It’s amazing to think about how long ago Apple TV first came out. On September 9, at its famous, annual September keynote, Apple announced some exciting new updates that would take Apple TV to the next level. The original Apple TV was, to say it in the nicest ways, boring and easily overlooked. It never really did anything amazing enough to set itself apart from other consoles, like Roku, Playstation, Xbox, or Wii. The new generation of Apple TV is trying to change this.
In the keynote, Apple explained that it took to redesigning Apple TV and creating a new operating system, tvOS, with a new notion in mind: that apps are the future and they dictate what we do. With Apple TV and tvOS, apps allow you to watch what you want when you want it. The whole goal is to personalize the viewing experience. Forget TV surfing and seeing what’s on. You should be able to watch whatever you’re in the mood to see, no matter what time it is.
Since tvOS was developed with apps in mind, you can only imagine just how many apps are available. Apple TV has many more options than any smart TV out there, from HBO, Hulu, and Netflix to ESPN and iTunes. Beyond the popular channels and networks, you can also access your favorite sports, breaking news and weather, educational programs, and even music concerts.
And, of course, since it’s an Apple product, you know Siri is involved. With the Siri Remote, you can ask Siri for some suggestions. For example, you can ask, “what are some good crime shows?” or “what new movies were recently released?” You can also command Siri to do your bidding. Ask her to open a specific app or find a new one you want to download. The remote may have buttons, but it also acts like a touchscreen. With its Touch surface, you can scroll through options and navigate your screen.
All of this is incredible but perhaps most surprising of all is the price, starting at just $149. For a home automation fan on a tight budget, the new Apple TV is a great way to make your TV a smart TV without spending big bucks on a brand new television. With so many apps available for purchase on an a la carte basis, you may even ditch cable and enter the new world of TV apps as it offers much more customization than traditional cable packages (I don’t need 328 channels, but it’s the only way I can get AMC!). While there’s no official release date yet for the new Apple TV, I wouldn’t be surprised if they released it just in time for the holidays.
Photo by: Rob Boudon