A small number of Apple TV owners are unable to use the Apple TV app on their set-top devices, a potentially embarrassing issue just ahead of the launch of the Apple TV+ service which relies heavily on the app functioning properly.
Apple is preparing to launch Apple TV+ on November 1, which heavily relies upon the Apple TV app for users to select and view content from the service. The Apple TV app is also a central element of Apple's newest Apple TV experience, including channel subscription options, making it an extremely important part of the Apple TV and Apple TV 4K.
However, reports from users suggest that, barely over a week before its launch, there are issues with the Apple TV app where it crashes, an inconvenience which prevents users from watching content at all. First reported by 9to5Mac, the app is crashing following the first swipe down in the Watch Now tab.
It is unclear what exactly is causing the problem, but it is evidently extremely limited to a very small number of people using tvOS 13, which introduced the new Apple TV experience, or tvOS 13.1. Versions of the app on other platforms do not have the same issue, and the number of reports are low, indicating it to be a minor problem.
While a likely cause of crashes could be streaming video files that are corrupted during transmission to the device, it doesn't seem to match in this case. It is also odd that it affects only a few, whereas an app bug usually would be more evident in a larger number of complaints.
Given the issue with the app, Apple is likely to release an update for tvOS that fixes the bug in the future, possibly in conjunction with another update around the time of Apple TV+'s launch. Apple is currently beta-testing tvOS 13.2, but it is unclear if anyone enduring the crashes is using that release.
Apple TV+ will go live on November 1, priced at $4.99 per month, but customers buying select Apple hardware can get a year's access to the content at no charge.