Apple’s TV streaming box is set to hit stores this Friday. This new device connects to your TV to make it possible to stream content from the web. This has been a long awaited reveal and we’re ready to see the end product in action. So far, the new device is receiving some extremely mixed reviews.
From Business Insider:
“Think of Apple’s fourth-generation box as a way to turn your TV into a giant iPhone,” writes Geoffrey Fowler for The Wall Street Journal. The downside of that is that the Apple TV probably won’t blow your mind, but the bright side is that Apple has managed to make the TV just as easy to use and versatile as its hit phone.
Spoken commands for Siri are a hit. “It’s clear that Apple worked its fingers to the bone on this; it works unbelievably well,” David Pogue over at Yahoo says. Reviewers loved how Siri would rewind a show and add captions if they said that they missed something and how you could ask for specific actors and get a list of their movies.
The cost? For a 32 GB model the price is $149 and for a 64 GB model the price is $199. Although people have commented that the new device is fast and easy to use, some still believe that it has a long way to go. So, let’s break down some of the new features.
The new redesigned remote now has built-in motion sensors and voice recognition. The remote now also has a home button, with no physical controls for fast-forward or rewind. You simply slide your finger over the trackpad to complete these actions. The motion sensors allow the remote control to double as a game controller. Reviewers are comparing the performance with systems like Nintendo Wii. As far as the remote’s voice recognition goes, it seems to be a hit. Apple is a little behind the curve on this, but it seems to work well for users. The complaint now though is that users will still have to manually enter their login information when installing apps. There is no ability to speak login information into the microphone.
Other features include running a version of iOS, called tvOS that has its own app store. The plan is to have hundreds of apps available to users. Because apps will be usable from the TV, Apple TV will now become somewhat of an iPad for the TV.
There are a few more criticisms of the device though, as outlined by The Verge:
[Very annoying] was the inability to restore apps and settings from your old Apple TV. Channels you liked and have used before have to be fetched again from the app store. And, for those which require signing in, you have to do it all over again. Apple TV may now be an iOS device, but it’s the only one that doesn’t let you restore. Apple counters that this is because it’s the first Apple TV with iOS, so there’s no backup from which to restore, and hints that it’s working on this for the future.
With every criticism though, there are still many great new features. Siri is better than ever, showing lists of episodes, descriptions, and cast information as well as controlling playback, skipping ahead, and pausing your show. Siri can also answer follow up question if you can’t figure out the name of a movie or are looking for a certain genre. Siri can edit down the list based on things like genre, critics’ ratings, actors and more. Siri is also up for non-TV related question, just like on any other Apple device.
Apparently, the jury is still out on this one. In our opinion though, it definitely looks like it’s worth a try. If you enjoy the user experience on other Apple products, like the iPad and the iPhone, I think that this new streaming device is going to have a similar feel. We’ll be interested to see how sales go on Friday and through the weekend. Are you considering buying? Which feature are you most looking forward to? Are you a skeptic? What are your complaints? Comment below!