| Cult of Mac

Apple TV+ subscribers think it’s a better value than Netflix

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Apple TV+ subscribers think it's a better value than Netflix
Viewers are more satisfied with Apple TV+ this year.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple TV+ subscribers seem much more satisfied with the streaming service than they were a year ago, according to a survey of viewers. The home of Ted Lasso and Severance even made gains on Netflix – streaming’s 800-pound gorilla – in a couple of categories, including value.

And more people than ever would make Apple TV+ their one and only streaming service.

Commercials are coming to Netflix

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Commercials are coming to Netflix
You'll soon be able to get Netflix at a lower cost by watching commercials.
Photo: Netflix/Cult of Mac

It’s official: Netflix is adding a cheaper ad-supported tier to its streaming service. The change is apparently intended to reverse a recent drop in subscribers.

It’s part of a trend, as rival streaming service Disney+ announced this spring it is making the same move.

How to master the Siri Remote scroll wheel

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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+.

Ads are coming to Netflix by the end of 2022

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Netflix Downloads for You puts suggested shows right onto your iPhone
The time to pay for your Netflix subscription is coming sooner than you think
Photo: Netflix

Netflix has so far shied away from showing ads on its platform, and unlike many other streaming services, it does not offer a cheaper ad-supported tier. However, that reportedly will change by the end of the year.

The streaming service is also looking to end password sharing around the same time. So, if you have been leeching off your ex-girlfriend’s Netflix account, know that it won’t last long.

Netflix gets serious about cracking down on password sharing

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Netflix Downloads for You puts suggested shows right onto your iPhone
The days when millions of people could get Netflix for free are coming to an end.
Photo: Netflix

If you’ve been using your ex-girlfriend’s parents’ Netflix password for years, there’s a dark day coming. The video streaming service says it’s going to crack down on the 100 million households around the world using another household’s account.

But the company is also considering a cheaper, ad-supported option. That might attract people about to be cut off.

Apple finally lets ‘reader’ apps like Netflix and Spotify link to their own sites

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Apple lets reader apps link to their own sites
It's a start.
Image: Apple

Apple on Wednesday confirmed a significant change to its App Store policy that finally allows “reader” apps like Netflix and Spotify to link to their own websites for things like creating and managing accounts.

Until now, including an external link for this kind of purpose was prohibited, and would have resulted in App Store expulsion. That meant a poor user experience for a whole bunch of popular services on iPhone and iPad.

That’s finally changing, but of course, Apple plans to make it as complicated as possible for developers to enjoy it.

Netflix cracks down on users who share their accounts with others

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Netflix account sharing
Users will have the option to keep sharing for a small fee.
Image: Netflix

Netflix on Wednesday confirmed new measures to crack down on the sharing of user accounts between multiple households. But rather than putting a stop to it, the company is adding a new “sub account” option for a small fee.

Sharing accounts between households, which goes against Netflix’s terms of service, is “impacting out ability to invest in great new TV and films for out members,” the company said.

Apple TV+ share of streaming market just keeps growing

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Appletvpluslogo
Apple TV+ has a growing chunk of the U.S. streaming market. Netflix does not.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ garners 5% of the U.S. streaming video market, according to a company that follows the industry. While that makes Apple TV+ a small player, the service started 2021 with just a 3% share, so the year saw significant growth.

Its two largest rivals, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, saw drops in their shares of the streaming market in 2021.

Netflix hikes prices in the US and Canada

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Netflix Downloads for You puts suggested shows right onto your iPhone
The premium plan is now priced at $19.99 a month, up from $17.99.
Image: Netflix

Netflix has raised its prices for subscribers in the United States and Canada so that it “can continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options.”

Its premium plan, which offers 4K content, is now $19.99 a month. The company’s most affordable subscription, which allows only one stream at a time, is up to $9.99 a month, making it the most expensive video service.

App Store rules could force Netflix to deliver subscription games individually

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Netflix’s Apple Arcade rival launches but iOS support still ‘on the way’
It's the only method Apple approves of.
Image: Netflix

Netflix may be forced to release its subscription games as individual downloads on the App Store to comply with Apple’s rules. Other subscription services, such as GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming, aren’t allowed on the App Store.

It is believed users will still be able to discover and launch titles through the main Netflix app, but they’ll need to download each one first.