Apple TV is a service that’s been hinted at since way back before the first iPhone in 2006. Originally referred to as iTV, the concept behind Apple TV has evolved and adapted significantly since we first heard about the idea. The first incarnation of Apple TV was released in 2010, and the latest generation which arrived in September of this year couldn’t be more different.
It seems that, of late, Apple are trying incredibly hard to catch up with the myriad of streaming services and online availability that has swept past them in recent years. Of course, their products have always been very widely available through iTunes and their store, but since it’s now streaming rather than content ownership that’s the way forward, it’s time they took steps to catch up with what everyone else is doing.
Apple TV: A step forwards to catch up
It seems strange to say that Apple are “behind” in anything, but with regards to streaming services, they really are. They made their first step towards catching up with the crowd with the introduction of Apple Music in June, and the release of Apple TV is a second step towards catching up.
So, what is Apple TV?
Apple TV in its current incarnation (which is the fourth generation) is basically a set top box containing access to all the usual suspects when it comes to streaming services (with Amazon Prime in the works within the next few weeks, apparently) and more services to come as the product develops.
The Apple TV box has its very own OS, dubbed TV OS and benefits from touch control in some areas, voice control (including “asking” Siri who is in a movie), as well as physical controls which allows users to skip forwards and backwards, albeit with pretty strict time constraints. Both the box and the remote control are fairly small, compact and will be easy to store. Of course, their design is sleek and attractive, but that’s pretty much a given for any Apple product these days!
The services currently available on the Apple TV box are iTunes, Netflix, HBO, Showtime and Hulu; with additional services such as YouTube and CrunchyRoll also being available. There are a few different options when it comes to streaming material (as well as syncing with iTunes, of course), and again the possibility of Amazon Prime availability coming to the box in a couple of weeks.
The Apple TV box is something that Apple are touting as “The future of television”. Of course, whether the fourth generation Apple TV box is the success that they’re hoping for remains to be seen, since it’s a relatively recent release, but that’s certainly a big claim! The Apple TV box puts a big emphasis on applications as a method of watching television, but this isn’t anything we haven’t seen before from the Amazon Fire stick, or indeed any of the other devices we can use to stream television such as the Sony Playstation 3 and 4.
With that being said, for Apple fans the Apple TV box will likely go down really well, and there’s definitely scope for further development and improvement which might bring in more users that are currently using other devices to watch television.