Apple released the new Apple TV in the fall. Despite the clunkier fatter physical appearance, the new Apple TV 4 features better performance, a cool new Siri Remote touchpad and an App Store. The App Store unlocks unlimited potential for the Apple TV as a content platform: rather than waiting for content deals between Apple and the networks, TV channels can release their own apps as they please. When the new Apple TV was announced, Tim Cook said the ‘future of TV is apps’. It is true this is a substantial improvement over the previous-generation Apple TV in terms of content (for UK residents like me, addition of BBC iPlayer is a huge win) however there are big user-experience issues with the app model that current Apple TV software does not address …
Netflix January 18
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Netflix November 17, 2015
Apple has launched a new campaign to highlight both the new Apple TV and the many games and entertainment services on its App Store with a new series of short video clips. Each 15 second video starts with the same Apple TV graphic, then promotes a popular game or video service app on the new Apple TV with some gameplay or a popular show available on the service, and ends with the same multicolor graphic. So far these clips promote Netflix, HBO NOW, Asphalt 8, Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition: Star Wars, and Crossy Road. You can view each one below: expand full story
Netflix November 12, 2015
Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV has been available for two weeks now and after using it using it exclusively for all my media consumption, I’ve gathered a handful of thoughts. When Apple announced the device back in September, I was perhaps more excited for it than I was the iPhone 6s. And rightfully so. Tim Cook touted the new Apple TV as the future of television, using superlatives that seemed extreme even for Apple. The device had been a long time coming, too, which further contributed to the hype in my mind that surrounded the release.
As someone who had incredibly high hopes for the fourth-gen Apple TV, what do I think of it two weeks later? Let’s discuss…
Netflix November 6, 2015
While the new fourth-generation Apple TV advances Apple’s entertainment box in many areas including universal search, Siri input and a whole App Store for the first time, much of week one with Apple TV 4 has been about what you lose when moving from Apple TV 2 or 3.
The list is uncomfortably packed for a device that had three years to advance since its predecessor hit the market: missing Bluetooth keyboard and iPhone/iPad Remote app support for easier text input, Apple Watch’s built-in Remote app doesn’t recognize it yet, the Podcasts app hasn’t moved over, and the Photos app is exactly the same (no iCloud Photo Library) despite the newer iCloud Music Library feature making the cut for Apple Music.
There’s also the oddity of each channel being pre-installed on older Apple TVs while new Apple TVs ship with only iTunes, Music, and Photos apps installed. If I were gifting a family member a new Apple TV — something I’m sure will be popular during the holidays — I’d prefer essential channels like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and HBO to come pre-installed, albeit optionally deletable, to make the experience friendlier. There’s also the lack of one universal sign-in process between multiple channels so that’s a big setup challenge. I had hoped Apple would tackle this with the new box but instead its just like the prior Apple TV experience.
That being said, my biggest critique and one I haven’t seen acknowledged nearly enough this week is the drop in usability of popular video apps, like the ones that used to be pre-installed on the third-gen Apple TV as ‘channels’. Simpler, list-focused versions of apps like Netflix and Hulu were just easier to use than current versions on the new Apple TV… expand full story