Apple TV Preview: Worth The Wait?

Apple TV Is Excellent, Just Not In The Way You Were Expecting

When Tim Cook said that Apple TV was going to change the way you watch TV it became clear that Apple had something big up its sleeve.

Yet after having spent some time with the Apple TV we've found ourselves left with the feeling that actually the TV revolution has already started, and what Apple has done is created an incredibly cool way to access it.

Apple TV was already desperately in need of an upgrade so in essence, think of this new model as a version of that, but on steroids.

The power has been upped massively so now it runs the A8 processor found in the iPhone 6. That means it'll run 64-bit apps and games which is good, but it's not the games console rival we were expecting.

That's not a bad thing though, and the power combined with the new TvOS (it's basically another redeveloped version of iOS), means that using Apple TV is incredibly slick.

The animations are fast and natural and the interface as a whole feels light years ahead of the previous version.

One of the key reasons it feels so fast though is that gone are the days of having to individually type in your searches using that controller. It felt so frustratingly inefficient.

The remote control has been given an update and now comes with a glass touchpad and a Siri button for voice control.

Having tried it out ourselves this is one of the best implementations of Siri we've ever seen. It's so intuitive just asking for films by saying 'show me the most popular comedies this week', or 'show me the latest films with Brad Pitt' that actually we can finally start to see why this whole voice control feature might stick around.

You won't mind the awkwardness of talking to an inanimate object because the convenience it provides is so significant.

Tim Cook mentioned rather boldly in the keynote that the future of TV is in apps, and actually he's not wrong. Apple TV then has been designed with apps at its core. There will be a dedicated App Store and thanks to that foundation of iOS it shouldn't be too difficult to switch apps over to the TV format.

In the brief time we had with the box the app selection seems acceptable with all the staples present and correct including Netflix and more.

Gaming will also form a significant part of the app experience and already developers are coming forward announcing apps that'll run including the new Guitar Hero and Disney Infinity games.

The remote is an impressive piece of kit but whether or not we'd use it as a stand alone controller for games remains to be seen. More likely is that we'll end up using approved third-party controllers but even then this is still casual gaming at its core so don't expect Apple TV to replace your PS4 any time soon.

If we're honest Apple TV has been the hardest product to evaluate. While it doesn't appear on the surface to be offering a TV revolution (perhaps in the shape of an Apple streaming service), it offers what we now know to be the future of content in such an appealing way that honestly it could end up secretly surpassing our expectations.

To find out we'll need to give it a proper test and frankly even if it is just the much-needed update for Apple TV that many expected that's still more than enough of a reason to upgrade if you have one.

If you're heavily invested into Apple's ecosystem then the latest Apple TV is going to make your life even more blissful. Apps feel and look the same, your media purchases are there, it'll work blissfully with AirPlay and last but not least, Apple Music is there in all its glory.

For now though, we're remaining open-minded until we can work out if this is revolution, or evolution.


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