Pre-orders for the newly revamped Apple TV kick off today with the tech giant promising to reverse the ‘stagnation’ of the television experience. Unsurprisingly Apple’s TV offering is centred on its apps with the promise of personalising user’s viewing experience akin to the navigation on iPhone or iPad. So as Apple prepares to launch the biggest disruption to television in 50 years here’s what you need to know.
It’s all about the apps
According to Apple apps are the future of television. You (probably) use them all day long so why not replicate that behaviour when it comes to watching the telly? Apple TV is powered by the newly created tvOS and viewers will be able to find their favourite shows via a universal search function that will pull up where they can watch a series or film such as on Netflix, NowTV or HBO Now. Those who want to listen to music via their TV can do so via Apple Music.
Gaming is big
As well as the usual gaming suspects Apple TV features a host of completely new experiences that could turn your living room into a fitness studio or a classroom. Some of the games currently on Apple TV include Manticore Rising, Rayman Adventures and Guitar Hero and it also supports MFi-based third party controllers for gamers of a serious kind.
The old adage of shouting at the TV just got catapulted in to the 21st Century with the introduction of a voice-powered remote control. iPhone users will already be familiar with Siri, Apple’s voice controlled ‘personal assistant’ that lets you use your voice to send messages, make calls and search information, and now via the Siri Remote viewers can bypass menus and ask to watch a film or show by asking to do so. The controller also allows users to list all science fiction films release in the 70’s, for example, or if you can’t understand a line from a programme, ask “What did he just say?” and Siri will skip back and temporarily turn on closed captioning.
Also on the Siri Remote is a touch surface which means viewers can use their thumb to swipe, scroll, select and navigate around their TV screen with each move made on the remote’s Touch surface mirrored on the television screen. It can also control the volume on both a TV and an A/V receiver.
The new Apple TV will be available alongside the old version and priced at around $169 (£110).