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Apple TV’s InSight feature is poised to rival Amazon Prime Video’s X-Ray

by xyonent
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Apple Tv Insight 5.jpg
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

A new developer beta of tvOS 18, the software that runs on Apple TV devices, has been released, giving us the first look at a major new feature: InSight, Apple’s answer to Amazon Prime Video’s X-Ray, which makes it easy to quickly see who’s in a scene and what music is accompanying it.

Aside from basic user interface differences like fonts and design elements (InSight is clearly reminiscent of Apple’s look and feel, while X-Ray maintains Prime Video’s less polished motif), they essentially work the same way. When you pause or press down while a movie or show is playing (the latter takes you directly to the info), you’ll see thumbnails of the actors on-screen, showing their real name (or stage name) and character name. Clicking on one of the thumbnails will reveal more information about the actor, easy links to other movies and shows they’ve appeared in, and what they’ve done in other roles. For example, Brett Goldstein from Ted Lasso has thumbnails for his movies and series, as well as tiles for his producers and screenwriters.

Related movies and shows featuring Ted Lasso actor Brett Goldstein.
Related Movies and Shows Ted Lasso Actor and writer Brett Goldstein. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

And Apple handles this very cleverly: the thumbnails for related movies and series are all in the same style, but where they go depends on where the content is actually available. It might be something available on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Plex, or some other platform that plays nicely with Apple’s TV app. (Presumably, this means you won’t find related content that’s only on Netflix, a site that continues to hold out.)

InSight also provides a link to the music that’s playing on your screen. Clicking it doesn’t automatically open the song, but it does add it to your Apple Music “Saved Songs” playlist, which is a nice feature.

The InSight feature is currently only available in the tvOS 18 developer beta, so if you don’t have the latest version available, you’ll have to wait a while for it to appear in the TV app on your Apple TV hardware – and there’s always the chance that there will be tweaks made by then.

But so far so good.

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