iTunes on Samsung TVs? We wouldn't have believed you, but it's happening.


Apple brings streaming fight to competitor's TVs

Despite Apple not having a presence at Consumer Electronics Show this week, it stole the limelight: Airplay and iTunes are coming to new TVs for the first time, a rare expansion of the company's walled garden.

My first reaction to the news that iTunes is coming was confusion, but upon further examination it's the iTunes brand grafted onto a new, subsection of the desktop app we all know: just movie and TV streaming.

For now, iTunes will launch exclusively with Samsung TVs, pre-loaded out of the box, and I'd expect that to expand later. For every other brand, Airplay 2 support is arriving in 2019, including those by Sony, Vizio, LG and others.

That's a huge move, given that Apple's streaming offering was previously limited to only the Apple TV and desktop iTunes. It's rare to see Apple services expand beyond its own walls to third-party platforms (if you had told me in 2018 that Apple would make a Tizen app, I would have laughed at you), and coming to TVs feels like an admission that Apple TV is simply not taking off.

With evidence that Apple is acquiring the rights to high quality TV shows and movies, the timing makes sense ahead of announcing whatever that service will become. It also helps guarantee a strong start, with access to millions of users on day one, out of the box, rather than needing to convince them to go buy a dedicated streaming widget.

All of this is great for the consumer: cross-platform movie rental and purchasing has been a huge pain historically, with little real competition and few incentives to compete on price. Today there's an array of disparate services, from Google Play Movies to Vudu, but iTunes stands apart in both its competitive pricing and not charging for higher-quality releases, such as 4K.

Airplay expanding so aggressively is interesting, too, because wherever there isn't iTunes, those with iPhones and iPads can just beam it to whatever TV they already own. Essentially, it's a rallying cry against Chromecast's dominance, which works with every device on the planet, while Airplay was a rather slow burn that few manufacturers adopted historically.

It's going to be an interesting year for the content business: everyone from Amazon to Google, Netflix, Disney and Apple is all-in on acquiring customers, exclusives and enough incentives to make you jump onto their streaming platforms. As of today, there's no clear winner, and consumer habits are still able to be molded.

What I'm waiting to see: will the streaming business redefine how people actually consume in the first place? When music streaming via Spotify became easier than piracy, stealing music cratered. Will the same happen here?

🍎 Apple brings iTunes to Samsung TVs (The Verge)

Other notable news

🔒 Just $300 gets the precise location of a phone from a bounty hunter

😱 Following the $300 location story, carriers kill location sharing schemes

😒 The company behind Ring let any employee access videos 

🙅‍♀️ Shareholders are suing Google over sexual harassment secrecy

🐦Scooter startup tries to censor blog over simplicity of hacking its scooters


Technology moves fast, and it's hard to keep up. Recharged is my weekday briefing for busy people who want to know about the technology industry, but don't have time to read news sites. Get the TL;DR, on your way to work.

Join our budding community and sign up here today. 💌


It's time to re-decentralize the web

When Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the modern internet, says that his own invention is broken, it's time to sit up and listen. He's embarked on a project to 'decentralize' the web again, and is working a new standard called 'Solid.'

This post is a massive read that describes why they're building this, and what they hope to achieve. It's not impossible to do, but they're going to need to get better at explaining it in simple terms before the majority of people care.

Still, it's an exciting idea: taking back the web as we know it.

🌎 Let's re-decentralize the web

Other good reads

Europe's article 13 is almost finished, and the web as we know it will change

More startups have an unfamiliar message for VCs: get lost

The future book is here: it's not what we expected

The internet, but not as we know it: life online in China, Russia and other places where it's incredibly different


Ultra-speedy search tools for developers

It's rare that I come across a developer tool that doesn't fill me with dread about having to learn a complex, cumbersome new tool just to get some simple thing done. Algolia, however, which I used for the first time this week... is a rare exception from that rule.

I wanted to drop mention support into Write Together, my new writing tool, but it seemed annoyingly complex to set up. Indexing, search backends or whatever else... but this thing just slots in and does all the work for you. 

It's wild when it's this easy, but I'm going to be using this a lot in the future, and if you haven't checked it out already for your own projects, it's worth trying.

🔍 Algolia


Thanks for reading! You're a part of a community of 15,000 others getting the best in tech news weekly. 

Want more? Follow us on Twitter to get the latest, or join our morning briefing to give your support for our work.