How to Use the iPhone TV App

It works on your iPad too

Woman lying on bed watching iPad while drinking coffee

Paul Bradbury/Caiaimage

PRODUCT DISCLOSURE $

The Apple TV app for both iPhone and iPad is the best way to find all your movies, TV shows and more all in one place. The TV app gives you access to all of your streaming services (such as Hulu) and even your cable providers (like Spectrum) whenever you're on the go. Apple said it best, "Now every screen is a TV screen."

Learn how to find that old favorite movie, rent new blockbusters, stream from your favorite online services, and customize the settings/options within your app.

How to Find Movies and TV Shows Inside the Apple TV App

To get started, you'll need to download the Apple TV app, simply named "TV," onto your iPhone or iPad, if it isn't there already. The TV app comes pre-installed on devices using iOS 11 and 12.

You don't need an Apple TV to use the TV app.

When you first open the app, it will prompt you to connect other apps like Hulu or NBC, if available, on your device. Your shows will appear in the Up Next section on the Home page.

You'll also see a What to Watch section for suggestions on what you can watch next, a Browse by Genre section, and a list of popular movies and shows in their respective genres.

To play a movie or TV show, the instructions are simple.

  1. Tap the TV show or movie you wish to watch.

  2. To watch from where you left off, tap the Play icon. If you're watching a TV show, you can browse through available episodes and choose the one you wish to watch then tap the Play icon.

    Using the Play feature inside the Apple TV app
  3. If you wish to watch a movie or TV show that isn't available in an app installed on your device, you'll be prompted to download the required app.

How to Use the Search Feature

Looking for a specific movie or TV show? You can use the Search feature inside the app.

  1. On your Home screen, tap Search in the bottom right corner of your screen.

  2. Enter a keyword or title into the search bar at the top of the screen, then tap Search.

  3. When you find the TV show or movie you're looking for, simply tap it. Here, you'll find all available options for viewing, including options to buy, rent, and more.

    Using the Search feature inside the Apple TV app

How to Find Previous Purchases and Rentals

If you're looking for TV shows or movies you've previously purchased using another Apple TV app on another device, you can find those using the Library feature.

On the Home screen, tap Library in the center of the menu at the bottom of your screen. Here, you'll find all the titles you've previously purchased using your Apple ID.

How to Rent Movies, TV Shows, and More From iTunes

The Apple TV app gives you the ability to rent movies, TV shows and more from iTunes using the Store feature inside of the app.

  1. To get started, tap Store in the menu at the bottom of your screen. You'll find featured content, New Releases, and more by scrolling down on the screen.

    Remember, by using the Search feature, you can find movies and TV shows to rent or buy by keyword or title.

  2. Tap the content you wish to purchase or rent.

  3. Tap Buy or Rent, then follow the instructions to complete your purchase.

    Using the Store feature inside the Apple TV app

    When renting, you have 30 days to watch the content but only 48 hours after you start to finish it.

  4. To save the content for later without purchasing it, tap the ellipses > Add to Up Next. This will add the content to your Up Next section on the Home screen.

How to Stream Content From Online Services

If you use streaming services such as Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV allows you to use the TV app to track all of your favorite content.

  1. Open the TV app on your device.

  2. Tap Connect or Continue on the message that asks if you want to connect your streaming service to Apple TV.

    Didn't get the message? Make sure you have the streaming service's app downloaded to your device. It won't work otherwise.

  3. In your Up Next section on the Home page, you'll now see all of the TV shows or movies you're watching using the streaming app.

  4. Tap the TV show or movie you wish to view and the correct app will open.

    Connecting online streaming services using the Apple TV app

Apple has a complete list of streaming services that work with Apple TV.

How to Customize the Settings/Options on the Apple TV App

Just like any other app, you can customize the Apple TV app to fit your needs.

Once you get the app the way you want it, you'll see any changes reflected across your other devices, including your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

How to Remove App Connections

You can remove app connections like Hulu by visiting the TV app's settings.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad, the tap TV.

  2. Scroll down to the Connect to TV section. Here, you can choose which apps you wish to connect or disconnect from the Apple TV app.

  3. Toggle the switch for the streaming service or app to Off. Tap Remove or Remove and Clear Play History to delete all information about what you've watched while using the app.

    Removing app and streaming services connections from Apple TV

How to Customize Your Favorite Sports Teams on Your TV App

If you love to watch sports, the TV app makes it easy to track your favorite teams by using the Pick Your Favorite Teams feature.

  1. Open the TV app. Tap Sports from the menu at the bottom of your screen.

  2. Scroll to the Pick Your Favorite Teams section and tap the banner.

  3. Search by league and tap the league you're looking for.

  4. Once you locate your team, tap the Plus (+) to add it to your favorites.

    Choosing favorite sports team using Sports on Apple TV app
  5. Tap Done when you're finished. The app will showcase any new content with your chosen teams.

How to Remove Content From Up Next

You can also remove content you no longer watch from the Up Next section on your Home screen.

  1. On your Home screen, locate the content you wish to remove.

  2. Tap and hold the content to view the menu.

  3. Tap Remove from Up Next to remove the content. You'll no longer see the content in that section.

    Removing content from Up Next section in Apple TV app