A post that I doubt I'm going to get a chance to write up properly ahead of the Apple event this week. In other words, exactly the kind of thing I set up this sideblog thing for.
Apparently, Apple are planning to launch a new Apple TV box, with a completely redesigned remote. I wonder what the new interface is going to look like – presumably an iOS7 (well, iOS9, technically) themed overhaul is well overdue.
But a touchpad, rather than a touchscreen seems like a peculiar choice – I'm guessing that it will essentially be the same as the Remote app, but without all of the "other stuff" that a second screen enables. So, it sounds like the Remote app will still be technically better. (Unless, that is, it is a genuinely new interface paradigm and Siri does the job.)
Apple TV was launched at the same time as the original iPhone, but while the iPhone has moved forward in leaps and bounds, the Apple TV hasn't seen much in terms of developemnt and features. OK, so the original vision was of something like an iPod for video (a hard drive that you could put files from your computer onto and watch them at your leisure), which was changed to an internet streaming device in 2010.
But its still an ageing device – you get the feeling that the reason the hardware was upgraded was because of cost savings with the iPhone CPU manufacture, rather than to enable new features.
YouTube revised its API a few months ago, which led to the YouTube app disappearing from the V2 Apple TV. You can still stream it from an Airplay-enabled device, and the app has been updated for the V3 box. It seems strangely careless to just leave it off the older models – a sign that nobody cares, or that software engineers had their hands full with a higher priority (more likely to be iOS9 than the Apple TV 2's YouTube app)?
So I gues the big question for me is whether my ageing 2nd gen Apple TV is going to need upgrading to carry on doing what I want to do (watch Netflix, YouTube and films from iTunes), or if the new one is going to do new things that I will need to upgrade if I want to do them (which seems like its probably going to consist of Siri and an App Store.)
Past posts on the Apple TV topic;
- 31st Aug 2010 - How Apple could shape the future of TV, where I talk about the main "TV problem" being the remote control design stuck in an analogue, live TV world, the opportunity that ubiquitous touchscreens presents, and the idea of Apple TV's future as being an iOS accessory
- 18th September 2010 - More thoughts on Apple TV as iOS accessory - reflecting on the introduction of AirPlay.
This is when I was obsessed by the Apple TV UI, and expecting to see Apple refining and refreshing it on a regular basis as they played with their "hobby". (I mean, what is the point of calling something a "hobby" if you don't ever spend any time with it?)
- 29th Jan 2014 - How often I use the buttons on my TV remote control (Spoiler: Most of them - never.)
- 10th Feb 2014 - Cable Spaghetti and my living room "dream box"
I think by this point, I had realised that what Apple wanted to do with the Apple TV and what I wanted someone to sell me for my living room were actually quite different devices.