Apple TV's Insight is its best feature in years, even if it did rip off Prime Video

Apple TV InSight
(Image credit: Apple)

I know this feature is basically just a rip-off of Prime Video's X-Ray technology, but I don't care. I'm super excited about Apple's upcoming InSight feature for the Apple TV app.

As reported by 9to5Mac, the InSight feature went live for users running the latest iOS 18 and tvOS 18 developer betas today. iOS 18 beta 3 and tvOS 18 beta 3 both rolled out to those signed up to the beta program today and, with it, developers can finally feast their eyes on the most exciting feature for tvOS in years.

As Apple described in its press release, InSight allows you to see "timely information" about an actor, character, or music playing on a show or movie from Apple TV+, the company's streaming service.

"This fall, the Apple TV app introduces InSight, a feature that displays timely information about actors, characters, and music from Apple TV+ movies and shows onscreen in real time. Users can simply select an actor to view their background and filmography page, or quickly view the song that is playing in a scene and add it to an Apple Music playlist. Viewers can also see InSight information on their iPhone when using it as an Apple TV remote."

This is the most exciting feature for Apple TV in years

It sounds dumb, but this is the most exciting feature I've seen come to the Apple TV in a while. I think the last time we got something this cool for the Apple TV was when the company redesigned the Apple TV app altogether.

There are so many times when I'm watching a show or movie on Apple TV+ (or any other streaming service) that I want to know the song that is playing. Up until now, we've always had to grab our iPhone and fire up the Shazam app. More recently, Apple made this easier by integrating Shazam directly into Control Center but still, it wasn't the most seamless experience.

Even if you were ready to Shazam, you would need enough time to understand the song. There's been plenty of times that the song wouldn't play long enough or there was too much dialogue overtop of it for the app to figure out what song it was.

Apple TV 4K 2022 box on a counter

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

With InSight, you won't need to reach for your iPhone to catch the song in time anymore. Apple is really taking advantage of the fact that it owns both Apple TV+ and Apple Music to show the song immediately. Plus, since things are integrated so well, you can add the song to your Apple Music library right while you are watching your show or movie without leaving the Apple TV app.

I wonder if the song is going to be added to your library or favorited? This is the one thing that I'm a little worried about a disjointed experience here. On the Apple Music app on the iPhone, you "Favorite" a song when you're on the Now Playing screen. However, the Apple TV app seems to be a "plus" icon, indicating that you're adding it to your library. I have no idea what Apple's plan is here, but I hope it simplifies things soon — this kind of stuff bothers me.

Regardless of that potential inconsistency, I can't wait to finally be able to add every song I hear and like during a show or movie to my library in the easiest way possible. The only thing left to be is for Apple to be able to bring this technology to more services than just Apple TV+. If it can open it up to developers and they adopt it as well, that would be fantastic. Until then, we always have Shazam.

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Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.