Last month, I purchased the newest version of the Apple TV. I previously had my Apple TV 3rd Generation for two years, but given the fact that not only was there a new version of this device on the market, I also wanted to get myself a little housewarming gift for moving into my first-ever apartment at Iowa State University.
This Apple TV has one of the best interfaces out there, which is what sets it apart from other competing devices out there, such as the Amazon Fire TV and Roku. When going through apps, I love the fact that you can move the tile around in a circular motion. It makes it seem more playful and friendly than its competitors.
The apps themselves are designed well, they just work as they should with no lag whatsoever.
It should also be noted that I love how the Siri Remote can change the volume of my TV. If there is one innovative thing Apple did hardware wise with this product, it’s the infrared censor on the front of the remote. Being able to use voice commands on what I want to see on YouTube or the App Store is also a plus because typing on this remote one letter at a time is annoying.
Apple’s App Store for the new Apple TV is definitely pretty good given how recent this device came out. I understand that I’m sort of late getting into the game with the new Apple TV’s App Store, but there are a lot of apps and they look great! However, I would like to see an official or third-party Amazon Instant Video app for the Apple TV 4G. Having to constantly use AirPlay from my iPad Mini 2 is tedious. Lastly, the fact that I can order pizza directly from GrubHub is truly amazing.
But one thing that is really important is the design, which I am not entirely a fan of. Apple is supposed to be the hallmark of innovation in the tech world, and they went from a relatively small device and make it bigger and bulkier. Think of it like when George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld from Seinfeld were negotiating with NBC on their show, and because of George’s negotiating, they ended up getting less money from the network. Apple spent a lot of time making this product, so how come they could not find a way to either keep it the same size or make it thinner?
Siri is also a little bit of a disappointment, too. If I asked her to set a timer, she said that she does not have that function. I also found that if I asked her to rewind 45 seconds in a show I was watching, that the function would only work in certain apps. Asking her to turn on closed captioning was easy, but when I asked Siri to turn it off, I had to eventually shut it off myself because it would still keep showing up after I had already asked her to turn it off.
I have not done any gaming on this simply because I am not an iOS or tvOS gamer, but I have seen some footage online of Apple TV games, and it looks nice and good for a family atmosphere. Gaming is just not my thing.
Overall, I’m going to give this product 3/4 stars. It does have its strong suits, but does lack some design and quality features. Apple did make a good quality product, but Tim Cook’s statement “the future of television is apps” statement is completely true. With this box, I don’t have to worry about having a cable/satellite package, I just need an Apple TV and an internet connection.