According to an Apple TV 2015 review, the upcoming set top box can make a dramatic change in its product category with new valuable features.
The Apple TV was launched in 2007, the same year when the first iPhone was introduced to the world. However, it has not sold in good quantities nor given its maker significant money. Apple Insider, in its Apple TV 2015 review said none of those facts seem to change, but the new set-top box is likely to, this time.
Though the Apple TV used the basic platform as the other mobile devices did, it kept a different user interface and did not have support for apps outside its included channels. The new set-top box may change that now, with a platform named “tvOS.” The TV’s software and interface, tvOS, is now closely aligned to other iOS products, with a Home button that brings the user to a screen of apps, plus an official App Store with third party titles.
According to Apple’s Craig Federighi, tvOS is nearly 100 percent iOS but has been applied with some changes to optimize the HDTV display interface. Another difference is that the TV is placed across the room and cannot be manipulated by touch the way users can with iPad and iPhone when they buy, install, switch between and terminate apps. These operations are still possible with the fourth generation Apple TV, through a new sophisticated remote.
The old TV remote with Menu, Select and four-way directional buttons is replaced with one with buttons for Home, Menu, volumes, Siri voice commands and for directly controlling the TV. Hence, there is no need to switch between the TV remote and Apple TV remote. This entirely new remote control features the touchpad area. Everything done in the remote device will be reflected on the TV screen.
The new set-top box has a “click” gesture used for items in focus, or to edit the selected objects. Siri will answer general queries during video playback and navigation, but only when the user presses its dedicated button. There are also two microphones for accurate voice capture even if the remote is not held near the user’s face. During the Apple TV 2015 hands on and review, it appeared to work well even in a noisy environment.
Engadget said, the new TV works with wireless headphones, courtesy of its Bluetooth support. Just like with Roku 3 or Amazon Fire TV, one can watch movies on his own with headphones when everyone around is already sleeping.
The remote’s gyroscope and accelerometer motion controls can be used for gaming, as the remote can work like a game or console controller which allows Wii-like interaction. Furthermore, it is like an Apple Pencil which uses a lightning connector for charging.
The Apple TV 2015 review also said the fourth generation set-top box has more processing power than an iPad Air. Aside from the usual TV apps like HBO NOW, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, WatchESPN and others, the tvOS brings various creative apps like the existing libraries in iPad and iPhone store titles.