Apple just solved cord-cutting's biggest problem

Apple's event was exciting for MacBook lovers, yes, but that's not what caught my eye: it was the new "TV" app. Apple aims to unify its customers' video experience via this new app, which is coming to tvOS and iOS by the end of the year, and in doing so it has made cable-cutting a whole lot more convenient. Rather than jumping between a bunch of different video apps, the "TV" app does all the work for you, taking all the content you could ever want and making it more convenient than ever.

Earlier this year, I laid out my gripes with cord-cutting — basically, it had become too much of hassle juggling a bunch of video apps and season passes and hunting for content, etc. You can read all about it here.

Apple's 'TV' app aims to remove all of those issues by blending everything together. It's not just a unified experience, it is — at least based on what I've seen so far — the taking of non-traditional media consumption and offering it in a way that is as convenient as cable, only with all the perks of a smart device.

Shows become the main focus rather than the apps themselves, meaning something you've been watching on one app will show up alongside something you've been watching on another app. You can take a look at what content you've already purchased through iTunes, or browse through curated content hand-selected by Apple.

Yes, some other set-top-boxes have tried to address these problems with things like universal search, but I've never encountered one that I felt did it well enough to be as convenient as, for example, Comcast's high-end cable boxes. Universal search, for example, is great if you want to find a particular thing without checking each service individually, but what about those times you want to browse through highly rated shows regardless of service?

So in this case, we can think of Apple's 'TV' app as being a guide, but a supercharged one — one where you can view content on apps the same way a cable subscriber can view content on channels. You get access to Siri, though, which takes things to another level with voice control. Likewise, you can choose an episode and go straight to playing it — again, the same way you do with regular cable, bypassing the cumbersome menus.

The 'TV' app features include "Watch Now," a destination where users see their iTunes and apps content. You'll see Recommended content within this, as well as content that is Up Next, depending on what you've been watching. That Up Next feature not only shows you content that you've already been watching, but also presents it all in an order that you're most likely to want to watch it.

Let's say a new episode of a show you watch just became available — it'll popup in Up Next and you can go straight to it with a click or voice command, no menus necessary. Watching a show can be as easy as simply asking Siri to continue watching it.

The Recommended content, meanwhile, shows curated selections of trending and notable movies and shows. These are chosen by Apple's own curators, and they're split up into categories. You can, for example, just see what kids shows are most popular at the moment with it, or any other genre. If you're only interested in things you've acquired through iTunes, though, you can find it in the "Library" option.

There's also access to the store, where you can find and acquire more content. This isn't limited to iTunes, though; you can use it to find video content that is available on apps you haven't yet downloaded, for example, blending together the best of an app store with the nature of a TV guide.

The 'TV' app isn't limited to just existing content, though. Thanks to the inclusion of Siri, it is also smart enough to find live content and pull it up for you. Let's say you want to watch a particular football game, for example, and that game happens to be streaming live on Twitter. By asking Siri to pull it up ("Watch the XYZ game"), she'll locate the live stream in the appropriate app and pull it up for you.

In addition to watching live sports or news, you can also ask for extra details and Siri will provide them. For example, you can watch the live stream within the app that is presenting it to see the extra details the app provides. A live game stream in Twitter, for example, can be automatically pulled up within the Twitter app so you can watch related tweets being posted about the game.

Mix all of these features together, and you'll find yourself enmeshed in a cord-cutting paradise — one that finally puts the content first, but doesn't ignore all the benefits that come with non-traditional content consumption. The days of juggling apps, multiple sign-ins, and more are gone.

Apple's 'TV' app will be available this upcoming December as a free software update for the fourth-generation Apple TV. The app will also be made available to iPhone and iPad users in the U.S. in December via an iOS update. However, Apple says Live Tune-in with Siri is available as of today. Not familiar with Apple TV? Check out our review here.