TV+ Is Confusing as Hell

Recently, my mother moved in with us because she has needs that require her to be attended. I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to make her comfortable in the home. Part of that comfort entails setting up a TV for her to watch her shows. We’re an all-streaming home now, as I finally pulled the plug on DirecTV about a month ago. My mother is a die-hard DirecTV fan because she’s used to it.

Now, I have to ask her to get used to the way we watch shows in this house and it’s been painful.

I started by linking an AppleTV HD to her old TV. That actually breathed new life into the TV (from a picture quality perspective) that was unexpected. She has an old 2011 LG plasma TV and the picture was just not that great. The AppleTV improved the picture considerably. It was enough to make her think DirecTV had been ripping her off (which they have been).

But then the trouble started.

I needed her to understand that channels are apps, and entertainment is now consuming by the show based on what you want to watch, when you want to watch it. You aren’t at the mercy of what they’re showing on TV (although PlutoTV has been enormously helpful with this by just showing an endless stream of crap that fills the silence for her).

She finds the apps confusing. She doesn’t know which shows are on which apps. Some of her favorite shows are on CBS All Access. Some of them are on Disney+. Some of them are on HBO. The problem is, she doesn’t know. She just knows what show she wants to watch.

I think Apple’s TV+ app was intended to solve that problem. She can search by the show on that app and it usually finds what she is looking for. Great. But then… try to open the show. Depending on where you click, it may open the show in the proper app, or it might try to sell you the app inside of Apple TV+. It’s confusing as hell.

It goes something like this:

Mom: I want to watch Blue Bloods.
Me: Ok, let’s go find it. (Searches for Blue Bloods, gets a link to TV+. Opens TV+)
TV+: Here’s Blue Bloods, continue watching here!
Me: Ok, tap on that episode and it will continue.
TV+: (launches CBS All Access app to continue watching).

…later…

Mom: I want to watch Blue Bloods.
Me: Ok. (Opens TV+ app or searches with Siri to demonstrate).
TV+: Here’s Blue Bloods, next episode is S4 E5!
Me: (clicks on it)
TV+: Subscribe to CBS All Access now for $9.99 a month!
Me: What.

I have a CBS All Access subscription, but I bought it through the app. I cannot link that to the TV+ version of CBS All Access. It seems that if you start an episode of a show in CBS All Access, it will continue playing in that app. But if you try to start a new one or pull up the show’s icon, it will try to kick you into the TV+ stream of CBS All Access. Why!?

The obvious answer to this would be to allow me to link my existing CBS All Access subscription to the TV+ version, but I can’t find a way to do that. I could cancel the CBS All Access subscription through iTunes, then re-subscribe from inside TV+, but why should I have to do that?

There’s a similar experience with the HBO Now app (now HBO Max), which offers another craptastic experience from there.

I would really love to use the TV+ app, but it’s honestly confusing as hell.