Apple TV’s Insight feature is ready to take on Amazon Prime Video’s X-Ray

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Apple TV's Insight feature showing character and music information on screen.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

We have a new developer beta for tvOS 18 — the software that runs on Apple TV devices — and with it comes our first look at a major new feature. Insight is Apple’s answer to Amazon Prime Video’s X-Ray, which provides quick and easy access to who’s in a scene, and what music may be playing underneath.

Aside from some basic user interface differences like fonts and design elements — Insight definitively looks and feels like Apple, and X-Ray retains Prime Video’s less-sleek motif — they basically work the same. While a movie or show is playing, you can pause or press down (the latter takes you straight to the info) to see thumbnails of the actors on screen, including their real name (or stage name, we suppose), and the character’s name. Click through one of the thumbnails and you’ll get more information about the actor, and easy links to other things they appear in, or have served in some other capacity. Ted Lasso’s Brett Goldstein, for example, has movie and series thumbnails, and he also has tiles for producing and writing.

Related movies and shows for Ted Lasso actor Brett Goldstein.
Related movies and shows for Ted Lasso actor and writer Brett Goldstein. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

And Apple is very smart about how it handles this. While all the related movie and series thumbnails are in the same style, where they take you depends on where the content is actually available. It might be something available on Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu, Plex – or some other platform that plays nicely with Apple’s TV app. (Presumably that means you won’t find any related content that’s only on Netflix, which remains a holdout.)

Insight also links you to music that’s playing on screen. Clicking into it doesn’t automatically open the song, but it does add it to a “Saved Songs” playlist in Apple Music. That’s nicely done.

The Insight feature is currently only available in the tvOS 18 developer beta, so those not living on the bleeding edge will have to wait a bit before it appears in the TV app on Apple TV hardware. And it’s always possible that things will be tweaked before now and then.

But so far, so good.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…

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