What We Want to See in an Apple TV Upgrade
What We Want to See in an Apple TV Upgrade
by Don Reisinger
A Web TV Service Makes Sense
Apple TV could be turned into a streaming cable box, which would be a smart move. With services like Sling TV now available, the time has come for networks and cable companies to consider alternatives to traditional cable and satellite. An updated Apple TV would likely be a great place for content producers to generate revenue in a different way. After all, Apple has real appeal among consumers and has the services and software platforms to make it work. Having network and cable content stream on Apple TV would be a major selling point.
Apple TV Set-Top Box Needs an Update
The Apple TV design is getting tired. The device is nice in that it's small and black, so it easily fits into a standard entertainment center, but it's long in the tooth. Apple should consider developing a new design that mimics the design of its other aluminum-based devices. Right now, Apple TV looks like yet another ugly brick sitting next to a television.
A Cheaper Price Tag Would Help
At $69, Apple TV is undoubtedly a good value, but with competitors coming in at $29 or $49 and offering the same streaming technology, one could argue it's still overpriced. Let's see Apple push the envelope with the hardware and get the next Apple TV's price down to $50 or less. That would put pressure on competitors and make Apple TV more attractive to consumers. The company could make up that revenue on the software and services side.
App Store Integration Is Long Overdue
Although more and more apps are being added to Apple TV, there is still no access to the App Store through the platform. Apple should consider adding the App Store to the device and make it easy for developers to port their iOS apps to the television. By doing so, Apple will overnight have more apps than competitors like Roku, attract new kinds of use cases and generate more sales.
Apple Needs Gaming Integration
Amazon's Fire TV is admittedly not the best gaming device on the market and most have used it as a streaming device, but that shouldn't preclude Apple from adding gaming to the next Apple TV. The company already has a vibrant community of developers creating apps for its iPhone and iPad. Porting those casual games to Apple TV shouldn't be too difficult. Bringing gaming to Apple TV attracts a different set of consumers that Apple should be targeting.
Apple TV Needs Multidevice Support for Mobile Viewing
What could set Apple TV apart in the marketplace is the ability to carry the content that's streaming on the Web TV service and have it available on the iPhone or iPad when going mobile. It's a feature that's common among cable companies, but not so with other streaming services. If Apple can make it easy to transport the Web TV service to the iPhone and iPad from Apple TV (and then back), it'll have a winner on its hands.
Some Storage Is a Necessity
Apple has said that part of Apple TV's appeal is that it's a streaming device and it doesn't actually require storage. However, for the device to realize its full potential, have apps and allow for gaming, it'll need some storage. The idea of streaming-only is fine in concept, but having built-in storage is a necessity.
Much, Much Faster Performance
When users boot up Amazon Fire TV for the first time, they quickly discover that the device streams content and loads apps much faster than Apple TV. The next Apple TV should come with the latest and greatest internal specs to make it faster than anything on the market. Responsiveness is everything.
A Companion App That Will Work Anywhere
Apple TV should come with a companion app that not only will allow for the aforementioned mobile viewing, but will also have the ability to control it from wherever you are. So, if users want to record a show on the Web TV service or save something for later, the companion app should enable that. It'd also be nice if the Apple TV remote app allowed users to install apps from an iPhone or iPad directly onto Apple TV.
A Better Remote Is a Must
The Apple TV remote is too simple for its own good. The remote has just a handful of buttons and doesn't make it easy to search for or scroll through content. An updated Apple TV remote with the same level of voice recognition built into the Fire TV remote would be nice. Better yet, Apple could bundle a Siri button into the remote to let users set recordings, create notifications and more. The features are there; it's just a matter of Apple delivering them.