Apple’s attempts to capture the television market will take an underwhelming step forward this week with the launch of an all-in-one TV guide that won’t feature Netflix.
Apple had originally tried to sell TV stations on the idea of producing a single online-based TV service that would negate the need for cable television subscriptions. That fell apart partly because neither side could make the numbers work and partly because of the ever-present roadblock that large parts of the population get their internet service from cable TV companies.
Instead Apple is going for an idea previously explored by Google (and somewhat enacted by Roku and Amazon Fire): a single interface for searching and browsing multiple streaming services. The idea is that once set up, users will be able to pick a show and have it play immediately through Apple TV or an iOS device without the need to type in service-specific passwords or navigate multiple apps.
Even that limited goal hasn’t quite been met however: Recode reports that Netflix won’t be part of the search, though there’s no clear reason why. That’s a major hurdle given Netflix is not just the most popular streaming service, but arguably the one most suited to searching for both original and rerun TV shows.