At CES 2019, Apple Finally Sets iTunes, Air Play Loose


Apple’s finally opening up its services to TV makers — and it’s doing so at CES.

Apple’s never had an official presence at CES, opting instead to host its own flashy events to launch its newest products. This year, though, marked a stream of announcements from TV makers partnering with Apple on iTunes, AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. The goal for the Cupertino, California, company is to bring its content to more living rooms — just in time for the expected launch of its long-awaited streaming video service. It’s doing that by integrating its services into televisions that will hit the market this year.

“Apple is starting to think more cross-platform and cross-device for its services, which is definitely a good thing,” Technalysis Research analyst Bob O’Donnell said.

For now, Samsung will be the only partner to offer an app for iTunes movies and TV shows through its smart televisions. All other TV makers working with Apple will let people watch videos through an AirPlay link between an iPhone and a television. “We want consumers to be able to access all of their content seamlessly,” Dave Das, Samsung senior vice president of consumer electronics product marketing, said in an interview Sunday at Samsung’s TV launch event at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

The iTunes support will allow Samsung TV owners in more than 100 countries to access their iTunes library or buy and rent iTunes video content through their TVs. The capability will also be made available to 2018 models through a firmware update, Samsung said.

LG and Vizio on Monday said Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are coming to their televisions. For LG, its 2019 smart TVs will feature the technology.

And Vizio said its new SmartCast 3.0 technology will support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. The integration will let users stream 4K and Dolby Vision HDR videos, along with music and photos, from their Apple devices to their big screens, simply by tapping the AirPlay icon.

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