| Cult of Mac

New Apple TV ads showcase apps and games

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Apple TV might get exclusive TV shows.
Apple TV might get exclusive TV shows.
Photo: Apple

The new Apple TV is all about apps and games, so it makes sense that there are five new ads from Apple on its YouTube channel that are all about specific games and apps.

Check out the videos below for streaming media apps like Netflix and HBO, along with a trio of gaming titles, including Apple TV ads for Asphalt 8 from Gameloft, mega-hit casual Crossy Road from Hipster Whale, and Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition: Star Wars from the House of Mouse.

34 apps to try out on your brand new Apple TV

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Apple TV 4 brings iOS apps to the big screen.
Apple TV 4 brings iOS apps to the big screen.
Photo: Apple

When Apple TV units finally ship tomorrow, they will bring iOS apps to the big screen for the first time.

Some of the best apps from your iPhone are making the jump, including Periscope, Zillow and Airbnb. And of course all the old Apple TV apps like Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu and Showtime will still be available.

Now that the new Apple TV’s arrival is imminent, developers are ready to flood the device with a tons of apps focusing on everything from cooking and exercising to gaming and news.

Here’s a list of new apps available on Apple TV:

Apple snags Showtime for yet another streaming exclusive

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You can now stream Showtime without cable
Showtime is coming to Apple TV 
Photo: Showitme

HBO made a splash with its streaming service HBO Now, and now its cheaper rival Showtime is ready to get in on the action too with its own streaming service that’s also launching exclusively with Apple.

Starting in July, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV users will be able to purchase a stand-alone subscription to Showtime through the Showtime app to stream all of the company’s original programming. It’s just like HBO Now, only a little bit cheaper.

Apple only takes 15% cut on HBO Now, Netflix, and Hulu subscriptions

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HBO Now on the big screen. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
HBO Now. Photo: HBO

Apple scored a huge win for Apple TV by making it the only platform your can watch HBO Now on for the next three months, and according to a new report, Apple might be rewarding HBO by taking a much lower cut on subscription fees than cable companies.

Apple has been taking a 30 percent cut anytime a company signs up a customer for a service through an iOS app. Publishers bristled at Apple’s policy when it was introduced in 2011, however, when it comes to subscriptions purchased through Apple TV, Apple has decided to reduced its take by 50%.

How to get a free month of HBO Now on Apple TV or iOS

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HBO Now on the big screen. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
HBO Now on the big screen. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Want a free month of HBO Now on your Apple TV, iPad or iPhone? If you sign up for the standalone service now, you can watch the premier of Game of Thrones on April 15 absolutely free.

I’m a long-time cord cutter and I’m super-excited that I can now purchase HBO directly from the television network, via iTunes, instead of having to sign up for a local cable TV package and then pay for HBO on top of that.

If you’ve got an Apple TV or an iOS device, you can get your own free month. Here’s how.

How Jimmy Iovine got HBO Now on Apple TV and iOS

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HBO Now on the big screen. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Jimmy Iovine played a key role bring HBO Now to Apple. Photo: HBO

HBO finally unleashed its Netflix-killer today with the HBO Now app for iOS and Apple TV. The company is already having a hard time keeping up with demand on the streaming service, but according to a profile on HBO CEO Richard Plepler CEO, the original plan was to launch it at the end of 2016.

Today’s launch may not have happened it if weren’t for Apple executive Jimmy Iovine, who sparked the connection between HBO and Apple. After Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch made a hostile bid to takeover of Time Warner last year, Plepler says he knew he need to pivot the company. So he called up his old buddy Jimmy and asked if Apple would be interested in an HBO Now deal.

“I think that’s the shit,” Jimmy said.

Your free month of HBO Now on Apple TV starts today

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HBO-Now
Photo: HBO
Photo: HBO

HBO Now has finally landed on Apple TV, giving users access to stream HBO’s entire catalog of shows and live programming for just $14.99 per month. Apple TV owners can start using the service immediately with a free 30-day trial period.

Today’s HBO Now launch comes just in time for the Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere this Sunday. If you haven’t caught up, there might be enough hours left in the week to stream the past four seasons.

HBO coming soon to Sling TV

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sling on iPhone
Sling's television interface. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Dish has reached a new agreement with Turner Broadcasting to keep TBS, TNT, and CNN on its Sling TV service. That’s great news for cord-cutters, but what’s even better is that HBO is coming aboard too — and in time for the new season of Game of Thrones!

Cue the dragons: New Game of Thrones clips hint at war to come

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"Who said anything about him?" Photo: HBO

“I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come,” says spymaster Varys to Tyrion, the Lannister least likely to beat anyone in a duel.

That’s the takeaway line from one of a pair of new clips out today from HBO’s hotly anticipated Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere, which is slated to air April 12.

Isn’t that (and the newly announced cable-free HBO Now) why you all got a new Apple TV? I know I did.