Apple iTunes app, AirPlay 2 support coming to Samsung smart TVs

Apple iTunes and AirPlay 2 support is coming to Samsung smart TVs. (Samsung)

In a surprising first, Apple is launching an iTunes app offering movies and TV shows and offering AirPlay 2 support on 2018 and 2019 Samsung smart TVs.

Samsung announced that the features will become available in spring 2019. 2018 smart TV models will be receiving the features through a firmware update. Samsung said the new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will be on Samsung smart TVs in more than 100 countries and that AirPlay 2 support will be available on Samsung smart TVs in 190 countries worldwide.

With the addition of the app, Samsung smart TV owners will now be able to access their existing iTunes libraries and buy or rent other movies and TV shows directly from their TVs without having to use an Apple device such as an Apple TV. Samsung said the new iTunes app will be integrated with its smart TV features including Universal Guide, Bixby and Search.

AirPlay 2 support means Samsung customers will be able to play videos, photos, music and more from Apple devices on their smart TVs.

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“We pride ourselves on working with top industry leaders to deliver the widest range of content services to our Smart TV platform,” said Won-Jin Lee, executive vice president for Service Business of Visual Display at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “Bringing more content, value and open platform functionality to Samsung TV owners and Apple customers through iTunes and AirPlay is ideal for everyone.”

“We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TVs, so iPhone, iPad and Mac users have yet another way to enjoy all their favorite content on the biggest screen in their home,” said Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services at Apple, in a statement.

Apple making its services and features available on third-party hardware is a significant development considering Apple’s usual walled garden approach that traditionally tied Apple hardware and software exclusively together.

Apple is also deepening its relationship with other smart TV platforms. Vizio just announced its new SmartCast 3.0 platform for its TVs, and the update will now support AirPlay 2 as well as Apple’s HomeKit smart home application.