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Published on October 21st, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


BEST Apple TV Apps: Why the Apple TV Trailers app is an all-powerful movie tool you should be using more

There’s a robust app that comes pre-loaded on every Apple TV that is effective yet often overlooked when searching for movies to watch either streaming or in your local movie theater. It’s the iTunes Movie Trailers app and it doesn’t get the credit it deserves in helping cinema lovers find their favorites or even that little-known gem to watch on a cold, fall night.

Its power lies in its effectiveness to not only find what’s playing at home and in theaters, but its ability to search by past, present, and future dates, save favorites, see Rotten Tomatoes ratings, and even find top rated and featured films. 

apple_movie_trailer_image_1‘Feature-heavy’ is a good way to describe the power of the Apple TV Movie Trailers app.

Once you find what peaks your interest, the ability to watch trailers of each motion picture and in many cases teasers completes its capabilities as a one-stop shop for not only finding what might fit your fancy but probably deciding if you’re game for sitting down and viewing.

As someone who rarely goes to the theatre anymore to fight obnoxious people who’d rather talk than listen, the Movie Trailer app has hundreds of listed films going back more than six months that make my home-viewing choices fast and simple. I then find myself watching the trailers, investigating my interest further on the web, and then either rent or buy through iTunes with one click or do the same on another streaming service.

apple_movie_trailer_image_4Once you find a film that peaks your interest, the movie page shows you basic details with links to trailers and local movie theatre showtimes, all in one place.

As for future films, the ability to save Favorites of current or impending films gives me the added benefit of saving for coming attractions when they’re available. While some Favorites only open in the iTunes Movie app because they are no longer listed in the Movie Trailers app, they still are available in the former to watch trailers marked as ‘Preview’.

I often look back through Favorites months later and hear myself saying, “Oh, I forgot about that one!” and then go look to rent or buy it. I call it the equivalent of finding $20 in my pants pocket (well, sort of). It’s a simple and valuable way to keep track of what you haven’t seen whether you want to buy or rent from iTunes or not.

The ‘In Theaters’ feature is a convenient way to find a nearby cinema using your zip code. Location Services needs to be turned on from your Privacy Settings to make it work. While the theatre locator will work for anything within say an approximate 10 to 15 miles radius, some independent theaters might not show up. While frustrating, for the most part this feature works well.

apple_movie_trailer_image_3Looking forward or looking back, the ‘Calendar’ lets you find dozens of films to rent, buy, or even watch in local theaters.

The ‘Calendar’ selection is just awesome. The ability to go forward by date to see unreleased films and ‘rewind’ some six months to see previously released titles is fantastic. By now, many of the films released over four months are available for rental or purchase on various platforms, so this feature has an added benefit.

The ‘Featured’ option shows over 50 just-released and popular titles, but a hidden feature not shown on the top menu bar has an added bonus. Scroll down past the features banner bar, select ‘All Genres’, and with the click of your remote trackpad, you can change to 10 other genres to search by. I’m partial to documentaries and the Movie Trailer app does a great job of keeping up to date with many such features, especially more independent, little-known titles.

While the Movie Trailer app has been around for many years, Apple continues to do a pretty good job of keeping this service up-to-date including many exclusive trailers you won’t find anywhere else. That gives added benefit to the apps value.

While movie trailers are available on Apple’s website, they unfortunately are not interconnected with the ability to save Favorites on the Movie Trailers app. That’s disappointing and totally defeats the purpose of why I have an Apple ID. If Apple & Company wanted me to more easily buy movies through iTunes, you’d think they’d integrate their trailer website with the app, a true failure of thinking outside the ‘marketing box’.

The Movie Trailer app is a true example of a valued commodity with great entertainment worthiness. It’s often overlooked when your Apple TV gets buried with apps, but it can’t be overly recommended as an immensely strong utility to finding content for regular television viewing.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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