New Apple-exclusive interface arrives in ABC streaming TV revamp

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited July 2016
In a move to appeal to cable cutters, ABC has refreshed its streaming video service with a new user interface designed specifically for Apple's iOS and tvOS, as well as more on-demand content and an expansion of markets eligible for a local live feed.




The new interface on the ABC app is cleaner than the previous version of the app, with programming curated into "popular," "drama," "reality," "funny," "news," "throwback," and "on the table" categories. The interface and preview images for content vary somewhat between the iPhone and iPad versions, with the iPhone forcing a portrait view for program selection, and a switch to landscape for video playback.

The app supports picture-in-picture viewing on compatible devices. The interface for fourth-generation Apple TV mirrors that of the iPad's, with the same images used for previews.

New programming is still available the day after it airs for subscribers with login credentials from a supported pay TV service. Older episodes are available to all app users, with or without a cable subscription, on a timetable for release depending on the show.

Unskippable ads are played for users on all content, regardless of the user's status as a cable subscriber. Initial AppleInsider trials with the app are seeing some Spanish-language advertisements interspersed with English, and no obvious way to toggle a language choice in the application.

ABC's decision to partner exclusively with Apple has precedent -- the Disney-owned broadcast network has historically been quick to embrace new Apple services and platforms. Laurene Powell Jobs is the company's largest shareholder, and Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger serves on Apple's board of directors.

  • Show selection on iPad
  • Episode selection on iPad
  • Show selection on iPhone


For the relaunch of the app, ABC has added seven new shows for streaming with 40 more in the production pipeline. The new streaming-only shows, plus the network's back catalog of programming available on the app do not require users to sign into a pay TV service prior to viewing.

The new shows added to the ABC streaming lineup are "All My Gay Friends are Getting Married," "Boondoggle," "Forever 31," Tastemade's "Get Cookin'," "I Can Find $3000 In Your Home,"Newborn Moms," and "On The Record."

Full seasons of the network's past shows include "8 Simple Rules," "Benched," "Betrayal," "Body of Proof," "Brothers & Sisters," "Commander in Chief," "Detroit," "Dinosaurs," "Dirty Sexy Money," "Ellen," "Felicity," "FlashForward," "Happy Town," "Hope and Faith," "I Survived a Japanese Game Show," "The Knights of Prosperity," "Less Than Perfect," "Manhattan Love Story," "Mixology," "My Generation," "My So-Called Life," "The Neighbors," "October Road," "Off the Map," "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," "Perception," "Reaper," "Red Band Society," "The River," "Samantha Who?," "School House Rock," "Secret Millionaire," "Smart Guy," "Sports Night," "Trophy Wife," "Ugly Betty," and "What About Brian." Not all shows on the service have entire broadcast runs available.

Also with this update, the network live feed is available for users of the ABC app in Albuquerque - Santa Fe (KOAT), Boston (WCVB and WMUR), Fort Smith/Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers (KHBS), Jackson, MS (WAPT), Kansas City (KMBC), Milwaukee (WISN), Monterey-Salinas (KSBW-DT2), Oklahoma City (KOCO), Omaha (KETV), Pittsburgh (WTAE), Portland-Auburn (WMTW), Savannah (WJCL), and West Palm Beach-Ft Pierce (WPBF).

"Our team has completely re-imagined the digital viewing experience for ABC fans," said Karin Gilford, SVP of Digital Media, ABC Television Network. "In addition to the current ABC shows that fans know and love, we are introducing new ABCd original digital series that are fun, fresh and perfect for mobile, and we are making full seasons of all-time favorite shows available for binging. Fans on Apple devices?will benefit from a dynamic new interface that makes it easier to find shows. All of this allows us to expand beyond the bounds of our linear schedule and extend ABC storytelling to viewers across screens and platforms."

For mobile users, the new ABC app requires 60.2MB of device storage, and iOS 8.0. The app is also available for the fourth generation Apple TV.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,040member
    Is there anything worth watching on ABC? Serious question.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    indyfxindyfx Posts: 319member
    Is there anything worth watching on ABC? Serious question.
    Sure, modern family is funny, Quantico isn't bad, red band society wasn't bad (although they cancelled it) Ok perhaps you are half right... there isn't much. But, there isn't much on any one network (including independents like HBO and Netflix) if you can manage to produce even a handful of worthwhile shows you are doing pretty good.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 3 of 9
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    indyfx said:
    Is there anything worth watching on ABC? Serious question.
    Sure, modern family is funny, Quantico isn't bad, red band society wasn't bad (although they cancelled it) Ok perhaps you are half right... there isn't much. But, there isn't much on any one network (including independents like HBO and Netflix) if you can manage to produce even a handful of worthwhile shows you are doing pretty good.
    And this is why a combination of Netflix, Hulu, and Sling (during football and basketball seasons at least) and OTA antenna is the best for our family. Get all the best of Netflix, all of the network and cable shows we care about, and almost all of the sports I would want to watch. And Sling being no contract means I can dump it as soon as I don't need ESPN anymore.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,040member
    indyfx said:
    Is there anything worth watching on ABC? Serious question.
    Sure, modern family is funny, Quantico isn't bad, red band society wasn't bad (although they cancelled it) Ok perhaps you are half right... there isn't much. But, there isn't much on any one network (including independents like HBO and Netflix) if you can manage to produce even a handful of worthwhile shows you are doing pretty good.
    Modern Family is still around? Seriously!?

    I tried Quantico for a bit, but the writing was so poor that I gave up.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    creek0512creek0512 Posts: 100member
    All of ABC's sitcoms are family based: LA Family, Hoosier Family, 80's Family, Black Family, Taiwanese Family, Irish Family, Korean Family, and coming soon Italian Family and Connecticut Family.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    creek0512 said:
    All of ABC's sitcoms are family based: LA Family, Hoosier Family, 80's Family, Black Family, Taiwanese Family, Irish Family, Korean Family, and coming soon Italian Family and Connecticut Family.
    What do you have against families?! ;)
  • Reply 7 of 9
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,034member
    hittrj01 said:
    indyfx said:
    Is there anything worth watching on ABC? Serious question.
    Sure, modern family is funny, Quantico isn't bad, red band society wasn't bad (although they cancelled it) Ok perhaps you are half right... there isn't much. But, there isn't much on any one network (including independents like HBO and Netflix) if you can manage to produce even a handful of worthwhile shows you are doing pretty good.
    And this is why a combination of Netflix, Hulu, and Sling (during football and basketball seasons at least) and OTA antenna is the best for our family. Get all the best of Netflix, all of the network and cable shows we care about, and almost all of the sports I would want to watch. And Sling being no contract means I can dump it as soon as I don't need ESPN anymore.
    So why bother cutting the cord if you're going to PAY for Netflix, Sling and HULU+ besides a Antenna? That's around $40 or so for those services right there. Sling is the same old thing as always, Bundles!!! It's $20 to start. The only real reason to get it is for Sports, which means to get the rest of the sport channels, that's another $5. So now you're at $25 for that. Less channels for a higher cost!!! Hulu+ is un-watchable with all the annoying commercials you can't skip. That means you need to pay the extra $3 for Commercial free, so that's $13 for that. There are ways to get plain HULU for free onto your HDTV or iOS device, you have those limitations, but it works. Still have the commercial issues. Netflix is another $7.99 a month or so. Really the BEST deal of anyone with a ton of great original programming that keeps growing. Then there's HBO, which I was basically forced to get to get the cheaper Internet service I wanted. it was cheaper to get the bundle deal then Internet only. Normally I only watch Game of Thrones. I have no problem waiting for the season to be over, sign up for a month and binge watch that and anything else and then cancel. Costing me $15. Pretty good price for a full season in HD of that and anything else I happen to watch. I get a lot of my TV from the Antenna. Recording all on my Tivo Roamio OTA box. Great deal at $299 for it with Lifetime service which is key!!! Because it's the service cost that could be costly otherwise. A couple Tivo Mini's allowing me to watch from one room to the next. Almost can't tell it's not the Roamio unit and it does everything it does. I have the Tivo Stream allowing me to watch on my Windows PC or on my iOS devices. Best new feature, Commercial 1 button press Skip!!! Commercial comes up, hit the green button and it'll skip all of the commercials for that break. There's none of that waiting a week like on the Dish Hopper. Just wait a few minutes after the show finishes recording. So for me, it's mostly Antenna/Tivo or Netflix. I already have to much crap to watch. Plus I ripped most all of my DVD Movies and some of my HD DVD and Blu-Ray movies and those I have on my nice Netgear Readynas 516 where I run PLEX and it's powerful enough to transcode a couple 1080P streams at once and run some other software. I can watch all that content on any of my TV's on a number of devices that run PLEX or my iOS devices. Until there is a actual A-la-cart option where I can pick each channel I want at a set price on one of these services, I'm not interested. If for Example, Apple came out with their own service with channel bundles kind of like SLING, they're just wasting their time doing the same thing everyone else is doing. Nothing would have changed because nothing really hasn't changed even now. it's the same old bundle crap as always. Sling is owned by DISH and HULU is owned by basically Comcast and a few others. Netflix is the best deal for Content, though Amazon Prime isn't to bad, though the Interface kind of stinks.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,519member
    jbdragon said:
    hittrj01 said:
    And this is why a combination of Netflix, Hulu, and Sling (during football and basketball seasons at least) and OTA antenna is the best for our family. Get all the best of Netflix, all of the network and cable shows we care about, and almost all of the sports I would want to watch. And Sling being no contract means I can dump it as soon as I don't need ESPN anymore.
    So why bother cutting the cord if you're going to PAY for Netflix, Sling and HULU+ besides a Antenna? That's around $40 or so for those services right there. Sling is the same old thing as always, Bundles!!! It's $20 to start. The only real reason to get it is for Sports, which means to get the rest of the sport channels, that's another $5. So now you're at $25 for that. Less channels for a higher cost!!! Hulu+ is un-watchable with all the annoying commercials you can't skip. That means you need to pay the extra $3 for Commercial free, so that's $13 for that. There are ways to get plain HULU for free onto your HDTV or iOS device, you have those limitations, but it works. Still have the commercial issues. Netflix is another $7.99 a month or so. Really the BEST deal of anyone with a ton of great original programming that keeps growing. Then there's HBO, which I was basically forced to get to get the cheaper Internet service I wanted. it was cheaper to get the bundle deal then Internet only. Normally I only watch Game of Thrones. I have no problem waiting for the season to be over, sign up for a month and binge watch that and anything else and then cancel. Costing me $15. Pretty good price for a full season in HD of that and anything else I happen to watch. I get a lot of my TV from the Antenna. Recording all on my Tivo Roamio OTA box. Great deal at $299 for it with Lifetime service which is key!!! Because it's the service cost that could be costly otherwise. A couple Tivo Mini's allowing me to watch from one room to the next. Almost can't tell it's not the Roamio unit and it does everything it does. I have the Tivo Stream allowing me to watch on my Windows PC or on my iOS devices. Best new feature, Commercial 1 button press Skip!!! Commercial comes up, hit the green button and it'll skip all of the commercials for that break. There's none of that waiting a week like on the Dish Hopper. Just wait a few minutes after the show finishes recording. So for me, it's mostly Antenna/Tivo or Netflix. I already have to much crap to watch. Plus I ripped most all of my DVD Movies and some of my HD DVD and Blu-Ray movies and those I have on my nice Netgear Readynas 516 where I run PLEX and it's powerful enough to transcode a couple 1080P streams at once and run some other software. I can watch all that content on any of my TV's on a number of devices that run PLEX or my iOS devices. Until there is a actual A-la-cart option where I can pick each channel I want at a set price on one of these services, I'm not interested. If for Example, Apple came out with their own service with channel bundles kind of like SLING, they're just wasting their time doing the same thing everyone else is doing. Nothing would have changed because nothing really hasn't changed even now. it's the same old bundle crap as always. Sling is owned by DISH and HULU is owned by basically Comcast and a few others. Netflix is the best deal for Content, though Amazon Prime isn't to bad, though the Interface kind of stinks.
    Sounds like you have a great setup. 

    Most people though would find setting up and maintaining such a system far too challenging.  A skinny streaming bundle, IF they can have a reasonable set of channels, would still appeal to many cord cutters
  • Reply 9 of 9
    mrboba1mrboba1 Posts: 268member
    jbdragon said:
    hittrj01 said:
    And this is why a combination of Netflix, Hulu, and Sling (during football and basketball seasons at least) and OTA antenna is the best for our family. Get all the best of Netflix, all of the network and cable shows we care about, and almost all of the sports I would want to watch. And Sling being no contract means I can dump it as soon as I don't need ESPN anymore.
    Wall-o-text hurts my eyes
    So you pay $300 for the DVR and $300 for the minis to his $10/month for Hulu (some of us can survive with commercials - we have all our lives) and sometimes sling for $20 (that has plenty of sports channels for what he wants). So $120 for hulu, $120 for 6 months of Sling, and you get HBO twice a year (GoT $30) so your difference is $210 - so for 3 years he is doing better than you in terms of outlay.

    And who knows what everything will look like in even 2 years. You've sunk costs, he can cancel everything on a whim.
    I'll go with his setup.
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