My wife and I agree on a great many things, but what to watch isn't one of them. Whenever we try and sit down to watch something together, we'll spend far too long cycling through Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and Amazon looking for something we can agree upon. Occasionally, we'll find something new that we both enjoy — Girls5Eva being the most recent — but more often, we'll either settle for reruns of The Office or Parks & Rec, or I'll go upstairs and watch one thing while she stays downstairs and watches something else.
That's why Apple tvOS's new For All of You feature has me intrigued — and tempted to pick up the Apple TV 4K.
For those who didn't listen to the WWDC21 keynote, one of the new features for tvOS 15 that was announced is called For All of You. It's a new row in the interface that looks at all the viewing preferences for every registered user, and then makes recommendations where those interests overlap. It can be set to look at just two users or as many users who have profiles on your Apple TV.
For All of You is set to be rolled out in the next update of tvOS 15, though a developer preview is now available, and a public beta will be released in July.
When it comes to movies and TV shows, my interests skew toward action, sci-fi, DIY, and cooking and food-related content. My wife tends to prefer murder documentaries and anything with John Krasinski. When Amazon released Jack Ryan, it was a rare moment where our interests overlapped, like some streaming Venn diagram.
More often than not, however, I'll retreat to the attic to watch Forged in Fire or the latest episode of The Bad Batch, while she finds something else to watch. And that's fine sometimes, but it's nice to do things together and enjoy a shared experience. We watched Coco this past weekend with our child, and both of us teared up more than our two-year-old.
For All of You wasn't the headlining feature of tvOS; that would probably be SharePlay, which lets you create a watch party with friends via FaceTime. The feature works with multiple streaming video apps, such as Disney Plus and HBO Max, as well as music apps. It's something else that will help create a more communal viewing experience, pandemic or no.
Among our favorite streaming devices, the Apple TV 4K isn't at the top of the list. It's expensive, and Apple only recently fixed its remote. But if Apple TV's For All of You can surface more shows and movies that we'd both enjoy, I'd be more than willing to give it a shot — and see what it comes up with.