The new Apple TV arrived in stores on Friday and has been getting some really good reviews. A lot of people seem to believe Apple’s latest device really is a lot more than a gimmick.
The Washington Post believes Apple is offering a new vision for how consumers can interact with their television sets. The reviewer, Hayley Tsukayama, thought that apps such as Hulu and Netflix were the least exciting part of the new Apple TV. Instead, she was far more impressed with the apps in the new Apple TV store.
Anick Jesdanun of the Huffington Post believes that the new Apple TV really is bursting with potential.
“It turns out that Apple’s streaming-TV box – aptly named Apple TV – isn’t just for streaming anymore. Its latest incarnation, which ships this week, offers on the big screen just about anything you could previously only do on an iPhone or iPad.”
Jesdanun adds that the new Apple TV store lets you choose your own streaming services, including services for video games. Jasdanun isn’t thrilled about the fact that the new Apple TV doesn’t have a headphone jack for wired headphones, but it does offer support for Bluetooth wireless headphones, which have grown in popularity over the past year or two.
USA Today was quite baffled by the lack of 4K.
“But the new Apple TV isn’t flawless either. I wish it were cheaper. And where’s 4K, with resolution that is four times better than high definition?” asks critic Edward C. Baig.
Baig notes that competing devices from Amazon, Roku, and Nvidia all support 4K. He believes Apple hasn’t included support for it because there still aren’t a lot of movies and other video material released in 4K — however, that will change soon. One thing he did like was the integration of Siri, Apple’s voice-activated software. MacRumors was very impressed with Siri on the Apple TV as well.
“Siri can be very helpful. During a movie or TV show, you can ask Siri to skip ahead or rewind by a specific time interval to jump to that point. In iTunes (and eventually other services), you can also ask Siri ‘what did he/she say’ while watching a movie or TV show and Siri will rewind the movie for 15 seconds and show closed captioning for that long so you can hear or read unheard dialogue.”
In an interesting twist, Amazon has yanked all Apple TV hardware from their site. According to 9to5Mac, Amazon notified third-party merchants that it planned to remove both Apple TVs and Google’s Chromecasts from its listings, claiming an interest in reducing consumer mix-ups over streaming media players that don’t interact well with Prime Video. However, many believe that the real reason is because of the troublesome relationship between Amazon and Apple that has occurred ever since Amazon started selling tablets that competed with the iPad.
The new Apple TV is definitely a big upgrade from the previous 2012 version. It’s definitely something consumers will buy. However, by not including support for 4K streaming, Apple may be — for once — far behind the curve rather than ahead of it.
[Feature photo by Stephan Lam/Getty Images]