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Sports fans may prefer Apple TV over the cable television experience. Games are interactive and broadcast in high-definition video at up to 60 frames per second (FPS). Keep in mind, your TV might not support 60 FPS. With Apple TV, sports fans can view stats and game play on the same screen.
It’s even possible to watch two games at the same time.
The App Store will also offer shopping apps. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to pay with Apple Pay or Touch ID yet. I expect these features to come soon, but you will need an iPhone or iPad.
Universal apps allow consumers to buy one app that runs on many devices. You can run the same app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV. This brings greater value and savings to the App Store.
Apple TV channels are now apps. Apps offer more functionality and sophistication for services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW and Showtime. For example, you can view profiles of actors in a movie or tv show, displayed as a translucent overlay.
Siri for Apple TV 4
Apple TV 4 brings Siri into your livingroom. This is another “me too” aspect of Apple TV 4. Amazon Fire TV and Android TV have had this feature for some time. Even Xfinity offered voice control features a few years ago. Siri does have more functionality than any other set-top box personal assistant. For starters, Siri can search through different content providers, in addition to iTunes. Apple is more interested in selling devices than creating a content monopoly.
Apple’s Siri implementation may be late, but it seems to leapfrog the competition. Siri boasts an extremely low error rate. The remote uses two microphones for Siri, possibly for noise cancellation. Siri for Apple TV 4 should be able to understand you, even with music blaring in the background.
Siri for Apple TV comes with many useful commands. It can do the basics, such as find content across multiple providers. The personal digital assistant is also quite useful when playing a TV show or movie. For example, you can ask “what did she say?” and Siri will skip back 15 seconds and turn on subtitles. That’s both amazing and useful.
Siri can also skip ahead or back at a specified interval.
One can look up sports scores or the weather forecast using Siri.
It’s also easy to switch between apps by uttering commands like “open Music”.
As it stands now, there are better ways to search across different content providers. Yidio for iOS can search for a show or movie across just about every content provider. I highly recommend this free app. For more information, please read “Yidio for iPhone“.
Apple TV 4 Has a New Look
tvOS brings a new face to Apple TV. It isn’t radically different from older Apple TV user interfaces. If you have the third generation Apple TV, the flattened UI was introduced a few years ago. tvOS improves on this, with a subtle, pastel color scheme.
The screen savers are impressive and gorgeous. They feature moving, HD scenes of cities, bridges, nature and other motifs.
The new Apple TV 4 also provides previews when scrubbing through a video. This is reminiscent of Flash based web video players. It’s a bit ironic that Apple is copying a feature found in Flash players, but it is probably more secure and stable.
Some of the new UI features seem superfluous. There is a new parallax effect for graphics, such as movie “box covers”. When a movie or TV show is selected, you can use the trackpad to slightly rotate the graphic in three dimensions. It features amazing lighting effects and smooth animation, but it is surprisingly frivolous and gimmicky. Apple usually avoids these kinds of features. It is also at odds with a flat, minimalistic design. Skeuomorphism has snuck into another Apple product. It doesn’t offend me, but I think they could have spent the time on other, more important features like HomeKit integration. (continue…)