The trusty Apple TV box is the most obvious device for watching Apple TV+ on—but if you don’t have one of the black boxes, then there are other ways to tune into The Morning Show, The Servant, For All Mankind, Dickinson and all the other shows Apple is pumping out. Here’s how to watch Apple TV+ (almost) everywhere.
Good news! If you have a piece of hardware made by Apple then it’s very easy to start watching the video streaming service also made by Apple. Look for the TV app on your iPhone, iPad or macOS computer, and you’ll get instant access to all your Apple TV+ content (plus all your iTunes content and other streaming apps).
The interface is more or less the same across all these Apple-developed platforms—you have your Watch Now panel, with everything you’re in the middle of watching, and then sections for Movies, TV Shows, Kids, and your Library. If you’re watching on a Mac or an iPad, you can choose between full screen and picture-in-picture modes.
If you’re using a Windows or Chrome OS computer, you aren’t locked out of watching content on Apple’s video streaming service—you just need to open up the Apple TV+ web app in a browser of your choice, click Watch now and Sign in, and log in using your Apple ID credentials. You’ll see everything you’re currently watching at the top, and a wider selection of shows further down.
It’s not the most polished or reliable video streaming web app we’ve ever come across, but then web apps have never been a particularly strong suit for Apple. It does the job of letting you log in and watch your Apple TV+ shows on just about every computer—although the web app doesn’t work on Macs, it just forces you into the native TV app instead.
Should you want to get your Apple TV+ fix on an Android device, you can try the same Apple TV+ web app—though it’s buggy. When we tried it in Google Chrome on a Pixel 4 XL, we got as far as logging in and seeing the selection of shows, before being met with black screens (overlaid with playback controls) whenever we tried to watch anything.
To get around this, we had to request the desktop version of the site, which you can do in Chrome by tapping the menu button (three dots, top right), then Desktop site. After that, we were able to get shows to play in the mobile Chrome browser, though whatever we did we weren’t able to get the bottom gesture bar to disappear. Your mileage may vary depending on the Android device and mobile browser you’re using.
The TV apps on the iPhone, iPad and Mac don’t come with a Chromecast button—following the iTunes apps before them—so that’s not an option if you want to beam The Morning Show or Servant over to a television set powered by Android or with a Chromecast stuck into it. There’s no Apple TV+ app for Android TV either, unsurprisingly.
What you can do is load up the Apple TV+ web app in a Chrome browser tab and then cast that tab to your Chromecast or Android TV (all Android TV devices do double duty as Chromecasts)—click the Chrome menu (three dots) then Cast. We’ve tested this out and it works well enough: It’s not the smoothest video and audio experience you’re ever going to come across, but shows and movies are certainly watchable.
The TV apps on Mac, iOS and iPadOS might not support Chromecast, but they do support AirPlay—if you’ve got one of the growing number of smart TVs that have AirPlay built-in, then you can use this streaming protocol rather than an Apple TV box to watch Apple TV+ content on the big screen. Just tap the AirPlay button when you’re watching something on your phone, tablet or computer.
As yet there’s no love for the PS4 or the Xbox One consoles, and whatever technology the Apple TV+ web app is using, it doesn’t work on the built-in browsers on these video game machines. Apple has promised support for more devices in the future, so PS4 and Xbox One apps may well be included in that—it would certainly help Apple TV+ keep up to speed with its rivals.
Official apps have now arrived for Roku devices and for Amazon Fire TV devices, so starting watching on those devices is as straightforward as loading up the apps. For news of any more devices getting official support for the TV app and the Apple TV+ streaming service, keep an eye on this page on the Apple website.
Overall, you’ve got more devices to pick from than you might expect for an Apple video service (certainly more than you do for iTunes movies and shows)—but Apple knows it needs to let Apple TV+, Apple Music and its other services peek out of the walled garden just a little if they’re to find the widespread adoption that Apple needs.