| Cult of Mac

How to master the Siri Remote scroll wheel


Does the Siri Remote have you going around in circles?
Does the Siri Remote have you going around in circles?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

When Apple TV 4K launched last year, it had fans salivating. But not for the sharper picture or faster processor. It was the new Siri Remote that caught everyone’s eye. Had Cupertino finally made a TV remote control that didn’t suck?

With its iPod-style scroll wheel, the second-generation Siri Remote promised to make scrolling through content effortless. In reality, the scroll wheel turned out to be hard to use, and lacked support from third-party apps like YouTube.

But don’t throw your remote at the TV just yet. When you get the hang of its quirks, the Siri Remote scroll wheel works surprisingly well. And you can use it with loads of essential apps, including Netflix, HBO Max and, of course, Apple TV+.

Severance on Apple TV+ hits No. 1 most-streamed series


‘Severance’ on Apple TV+ hits #1 most streamed series
In Severance, you have to learn to expect the unexpected.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ has a big hit on its hands with Severance. The weird workplace drama tops Reelgood’s list of the most-streamed series of the week.

The show debuted in February and the fifth episode premiered Friday. The first four were enough to push the series to the top of the chart.

Apple TV+ is the only streaming service that takes your privacy seriously


Spatial audio for Apple TV in tvOS 15
Most streaming services are watching you while you watch them.
Photo: Apple

Almost every video streaming service except Apple TV+ is selling your data to third-party companies and tracking your viewing habits for targeted ads. A new report from Common Sense Media exposes the loose privacy policies employed by most streaming providers, including Amazon and Netflix.

“Many viewers know that free streaming apps are most likely selling their personal information, but most viewers may not know that most paid sub‐ scription streaming apps are also selling users’ data,” warns the report.

HBO Max plans to fix broken Apple TV app ‘within days’


HBO Max’s free tier won’t include first-run films
A major overhaul is also on the way.
Photo: WarnerMedia

HBO Max plans to fix its buggy Apple TV app “within days,” while other platforms will see big fixes before the end of the year.

Users have been plagued by issues that affect playback control, subtitles, and general usability. Executives insist they aren’t blind to the problems, and a major overhaul for all platforms is on the way.

HBO Max’s cheaper ad-supported tier won’t include first-run films [Updated]


HBO Max’s free tier won’t include first-run films
The upcoming HBO Max free-with-ads version can be watched on every type of Apple computer.
Photo: WarnerMedia

You might want to put the HBO Max app on your iPhone after all. WarnerMedia said Friday there’ll be a more affordable version of the streaming service starting in June. But it’ll require watching ads.

And don’t expect to watch movies the same day as they appear in the theaters on the ad-supported version.

HBO Max hits the App Store with 10,000 hours of content


HBO Max has one of the deepest content archives of any streaming service yet.
Photo: WarnerMedia

HBO Max, the streaming platform that bundles together new and existing HBO content with a massive WarnerMedia library of TV shows and movies, has officially launched in the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

The service launches with some 10,000 hours of programming, making this a serious contender to the likes of Netflix and Disney+ from day one. It costs $15 per month (covered by your existing subscription if you’re already an HBO subscribers), although a special offer makes it just $12 a month for the initial year.

Take it to the Max: HBO’s new streaming service debuts next month


It'll be the only place to stream Friends (and a bunch more movies and TV).
Photo: Warner Bros.

HBO isn’t playing around when it comes to streaming video subscription services. The company, which already has its HBO Now subscription video-on-demand, will launch HBO Max on May 27 — complete with original shows, Turner TV shows, and Warner Bros. movies.

Check out more of the details, along with the first trailers for Max Originals, below.

Pricey AT&T TV service rolls out nationwide


AT&T TV can be streamed from your iPhone.
Photo: AT&T

AT&T’s latest cable replacement for cord-cutters, AT&T TV, launched nationwide today, replacing the streaming service DirecTV Now.

The carrier is offering big discounts to customers that sign a 24-month contract for AT&T TV which allows you to stream live sports, news, shows, and on-demand titles for a monthly fee. The only problem is it might not be much cheaper than your old cable bill.

ViacomCBS readies new streaming service to compete with Netflix and Apple TV+


CBS All Access was one of the first TV streaming services to launch.
Photo: CBS

Apple TV+ is about to get even more competition in the form of a new streaming service currently in development by ViacomCBS.

Now that the Viacom and CBS merger was approved at the end of 2019, a new report claims company execs are plotting a way to combine the current CBS All Access service with Viacom’s assets, among which are Paramount’s trove of over 3,600 movies.

A big Friends reunion will help HBO Max fight Apple TV+


It's happening!
Photo: Warner Bros.

HBO Max is on its way to take on the likes of Apple TV+, Netflix, and Amazon Prime — and it’s going to come out fighting. A new report reveals the service is close to securing a big Friends reunion.

Yes, the return we’ve all been waiting for, but never really believed would happen, is close. It is said to be an hour-long special that will feature all six stars from the hit show.

It won’t exactly be the Friends reunion you’ve been dreaming of, however.