Although the Cupertino company is renowned for iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, Apple manages to complete its ecosystem with their own version of TV: Apple TV. It is meant to change user perception about television's role and its usefulness.
Apple TV Features
Apple TV box appears as a black box, compact, square, small, incorporating the entire technology needed to enjoy movies, series, music and more. Plus it comes with an intelligent remote control with microphone with which Siri helps you find movies, TV series or applications on Apple TV. However, although it is at its fourth generation, Apple TV still does not support 4K technology.
Instead it has an internal memory of 32GB or 64GB for games, movies and applications, which is why sizes have increased compared to previous versions. However, it remains a black box small and compact enough to be placed behind the HDTV. In terms of ports, you can find the minimum necessary: HDMI port, USB port and Ethernet port, plus the power port.
The remote control instead has a fluid, minimalist design, with curved edges, which can easily be mistaken for an iPod Touch. The back is aluminum, and the front is a combination of glossy areas and matt ones. On the mat area lies navigation touchpad and Menu / Back and Home butons, and on the glossy area there are Play / Pause and microphone / Siri and volume buttons. At the top there are two remote microphones used for voice commands. It is also equipped with Bluetooth and infrared port.
Apple TV comes with its own operating system, namely tvOS with an intuitive interface that offers options contained within a rotating bar at the top of the screen, with preview for each option and colored icons for applications at the bottom of screen. With tvOS upgrading to 9.2, the user can enjoy more than 5,000 apps and a range of services that include Netflix, HBO NOW, YouTube, Crackle, Hulu or Crunchyroll.
Currently, Apple TV device does not own a game console, but can connect one from another producer via Bluetooth. However, AppleTV is not the best solution for gaming due to limited power and small selection of games that can run on it. Instead, Apple TV excels at multitaskin. The buttons on the remote control have multiple command selection depending on where you are or the application that you have on. If you press the Home button 2 times for example, it brings on screen all the applications that you have opened with a preview for each one.
Apple TV device is seen by some users as an over sized iPad. You can even create folders for organizing apps and you also have Siri to help you with different problems using Voice Control: open apps, search movies, apps or TV series, answer basic questions about sports, weather and trivia and even enable or disable features as subtitles during movies. Also, Siri can help with dictation which may prove very useful to fill out forms and entering passwords in applications. All you have to do is hold down the button Microphone / Siri when the field you want to fill is selected and start talking into the microphone. Siri will write what dictate.
When it comes to music, you can use the available radio stations in iTunes, but to listen to songs or specific artists, you need a subscription to Apple Music. Other similar applications like Pandora, Rdio, Songza, Spotify are not available on Apple TV which limits users to the music offered by Apple through its own app. However you can play any music from another iOS device via AirPlay application.
Among the notable disadvantages of Apple TV you can count the lack of support for 4K technology and the price up to 50% higher than main competitors (Amazon Fire TV and Roku 4) which in turn provide 4K technology and an easier to use interface.
Apple TV remains but an attractive media streamer, stylish, well equipped that users will appreciate for integrating Apple iTunes and for easy interconnection with other Apple devices. And the WWDC 2016 is under way. Let us look forward to Apple TV latest version.