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What's to Become of Apple TV

Updated on December 28, 2015

The Future of Apple TV

The latest version of Apple TV was only released two months ago. However, the service has already sparked controversy among Apple adepts and ordinary TV lovers. Some reviewers praise its speed and easy navigation. Others think Apple TV is unfinished and express the hope its potential will be fully realized through third-party application. What disturbs ME is the whole “Channels are dead, long live the apps!” concept. If you still watch TV, are you ready to abandon cable channels? Do apps really enhance viewer experience? Finally, what does the near future of Apple TV look like?

Apple TV: a brief review

In terms of design, Apple decided against reinventing the wheel. The box (still black) can be easily stuck under your coffee table; it is equipped with power, Ethernet, HDMI and USB-C ports. The A8 cheap is twice as powerful as that of iPhone 6. You can also choose between the 32 and 64 GB options ($ 149 and 199, respectively).

It is the Siri remote that makes Apple TV so special. The voice-search function, gyroscope and accelerometer are meant to bring viewer and gaming experience to the next level. And yes, you do not have to point the remote at your TV set. The new Apple TV is also backed up with a plenty of colorful apps.

As long as you have an iPhone/iPad, the setup process will take mere seconds. Otherwise, you’ll have to enter your email and Apple ID manually, sliding the cursor to type one character at a time. Jason Snell of Macworld unfavorably compared the new generation TV to its predecessor, suggesting that the fact Apple hadn’t updated the iOS remote control application would only mean one thing: there’s something better coming soon.

Apps for the Apple TV device

The app concept is definitely the most curious and arguable thing about Apple TV. By 2016, the number of Apple TV subscribers in the USA will exceed 7 million. Still, most users don’t see the reason to abandon familiar cable channels in favor of tvOS apps and pay for the content that is normally available for free on YouTube.

The general idea behind the apps is to display Web content on your TV screen. There’s even a separate app store where you can download third-party software for the new gadget.

Besides the non-stop access to videos and music from all over the Internet, the Apple TV apps offer:

  • An opportunity to eliminate cable TV subscription expenses. Jason Perlow (Tech Broiler) shared his experience of using Apple TV, XBOX ONE and Roku – the devices which allow users to get permanent access to basically any video content out there. Being an AT&T U-Verse U450 subscriber, he had to pay over $ 1 thousand annually. With the help of streaming services like Amazon Prime, Hulu+ and Netfix, he managed to reduce subscription expenses by half. Since major broadcasting companies (including CBS and Fox) turn to custom application development, the end of cable channels seems inevitable;
  • A totally new approach towards television. I bet every iPhone/iPad user secretly dreams of transferring his favorite apps to a big screen. Yet, Apple wants to fully control UX, so no web browsing is allowed (at least, not yet). Also, you need several Siri remotes to enjoy two-player games.

Experts do not expect massive media migration to Apple TV. However, there are industries that will certainly benefit from using tvOS apps, including tourism and hospitality (with Airbnb taking the lead), retail (now you can examine Gilt home accessories and designer clothes on a big screen) and entertainment (the Smule’s Sing Karaoke app is basically everything).

Is Apple TV any good?

Good or bad, Apple TV is obviously different from everything we’ve ever seen. Although vendors might face certain problems while developing apps for Apple TV (such as failure to provide seamless experience and limit application size to 200 GB), one couldn’t deny its novelty and commercial appeal.

However, the Apple TV innovative device is not your cup of tea if you:

  • Want 4K resolution. It’s worth mentioning that most Apple rivals, including Amazon and Roku, have successfully adopted 4K technology for big screens;
  • Still watch TV. According to John Archer (Forbes), 87% of Americans aged between 18 and 24 do watch television (including TV series, sports and music channels). Maybe it’s too early for TV apps to go mainstream?
  • Prefer Android. The level of compatibility between Apple and non-iOS devices still leaves much to be desired. Remember the rocky setup process? That’s exactly what Android lovers will experience non-stop while using the new Apple TV gadget;
  • Look for a more comprehensive TV service. Currently Apple TV misses 4K resolution, is pretty expensive (in comparison with the $ 99 Amazon Fire TV) and offers very few apps. However, Apple published clear tvOS guides for vendors; companies that specialize in mobile and web application development are expected to jump on the trend, so the situation might change soon.

With the rise of augmented reality and IoT, Apple may introduce new features and eliminate the drawbacks of its TV service. As of now, I consider the launch of Apple TV a rushed business decision. What do you think?

Apple TV Review


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