Quick Review of The New Apple TV

A few thoughts on the new Apple TV

  • The interface is very fast, the “parallax wiggle” on icons seems like a gimic, but is actually a really useful way to locate your position on screen.
  • The remote looks more breakable in screenshots than it actually is. Thankfully it is pretty light and the trackpad does not have a glass top. If you have kids, you’ll understand this one. Turns out it actually is breakable but you can still use the old remote to some extent.
  • The remote although faster to use than the old model is a change in paradigm that may confuse some users, initially. Or maybe it was just me continually holding it upside down.
  • The app store is pretty spartan, but there are good apps in there, unfortunately discoverability seems to be a bigger problem than on iOS.
  • MFI controllers work in the system menus, which is a nice touch
  • If you have a USB-C to USB-A cable you can install additional apps from GitHub, like Provenance (a multi system emulator) and Auntie Player (Unofficial BBC iPlayer)
  • Speaking of the Beeb, I know they say an iPlayer app is coming, but when consider the absence of all UK catchup streaming services I have to wonder if Apple could not have been a little more selective with who got the devkits.
  • All the pre-installed apps from the previous model (Crunchy Roll anyone?) are available as downloads. That’ll save some clutter, thank goodness.
  • No Podcasts app
  • But Apple Music is finally here, to that’s good.
  • But without Siri support sigh
  • And there’s no support from the iOS or WatchOS Remote apps, expect updates soon I guess
  • Simplex is a great termporary(?) replacement for Plex
  • You can use Siri Remote like a Wii Controller which is fun and reminds me that the Apple Store is selling wrist straps that connect to the lightning port. Yes, serioulsy.
  • There are a number of less-than-obvious controls/shortcuts on the remote that help when inputting text, such as pressing the Play/Pause button to change case, in addition those found here. You can also double click the display button to show the app switcher and quit apps with an upward swipe.
Andrew Gribben @grib