Apple’s Morning Show Drama Starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston Gains Director Mimi Leder

Apple’s upcoming morning show drama, which is set to star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, will be directed by Mimi Leder, reports Variety.

Mimi Leder has directed TV shows that include “The Leftovers,” “Shameless,” and “ER,” along with movies that include “Pay It Forward,” “The Peacemaker,” and “Deep Impact.”

Image via Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock


The morning show drama doesn’t have a title yet, but it is based on Brian Stelter’s book “Top of the Morning” and is said to provide a look into the cutthroat world of morning TV.

Stelter’s book, for example, “reveals the dark side of morning television” with exclusive details on present and past morning show stars like Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Ann Curry, Meredith Vieira, and more.

Apple has already ordered two seasons of the show, which was one of the first that it picked up. In addition to starring, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston will also executive produce.

Apple has more than a dozen television shows in the works, with details on each available in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup. Apple has not shared details on when its TV shows will launch, but rumors have suggested the first could come in March 2019.

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Game of Thrones Star Jason Momoa Scores Lead Role in Apple’s ‘See’ Futuristic Drama Series

“Game of Thrones” star Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo in the well-known HBO series, has been cast in the lead role in Apple’s upcoming futuristic drama series “See,” reports Variety.

“See” has been described as an epic world-building drama set in the future, with little additional information available on the series at this time. Momoa will play the role of Baba Voss, a “fearless warrior, leader and guardian.”

Image via HBO


Known for his role as Khal Drogo in the first season of “Game of Thrones,” Momoa also stars in “Aquaman,” coming out later this year. He’s also had roles in “Justice League,” “Braven,” “Once Upon a Time in Venice,” “Stargate Atlantis,” and “Conan the Barbarian.”

“See” was written by “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight and it will be directed by Francis Lawrence, known for his work on “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay.”

“See” is just one more than a dozen original television shows that Apple has in the works. It’s not clear when the first of Apple’s TV series will launch, but rumors have suggested the shows could start debuting in March 2019.

Apple is said to be considering launching a new streaming video service, which could potentially be bundled with an Apple Music subscription and a digital magazine and new subscription.

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Apple’s Shortcuts will flip the switch on Siri’s potential

At WWDC, Apple pitched Shortcuts as a way to ”take advantage of the power of apps” and ”expose quick actions to Siri.” These will be suggested by the OS, can be given unique voice commands, and will even be customizable with a dedicated Shortcuts app.

But since this new feature won’t let Siri interpret everything, many have been lamenting that Siri didn’t get much better — and is still lacking compared to Google Assistant or Amazon Echo.

But to ignore Shortcuts would be missing out on the bigger picture. Apple’s strengths have always been the device ecosystem and the apps that run on them.

With Shortcuts, both play a major role in how Siri will prove to be a truly useful assistant and not just a digital voice to talk to.

Your Apple devices just got better

For many, voice assistants are a nice-to-have, but not a need-to-have.

It’s undeniably convenient to get facts by speaking to the air, turning on the lights without lifting a finger, or triggering a timer or text message – but so far, studies have shown people don’t use much more than these on a regular basis.

People don’t often do more than that because the assistants aren’t really ready for complex tasks yet, and when your assistant is limited to tasks inside your home or commands spoken inton your phone, the drawbacks prevent you from going deep.

If you prefer Alexa, you get more devices, better reliability, and a breadth of skills, but there’s not a great phone or tablet experience you can use alongside your Echo. If you prefer to have Google’s Assistant everywhere, you must be all in on the Android and Home ecosystem to get the full experience too.

Plus, with either option, there are privacy concerns baked into how both work on a fundamental level – over the web.

In Apple’s ecosystem, you have Siri on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, CarPlay, and any Mac. Add in Shortcuts on each of those devices (except Mac, but they still have Automator) and suddenly you have a plethora of places to execute these all your commands entirely by voice.

Each accessory that Apple users own will get upgraded, giving Siri new ways to fulfill the 10 billion and counting requests people make each month (according to Craig Federighi’s statement on-stage at WWDC).

But even more important than all the places where you can use your assistant is how – with Shortcuts, Siri gets even better with each new app that people download. There’s the other key difference: the App Store.

Actions are the most important part of your apps

iOS has always had a vibrant community of developers who create powerful, top-notch applications that push the system to its limits and take advantage of the ever-increasing power these mobile devices have.

Shortcuts opens up those capabilities to Siri – every action you take in an app can be shared out with Siri, letting people interact right there inline or using only their voice, with the app running everything smoothly in the background.

Plus, the functional approach that Apple is taking with Siri creates new opportunities for developers provide utility to people instead of requiring their attention. The suggestions feature of Shortcuts rewards “acceleration”, showing the apps that provide the most time savings and use for the user more often.

This opens the door to more specialized types of apps that don’t necessarily have to grow a huge audience and serve them ads – if you can make something that helps people, Shortcuts can help them use your app more than ever before (and without as much effort). Developers can make a great experience for when people visit the app, but also focus on actually doing something useful too.

This isn’t a virtual assistant that lives in the cloud, but a digital helper that can pair up with the apps uniquely taking advantage of Apple’s hardware and software capabilities to truly improve your use of the device.

In the most groan-inducing way possible, “there’s an app for that” is back and more important than ever. Not only are apps the centerpiece of the Siri experience, but it’s their capabilities that extend Siri’s – the better the apps you have, the better Siri can be.

Control is at your fingertips

Importantly, Siri gets all of this Shortcuts power while keeping the control in each person’s hands.

All of the information provided to the system is securely passed along by individual apps – if something doesn’t look right, you can just delete the corresponding app and the information is gone.

Siri will make recommendations based on activities deemed relevant by the apps themselves as well, so over-active suggestions shouldn’t be common (unless you’re way too active in some apps, in which case they added Screen Time for you too).

Each of the voice commands is custom per user as well, so people can ignore their apps suggestions and set up the phrases to their own liking. This means nothing is already “taken” because somebody signed up for the skill first (unless you’ve already used it yourself, of course).

Also, Shortcuts don’t require the web to work – the voice triggers might not work, but the suggestions and Shortcuts app give you a place to use your assistant voicelessly. And importantly, Shortcuts can use the full power of the web when they need to.

This user-centric approach paired with the technical aspects of how Shortcuts works gives Apple’s assistant a leg up for any consumers who find privacy important. Essentially, Apple devices are only listening for “Hey Siri”, then the available Siri domains + your own custom trigger phrases.

Without exposing your information to the world or teaching a robot to understand everything, Apple gave Siri a slew of capabilities that in many ways can’t be matched. With Shortcuts, it’s the apps, the operating system, and the variety of hardware that will make Siri uniquely qualified come this fall.

Plus, the Shortcuts app will provide a deeper experience for those who want to chain together actions and customize their own shortcuts.

There’s lots more under the hood to experiment with, but this will allow anyone to tweak & prod their Siri commands until they have a small army of custom assistant tasks at the ready.

Hey Siri, let’s get started

Siri doesn’t know all, Can’t perform any task you bestow upon it, and won’t make somewhat uncanny phone calls on your behalf.

But instead of spending time conversing with a somewhat faked “artificial intelligence”, Shortcuts will help people use Siri as an actual digital assistant – a computer to help them get things done better than they might’ve otherwise.

With Siri’s new skills extendeding to each of your Apple products (except for Apple TV and the Mac, but maybe one day?), every new device you get and every new app you download can reveal another way to take advantage of what this technology can offer.

This broadening of Siri may take some time to get used to – it will be about finding the right place for it in your life.

As you go about your apps, you’ll start seeing and using suggestions. You’ll set up a few voice commands, then you’ll do something like kick off a truly useful shortcut from your Apple Watch without your phone connected and you’ll realize the potential.

This is a real digital assistant, your apps know how to work with it, and it’s already on many of your Apple devices. Now, it’s time to actually make use of it.

Apple Seeds Second Beta of tvOS 12 to Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming tvOS 12 update to its public beta testing group, giving non-developers a chance to try out the new software ahead of its fall public release. Today’s second beta comes one week after Apple released the first public beta, and it corresponds to the third developer beta released earlier this week.

The tvOS 12 public beta can be obtained by going to the Settings app on the Apple TV and navigating to the Software Updates section under “System.” “Get Public Beta Updates” will need to be toggled on, and once it is, the Apple TV will download the beta software.



tvOS 12 introduces long-awaited support for Dolby Atmos, and when tvOS 12 launches this fall, iTunes will be home to the largest collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies. As with the launch of 4K HDR, previously purchased content will be upgraded to include Dolby Atmos on all supported titles at no cost.

tvOS 12 includes a zero sign-on feature that lets cable subscribers watch live channels and on-demand programs they’re entitled to through their cable subscription simply by being logged into their home internet networks. This feature will be limited to Charter Spectrum users to begin with, but Apple plans to expand it to additional providers in the future.

Other tvOS 12 features include the ability to autofill passwords from the iPhone to sign into Apple TV apps more quickly, and support for Home Control systems like Crestron and Savant, which will be able to be used to control the Apple TV.

Apple has also made the Apple TV Remote a default option in Control Center on iOS devices with the iOS 12 beta, there are new aerial screensavers created with help from the International Space Station, and aerial screensavers now offer up location information.

tvOS 12 will see a public launch this fall, and until that time, will be limited to developers and public beta testers as Apple works out bugs and other kinks.

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Third Beta of tvOS 12 Now Available for Registered Developers

Apple today seeded the third beta of a new tvOS 12 operating system to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the second beta and a month after introducing the new software at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV, the tvOS 12 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that’s installed using Xcode. Subsequent betas can be downloaded via the software update mechanism on the Apple TV.



tvOS 12 brings support for Dolby Atmos sound, which was activated in beta 2. Apple says that iTunes will be home to the largest collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies anywhere, with Apple upgrading titles customers have purchased for free.

Building on single sign-on, a new zero sign-on feature will further simplify the cable authentication process. With zero sign-on, the Apple TV can detect a user’s broadband network and automatically sign them into supported apps they receive through their cable subscription.

Aerial screensavers include location information and there are new screensavers captured in collaboration with the International Space Station.

Other improvements to Apple TV in tvOS 12 include AutoFill passwords from iPhone, an Apple TV Remote automatically added to Control Center on the iPhone or iPad, and Apple TV support on Home control systems like Control4, Crestron, and Savant.

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Apple could bundle TV, music and news in a single subscription

According to a report from The Information, Apple could choose to bundle all its media offerings into a single subscription. While Apple’s main media subscription product is currently Apple Music, it’s no secret that the company is investing in other areas.

In particular, Apple has bought the distribution rights of many TV shows. But nobody knows how Apple plans to sell those TV shows. For instance, you could imagine paying a monthly fee to access Apple’s content in the TV app on your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

In addition to that, Apple acquired Texture back in March. Texture lets you download and read dozens of magazines with a single subscription. The company has partnered with Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. to access their catalog of magazines

Texture is still available, but it’s clear that Apple has bigger plans. In addition to reformatting and redistributing web content in the Apple News app, the company could add paid content from magazines.

Instead of creating three different subscriptions (with potential discounts if you subscribe to multiple services), The Information believes that Apple is going to create a unified subscription. It’s going to work a bit like Amazon Prime, but without the package deliveries.

For a single monthly or annual fee, you’ll be able to access Apple Music, Apple TV’s premium content and Apple News’ premium content.

Even if you don’t consume everything in the subscription, users could see it as a good value, which could reduce attrition.

With good retention rates and such a wide appeal, it could help Apple’s bottom line now that iPhone unit sales are only growing by 0.5 percent year over year.

Apple May Create Subscription Service Bundle That Includes Original TV Content, Apple Music and News

Apple may be planning to develop a single subscription service that would offer customers access to its original TV shows, Apple Music, and digital magazines, according to sources with knowledge of the company’s plans that spoke to The Information.

Apple has ordered multiple television shows, ranging from comedies to dramas, but there has been no clear word on how these shows would be distributed.



Its first original shows, “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke: The Series” debuted in Apple Music as a perk for Apple Music subscribers, but that would not likely be sustainable for the more than a dozen shows that are in development, so it makes sense that a wider TV offering is in the works.

According to The Information, Apple will begin by launching a digital news subscription service next year, which will combine the Apple News app with magazine subscription service Texture, which Apple purchased back in March. Bloomberg in April also said that Apple was working on such a service.

Texture offers subscribers unlimited access to more than 200 digital magazines for $9.99 per month, with titles that include People, Better Homes and Gardens, Time, Forbes, Condé Nast Traveler, Allure, Billboard, Town & Country, ELLE, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Vogue, and more.

Apple eventually plans to bundle the digital news subscription service with both Apple Music and the video content that is in the works, but it is not known when Apple will provide the new subscription offering, nor what it will be priced at.

Apple is said to be planning to continue to offer each of the services on a standalone basis, suggesting a standalone TV service as well, and discussions are still underway about what its subscription services will look like, so a bundle might not ultimately come to fruition.

It isn’t clear if Apple would roll out some of its original programming for free initially and then bundle it with the other services, the people said. The discussions at Apple are still ongoing about what the subscription service ultimately will look like and could change, they said.

Prior rumors have suggested that the first of Apple’s television shows will launch sometime between March 2019 and the summer of 2019, which would mean a TV subscription service would likely come out around that time.

Apple has previously attempted to build a television subscription service that offers shows and movies from third-party content providers, but it was never able to establish the deals necessary to make that happen. With its own slate of original TV shows, though, Apple does not need to rely on deals with content producers to roll out a streaming TV service.

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Apple Seeds First Beta of tvOS 12 to Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 12 update to its public beta testing group, giving non-developers a chance to try out the new software ahead of its fall public release.

The first beta of tvOS 12 available to public beta testers corresponds with the second tvOS 12 update made available to developers. Developers have had access to tvOS 12 since June 4, when Apple introduced new versions of tvOS, iOS, macOS, and watchOS at WWDC.

The tvOS 12 public beta can be obtained by going to the Settings app on the Apple TV and navigating to the Software Updates section under “System.” “Get Public Beta Updates” will need to be toggled on, and once it is, the Apple TV will download the beta software.



tvOS 12 introduces long-awaited support for Dolby Atmos, and when tvOS 12 launches this fall, iTunes will be home to the largest collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies. As with the launch of 4K HDR, previously purchased content will be upgraded to include Dolby Atmos on all supported titles at no cost.

tvOS 12 brings a new zero sign-on feature that’s designed to let cable subscribers watch live channels and on-demand programs that they’re entitled to through their cable subscription simply by being logged into their home internet networks. This is something that will be limited to Charter Spectrum users to begin with.

Other tvOS 12 features include autofill passwords from the iPhone to sign into Apple TV apps more quickly, and support for Home Control systems like Crestron and Savant, which will be able to be used to control the Apple TV. Apple also plans to make the Apple TV Remote a default option in Control Center on iOS devices, and there are new aerial screensavers created with help from the International Space Station.

tvOS 12 will see a public launch this fall, and until that time, will be limited to developers and public beta testers as Apple works out bugs and other kinks.

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