Channels, the fan favorite live TV and cord-cutting app, is getting a nice update today for Apple TV and iOS users. The update includes a new playlists feature, library management improvements, and more. Plus, some good news for Vision Pro users.

For those unfamiliar, Channels is designed to let you watch and record live TV from anywhere. It works when connected to an antenna or cable with a TV tuner, with the HDHomeRun TV tuner being one of the most popular options.

You can also sign in to Channels with your existing streaming TV service or cable provider. For instance, if you subscribe to Fubo TV, you can sign in to your Fubo account in Channels to watch and record everything in a single app.

Today’s release of Channels 5.8 adds several notable features – plus a ton of bug fixes – for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV users. First off, there’s a new playlists feature:

Playlists can contain movies, episodes, or videos, all in the same list. Once created, they’ll be found in the Playlist section in Channels. You can even create and manage them directly in Channels for Apple TV and iOS.

Playlists will automatically play back their items in order, starting from the first one you watch. They even have their own customizable Auto Play settings.

And of course, Playlists support Smart Rules, so they will update automatically as your library changes.

The other primary focus of Channels 5.8 is improving library management. One change I’m particularly happy to see is that the Channels app for Apple TV now uses native context menus from tvOS, which should make the app feel more “at home” on tvOS. The functionality of the context menus has also been overhauled.

Here’s a brief rundown:

  • There is a new built in channel collection you can enable that shows these channels in Guide or On Now. You can also optionally have the last 3 channels show at the front of the list in the Quick Guide.
  • The context menus have been organized to make it easier (and faster) to find the things you want to do. Additionally, we’ve made them even more functional. For example, you can now add items directly to a Library Collection from the context menus. You can even create a new Library Collection right from the context menu!
  • With Channels 5.8, items in your library will now be indicated when browsing On Later, viewing in the Guide, or in search results. Upcoming airings will even show if the item is already in your library.
  • Channels now keeps track of the last 20 channels you’ve watched.

Also with Channels 5.8, the iPad version of the app is now available on Vision Pro. Channels also tells me that they are working on a dedicated visionOS app, and users can keep an eye on its website for more details.

You can find the full release notes for Channels 5.8 on the company’s website.

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