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Apple working on Apple TV guide for streaming content

As part of efforts to build out its Apple TV product offering, Apple is reportedly developing a universal digital viewing guide for streaming services, like a traditional TV guide but for apps.

According to Recode, Apple is looking to provide Apple TV users with a list of programs available through tvOS apps like HBO, Netflix and ESPN, among others.

The idea appears to be an offshoot of Apple TV's Siri-powered universal search feature, but with additional features that would negate the need to visit a specific app to view its content. Further, the solution could be cross-platform, as Apple might bring the guide concept to other devices like iPhone, the report said.

Citing industry sources, the report goes on to say Apple is already in talks with content owners over collecting metadata for the universal guide. While specific details relating to a user interface went unmentioned, Apple could present collected show data in a manner akin to curated Apple Music recommendations. The company on Thursday released a revamped Apple Store app for iOS with similar features, based on previous purchases.

Preparations for rollout are already underway, Recode says. The single sign-on feature coming to tvOS 10, which lets users authenticate a cable subscription once and apply those credentials to multiple apps, will facilitate one-click content viewing. Single sign-on will also be available on iOS 10, in line with today's claims of a multi-platform digital guide.

Industry executives are apprehensive about Apple's plans, noting that while a digital guide would make it easier for users to surface content, it could diminish the ability of networks to promote their own shows.

Apple initially had plans to launch its own over-the-top streaming service featuring so-called "skinny" channel bundles priced at $30 or less per month. The company apparently put the initiative on hold after it was unable to strike deals with content owners.