Apple today announced their brand new Apple TV, redesigned with a focus on apps, enhanced Siri functionality, and an innovative new hardware remote control.
It’s All About the Apps
Apple's product webpage for the new Apple TV says it all: "The future of television ...is all about the apps.” While apps have existed on set-top boxes and smart TVs for a couple years now, Apple plans to move beyond the current crop of TV-channel-style apps by introducing a dedicated App Store, where users will be able to download a wide variety of apps, similar in experience to that found on current iOS iPhones and iPads. A quick perusal of Apple’s updated website for the Apple TV reveals a strong emphasis being placed particularly on gaming apps. (And rightly so, given the giga-success of the game category on mobile iOS.) However, Apple also today released the operating system software, dubbed tvOS, to it’s developers, fueling what will sure to be a wide range of apps helping transform the living room into an interactive experience we have even yet to imagine!
“We believe the future of television is apps” -Tim Cook
Apple’s new Siri Remote features a touch screen for swipe-style navigation as well as a dedicated Siri button which enables the remote to accept a variety of intuitive voice commands, thanks to a pair of on-board microphones. Via the Siri Remote, the new Apple TV is capable of recognizing a surprisingly diverse range of commands, ranging from content-specific search queries to more interactive instructions such as: “Fast-forward two minutes”, “What did he just say”, and “Launch Apple Music”. Additionally, the remote is internally equipped with an accelerometer and gyroscope, allowing it to function as a Wii-style, motion-sensing game controller. On-board Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology also means you can use the remote from anywhere in the room — no line of sight “pointing” required. (Yay!)
A few more highlights gleaned from today’s Apple TV announcement:
- Features powerful A8 processor chip
- A rechargeable battery in the Siri Remote provides months of battery life on a single charge. (Remote is charged via standard iPhone-style Lightning connector)
- Apple Music is now on Apple TV
- Redesigned, customizable home screen
- The Apple TV will support 3rd-party game controllers
Pricing and Availability
Apple says the new Apple TV will be available “at the end of October”, with pricing starting at $149 for a 32GB model and $199 for a 64GB model.
We’ll dig a little deeper into the new Apple TV in the coming days after we take some time to digest all of today’s jaw-dropping announcements. Stay tuned!