7 mistakes everyone makes with Apple TV+

Don't make these missteps

Hijack (Apple TV+)
(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Apple TV+ might just be the best streaming service right now – it's pumping out high-quality shows and the occasional movie and doesn't have a crazy pricing structure like some other streamers that we can think of.

Rather, you know that its monthly cost includes the highest possible picture and audio quality available, and access to its entire library without ads – no hidden asterisks or annoying absences are in the bargain.

If you're new to Apple's streaming service, or you've been using it for months, there are potentially some little things that you might be doing wrong or that you haven't realised, though. 

Here we highlight the mistakes many people make with Apple TV+ – and if you prefer Amazon Prime Video, we've got some tips for you here, instead.

1. Watching on smaller screens

Ted Lasso

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Apple is best known for its devices, not its TV presence, so it's likely that plenty of people use Apple TV+ on their iPhone a whole bunch.

That's not a huge issue – recent iPhones are some of the best phones on the market and have gorgeous displays – but it can be worth remembering to always try to watch on the biggest screen you can, whether it's an iPad Pro or a one of the best 4K OLED TVs

Apple's shows and movies are almost uniformly available in Ultra HD/4K, after all, so it would be a shame not to view them that way. iPhone resolution isn't anywhere near that. 

2. Overlooking your extras


(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Apple packs in a surprising and welcome number of extras to some shows and movies on its platform, whether they're included in a subscription or ones you've bought and added to your library.

These "iTunes extras", though, aren't always available in smart TV app versions of Apple TV+. I have to watch them on my iPhone and AirPlay them to my LG C2 TV (still one of the best TVs you can get right now), for example, which is easy enough.

Still, you shouldn't miss these extras – they can often contain amazing featurettes, deleted scenes and more, so check your phone to see if there are any available.

3. Not sharing your subscription

Monarch Legacy of Monsters on Apple TV Plus

(Image credit: Apple)

Family sharing needs to be set up on its own, and once it's live you should find that your subscription to Apple TV+ is shared without any extra steps – just follow Apple's guide here to get started.

Apple's Family Sharing system can be a godsend for letting more than one person access Apple TV+ – you can share it with up to five family members, and you can all watch at the same time on different devices.

4. Forgetting to set up parental controls


(Image credit: Apple TV+)

There are different steps for the different ways of accessing Apple TV+ – these work for it on the web, while these apply to the app version.

Apple TV+ has some fairly choice children's programming, although it does admittedly lag behind the likes of Netflix where pure volume is concerned (or even movies, such as these 5 family-friendly options your kids will love). 

Still, if you have a young viewer and you want to make sure they don't stumble over more adult-facing content, you can easily setup parental controls to stop this. 

5. Ignoring the sci-fi

Silo on Apple TV Plus

(Image credit: Apple)

Moving into less practical territory and thinking of individual taste, Apple TV+ Has a really impressive range of genres to sink your teeth into, but if you haven't sampled much before it's a really great place to kindle a new love of science fiction. Its new sci-fi thriller, for example, is among its creepiest shows yet!

For a streaming service that still isn't all that old, it seems to be really shooting for the stars with multiple high-concept and high-budget sci-fi shows to check out, from Foundation to For All Mankind, and even if you're not that into the genre, you'd do well to expand your horizons and give them a chance.

6. Settling for bad sound

Hijack (Apple TV+)

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Most of Apple's recent shows have excellent sound quality – often offering 5.1 surround support as standard, and sometimes bringing Dolby Atmos to the table.

If you're watching them on a TV's built-in speakers then you're missing a trick. Anything from our list of the best soundbars out there will represent a huge and immediate upgrade to your viewing experience. 

7. Not using the Up Next queue

An image of Lionel Messi holding the World Cup while waving to fans, surrounded by his Argentina teammates

(Image credit: Getty Images / Daniel Jayo)

Apple's Up Next row is a simple way to remind yourself of what you want to watch – it's a godsend if you see something while browsing and don't want to forget about it.

If you start and give up on things often, you can easily trim them from your Up Next row by holding down a click on their item, and keeping this row in control can be a really helpful way to maintain a list of what you're planning to watch. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.