Curious about Apple’s recently announced, revamped TV app experience and the ability to add a-la-carte channels? If you don’t mind the inherent uncertainty around beta software releases, you can try both if you grab the beta release of iOS or tvOS 12.3, which are available right now for iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV HD/Apple TV 4K.
Apple’s betas are mostly aimed at developers who need to get advanced access to new features, mostly to ensure they haven’t introduced any incompatibilities with their apps. If they have, it gives them time to write an update before the new version hits a general audience of users. But Apple isn’t especially picky about who it considers a developer, so if you’re in a hurry to try out the new Apple TV app, you can register as a beta user. If you’re already a member of the Apple beta community, you will find the beta software here. We’re not entirely sure why Apple saw fit to add its new TV app functionality via a system update, as opposed to simply an update of the app itself, but presumably, there is more to this new app than meets the eye.
One word of warning if you’ve never tried beta software before: It can be buggy, causing any number of unexpected results, which is why you should probably avoid using it on your primary device.
For those of you who take the plunge, MacRumors assembled a preview of what you will (hopefully) see once the update has been installed. In essence, it’s the full experience that Tim Cook and company showed off on March 25, minus the ability to add Apple’s new subscription service, Apple TV Plus, which has yet to launch. The software should be compatible with any device that currently runs iOS or tvOS 12.2, and there’s even a version for the older, third-generation Apple TV.
Content is organized via the new screen structure and personalization will theoretically kick in once the system has enough data about your viewing habits to make recommendations. You will be able to try out adding channels, and if you have more than one device registered for the beta, you should see the experience move seamlessly from one device to the other.
For the rest of us, who may be leery about using early release software, iOS and tvOS 12.3 are expected to see general release in May.