Popular live TV app Channels has been updated to version 4.0 today, bringing a variety of new features for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV fans. The update adds a new navigation sidebar, DVR improvements, enhanced library browsing, and more.

For those unfamiliar, Channels allows you to stream local over-the-air programming to your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV using an HDHomeRun tuner. The Channels TV Everywhere feature allows you to sign in with your cable or streaming provider account as well.

The Channels developers explain that this update is focused on handling larger libraries and making the app more customizable. For example, the new navigation sidebar can show more items at once and supports customization for focusing on specific sections within the app.

Additionally, Channels 4.0 adds a new list-based Recordings section that allows you to view a simple list of your recent recordings sorted by date. There are also a variety of improvements to playback, a new kids section, and more. Here are the full release notes:

Navigation Sidebar

The new navigation sidebar is able to show more items at once and is fully customizable. You now have the power to choose what shows up in the main navigation.

Don’t use On Now? No problem, you can turn it off via Settings now.

Additionally, you can promote other sections like Movies, Up Next, TV Shows, and others to the sidebar for easier access.

Enhanced Library Browsing

Channels now has proper Movies and TV Show sections that allow you to browse larger libraries easier. Browse by New Releases, Recently Added, Genre, or Decades.

These new section designs are off by default and can be turned on via the Library section of Settings.

Kids Section

Channels now has an official first class Kids section. After turning it on, you have the power to define where shows and movies show up. By adjusting the visibility of your content, you can decide if it shows in the main library, just the Kids Section, or in both.

This is a super powerful way to create a section for the kids while also cleaning that content out of your main library.

New List Based Recordings Section

The Recordings section is now a simple list of your recent recordings sorted by recording date. This has been one of the biggest requests from traditional DVR fans. We hope you love it.

Playback Improvements

We’ve caught up and added all the features you would expect in a modern media watching experience.

Auto Play will optionally start the next episode of your show once you’re done watching. Shuffle mode lets you watch your show with episodes in random order. When playing something, Channels will now prompt if you want to resume or start from the beginning.

Channels for iPhone and iPad is a free download on the App Store, and the Apple TV version is $24.99. Channels Plus is an $8 per month subscription that adds support for recording and watching DVR content from anywhere and more, and gets you all of the Channels apps for free.

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