Apple’s new TV app is still terrible for actually watching TV on iPhones

Default playback Apple’s iOS 12.3 TV app (content has been edited back into screenshots)

Apple just released its updated Apple TV app today across iOS and tvOS — it’s a big deal for the company, laying the crucial groundwork for the company’s new TV strategy with direct-to-consumer subscriptions and Apple’s own upcoming Apple TV Plus video streaming service.

So why does it still default to portrait mode for playing back video?

There’s simply no way around it — actually watching video using Apple’s native TV app is just an appalling user experience. Here’s how it works: if you’re watching a video on the TV app — presumably, one that you bought or rented on iTunes, streamed through one of Apple’s native partner channels, like HBO or Showtime, or whatever the method for using Apple TV Plus will be — on an iOS device, it will…

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