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Reviews of the app-capable, Siri-equipped new Apple TV box are filtering in, and the consensus is that it’s
Walt Mossberg writes that it’s a much “smarter” box, but one that lacks visionand has UI flaws.
I dont know when, if ever, Apple will reinvent TV. But this isnt the moment. I can say that, if I were buying a streaming box right now, this is the one Id buy, if only for the promise of lots of apps.
By making the set-top box a part of its giant app and services ecosystem, the company is moving Apple TV into a future thats much broader and bigger than Rokus or Amazons. And that makes the case. In effect, while it may not have reinvented all of TV, Apple has reinvented the streaming set-top box.
The Wall Street Journal calls it “a giant iphone for your living room,” though, and likes it a lot.
Ultimately, the Apple TVs advantage is that it isnt tied to the idea of channels, live TV or even streaming. Its the place where developers are able to do the most cool interactive stuff for the widest audience. Theres already a workout show on the Apple TV thats smart enough to know if youre really working out.
The TV of the future needs to be as powerful and easy to use as an iPhone, and this Apple TV is the first boxand the first Apple TVto achieve that.
Siri is now present, but she’s not the Siri you’re used to. Nilay Patel likes the new box, but
limitations are everywhere. Only a small handful of apps work with Siri search right now iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime so finding something in, say, the ESPN or CBS apps isnt possible. Siri cant find you a funny YouTube video, which seems like a shame. Tim Cook says a Siri search API is coming, but I get the feeling Apple wants Siri search to be a differentiator for the more premium services, so well see how wide open that API is when it gets here.
Rounding up the competition, CNET provides all the details you could ever want on what you can watch on each box.
The New York Times‘ Brian X. Chen reports “a plethora of innovations.” Of the options, available, it’s his favorite, but here comes the “but
there are some weaknesses.
Setting it up can be tedious. When you install streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix from the App Store, you type in your login credentials by swiping left and right with the remote to select letters of the alphabet one at a time you have no option to do this by speaking into the microphone or using a keyboard on a smartphone.
The Apple TV may also not be the best streaming device for everyone because of one missing feature: the ability to stream content available in Ultra HD 4K TV, the latest high-definition resolution supported by some of the newest TV sets.
Apple TV is $149 for the 32GB version, and $199 for the 64GB model.