buying and renting of varied entertainment, shedding the iTunes branding entirely.
According to 9to5Mac, both iTunes Movies and TV Shows icons are still present when launching the device, however their new purpose is to merely relay to users that “iTunes Movies and Your Purchases Have Moved.” All future purchases by consumers will be made primarily through the main Apple TV app.
iTunes no more — Apple’s new strategy
While these outdated iTunes applications will be missed, the functionality they offered will still be present in Apple’s more modern app. Apple TV is, in reality, just a mirror of the prior offerings in a more contemporary setting, allowing consumers a wider range in purchasing options and renting of assorted entertainment.
Since as far back as 2019, the iTunes branding was being pushed out the door by Apple as it transitions into a content hub akin to Netflix, Max, and Disney Plus, alongside additional purchasable options. Now the firm is only amping up its own efforts to rid the world of the dated iTunes name with a more sophisticated and all-encompassing content space.
These new Apple TV changes were first reported back in October by Bloomberg’s Mark Gruman, who cited a revamping of the Apple TV app to include features of the dropped iTunes locations. The changes are strategic in that Apple aims to fold some users into the Apple TV+ ecosystem as it continues to produce its own original shows and movies.
Several of the latest Hollywood blockbusters paint Apple as a major contender in dealing hot new content, most recent among them being Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and the Godzilla-led TV project Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. Other originals, like Ted Lasso and the Morning Show, have also proven to put Apple TV+ on the map, but will they all be enough to take on rivals like Netflix and Disney Plus?
Additional tvOS 17.2 beta updates
Aside from axing the iTunes name, Apple has also added some special Apple TV features, like a sidebar in the Apple TV app and an “add to queue” button amid TV+ trailers. The Siri button on the Apple TV remote, as mentioned by ScreenTimes’ Sigmund Judge, will also serve as a search function on the Home Screen for both Apple TV and Apple Music results.
The tvOS 17 software now allows users to add and set up a VPN connection, which is a welcome addition for those who may want to access geo-restricted content or leverage a bit more security on their system.
Now over a year into its lifecycle and the Apple TV 4K has made a name for itself. Although 4th gen rumors remain murky, there’s no better time than now to nab the Apple TV and enjoy all of your favorite shows and movies in one simple place.
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Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom's Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he's consuming random anime from the 90's, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel.