Apple rolls out revamped television app ahead of streaming service launch


Apple Inc. has rolled out a new television-watching app for its devices and some Internet-connected TVs, an effort to gain more revenue from reselling other companies’ programming and, later this year, its own original shows.

The redesigned Apple TV app aims to solve some of the headaches that have emerged in the streaming media era. A show’s past seasons, for example, might be available on Hulu, Netflix Inc. or iTunes, while current episodes require cable or purchase, leaving customers juggling multiple remotes.

Available in more than 100 markets, Apple’s new app pulls many of those services together to show viewers where they can watch live or on-demand movies, TV shows, news and sports via a single search, or through personalized recommendations.

Apple is following cable provider Comcast Corp. and others that have taken steps to simplify modern TV watching.

More important to Apple’s bottom line, the app also will allow users to sign up and pay for channels they do not already subscribe to without creating new passwords or downloading additional apps.

Early partner channels include HBO, Starz, Showtime and Tastemade, with more expected to join in the future, Apple said.