In a first, Apple is bringing its iTunes Movies and TV show app to Samsung TVs. iTunes has so far remained an Apple and Windows-only affair, but soon it will be available on Samsung TVs. All its 2019 smart TV models in 100 markets will support iTunes beginning this spring, while 2018 models will get it via a firmware update, Samsung announced ahead of CES 2019. These smart TVs will also get AirPlay 2 support in 190 markets, Samsung added.
This is the first time that Apple is developing a dedicated iTunes Movies and TV show app for a third-party device outside of Windows PCs. This will allow Samsung smart TV users to buy or rent content from Apple directly onto their TVs. This also goes to add some sort of credence to reports that Cupertino is secretly working on a video streaming service to take on Netflix.
AirPlay 2 support will meanwhile allow iPhone and iPad users to wirelessly stream videos, photos, music and podcasts from their devices directly on to their Samsung smart TVs.
“We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TVs, so iPhone, iPad and Mac users have yet another way to enjoy all their favorite content on the biggest screen in their home,” Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services at Apple said while making the announcement.
In other news, Samsung is also opening its 2019 line-up of smart TVs to third-party voice assistants, namely the Google Assistant and Alexa. Even though Bixby will be the go-to assistant in all Samsung smart TVs, and Google Assistant and Alexa functionality will be limited to basics like volume control, or turning your TV on or off, it is nice to see the company bringing some flexibility to the platform. Bixby still has a long way to go, and Samsung’s Bixby-powered Galaxy Home smart speaker is yet to ship. Bringing some flexibility will help win brownie points among its existing user base and attract new customers.