Report: Apple planning revamped TV app, will discontinue dedicated iTunes movie and TV show apps

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is planning a redesigned version of its TV app that will debut later this year. As part of these changes, Apple is also planning to phase out its dedicated “iTunes movies” and “iTunes TV shows” apps on Apple TV. It will also reportedly remove those options from the iTunes Store on iPhone and iPad.

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As it stands today, an Apple TV user can buy or rent movies and TV shows via the standalone TV app or via the separate “iTunes movies” and “iTunes TV shows” apps. Bloomberg says that Apple will remove this redundancy by discontinuing the standalone iTunes apps later this year and push users towards the doing everything in the TV app itself.

On iPhone and iPad, users can buy or rent TV shows and movies using the TV app or with via dedicated “TV shows” and “movies” sections in the iTunes Store app. Those options will also be removed from the iTunes Store app later this year, Bloomberg says.

Apple is also planning design changes to the TV app on Apple TV, including a new sidebar for improved navigation:

The revamped app on the Apple TV box will include a new side panel on the left-hand side for navigating between video categories, matching a design aesthetic used by Netflix Inc. and other streaming services. In addition to running on Apple’s set-top box, the app is available on smart TVs produced by other companies.

As Bloomberg explains, these changes are part of Apple’s efforts to consolidate its “various video offerings” into a single place; whether or not the new sidebar is enough to improve the TV app experience remains to be seen. The TV app is oftentimes criticized for packing way too many features into a cluttered and confusing interface.

Bloomberg says the new TV app is slated for a release in December, which likely means it will be included in tvOS 17.2.

Earlier this year, Apple discontinued the iTunes Movie Trailers app and website in favor of integrating trailers directly into the TV app.

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