The little black box has had a rough ride in recent times.
It’s morphed from one thing to another, Apple seemingly flailing around trying to find something that sticks.
Not much has.
I own an entry level version 4, and I’m not really that happy with it.
I’m from the UK, so a lot of what is printed in the press about the Apple TV in the US doesn’t really apply to me, but the UK version doesn’t fair that much better.
The device is really buggy.
I have to routinely restart it to play iTunes content (I get the “ready to play in 2 hours 24 minutes bug).
Also home sharing is fubar’d. Turning it on destroys my entire home network, both wireless and wired, mandating a router and modem restart.
The aerial screensaver thinks I’m an American vampire – and live in a permanent night state in San Francisco.
The selection of apps is woefully sparse and is infrequently updated.
The BBC had to be shown the way to create an app for it and the other commercial channels, whilst they are on the iPhone, don’t seem interested in the Apple TV.
The main reason for this is AirPlay.
Apple have made such a good job of this that it discourages developers from doing more work to create a TV version.
Hence there’s no Amazon, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 apps.
Gaming would be fun, if Apple would allow the 5-10 iOS devices in my household, TO BE CONTROLLERS.
Then there’s the remote.
I didn’t really understand the problem, until I tried to use one.
In a previous article I ranted about how Apple’s designers aren’t as good as they say they are because they are more concerned about how something looks rather than how it works.
This remote not only looks awful, it’s a nightmare to actually use.
Siri? I’ll admit it’s well done, and certainly the most successful implementation of it.
But in comparison with other verbal assistants it still falls short.
So what can be done?
For me personally, if they could get the UK channels to sign up, I’d be pretty happy.
However you can run these channel’s iOS apps on a jailbroken ATV, so why doesn’t Apple just do that and let the apps flood in?
It seems like an easy win to me.
The buggieness I hope is sorted with an update, but this is The New Apple, so you never know.
Apple’s design issues run much deeper than the Apple TV, a fundamental shake up is required here.
Apple’s problem with the Apple TV is its scale. It’s simply trying to do too much, too soon.
The consumers problem with the Apple TV is that it has to do different things in different regions.
I want Channel 4, somebody else might want pro-games, somebody else might want DVR capabilities.
The point is you can’t please everyone, it needs to do a small number of things and do them really well.
There is one thing they can do that would help enormously though:
Sack Eddy Cue – he’s is Totally Valueless.