With the release of iOS 17.2 and tvOS 17.2, Apple is set to revolutionize the way users interact with its TV app. This update introduces a streamlined navigation system, featuring a handy sidebar that allows for quick transitions between sections like Search, Watch Now, Channels, Store, and Library.
More notably, Apple is gearing up to merge the iTunes Movie Store with the Apple TV app, marking a significant shift in its digital media strategy.
Discovered within the code of the second beta of iOS 17.2 and tvOS 17.2, this merge signifies a move to centralize media purchases and viewing.
Currently, while users can purchase movies and TV shows directly within the TV app, a separate iTunes Store app still exists on Apple devices. However, as indicated by strings observed by 9to5Mac, users will soon encounter the message, “iTunes Movies moved to the Apple TV app,” signaling this integration’s completion.
Beta testing shows that the iTunes Movie Store remains accessible in its distinct app for now.
However, internal comments from Apple engineers suggest a remote rollout of this change upon the public release of the update. This transition will lead to the removal of the Movies and TV Shows tabs from the iTunes Store, in line with the new feature flags.
On Apple TV, which currently hosts individual apps for each iTunes Store segment, the iTunes Movies and iTunes TV Shows apps are expected to be phased out as well.
This move aligns with Apple’s broader strategy of moving away from the iTunes brand, a shift that began with the removal of iTunes software from Mac in 2019.
This integration was hinted at before the iOS 17.2 beta’s release, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reporting on Apple’s plans to revamp the TV app and discontinue the standalone iTunes Movie Store. Apple’s support website already advises purchasing movies and TV shows through the TV app.
iOS 17.2 is not just about media consolidation.
It introduces Apple’s new Journal app, first unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), and brings enhancements like collaborative playlists in Apple Music, updated tapback reactions, and new widgets for the Clock and Weather apps.
The update also enables recording of Spatial Videos for the upcoming Apple Vision Pro using the iPhone 15 Pro.
With the impending launch of Vision Pro, users have noticed a “3D” icon on some movies in the Apple TV app, a feature teased ahead of Vision Pro’s early next year release.
Additionally, the latest beta has uncovered references to sideloading, adding another layer of intrigue to this update.
Apple aims to release iOS 17.2 to the public by year’s end, marking a new chapter in its digital media experience.