I use a fourth generation Apple TV, after owning a first, second and third generation models.
None of their competitors – Amazon, Google (whatever they're doing), Roku – has cracked this nut, but they all seem to have leapfrogged Apple.
TV is just yet another segment in which Tim Cook has allowed Apple to languish.
I want to love the Apple TV, but it's simply not that great anymore. The software is remarkably buggy and the overpriced hardware is either obsolete or half-baked (I'm swiping at you, touch pad).
What's worse is that they don't even seem to be on the path towards improving any of this. The new TV app is a dud; another layer of complexity rather than the elegant and unified solution we crave.
Nor has Apple developed the device into a kind of smart hub for the home... or one that manages Time Machine backups... or a Siri-based rival to the Echo... or doubles as a base station or rage extender.
The next time Amazon updates the Fire TV, I'll probably pull the trigger. And when Google refreshes the Pixel this fall, I'll probably swap my iPhone for one. And when my AirPort Express and Apple Thunderbolt Display need replacing, I'll have no choice but to seek out a non-Apple product. Sooner or later, the Mac will be on the chopping block.
Welcome to Tim Cook's Apple.
10:47 pm — Monday, 9 January 2017
TVs will not be getting much better any time soon since content copyright holders and different networks wield so much power. It's just not possible when everyone wants to keep the viewers within their world.
I have the latest Roku Ultra and the Chromecast as well as Apple TVs. They all have their own pros and cons but I prefer the latest Apple TV by a good margin.
10:59 pm — Monday, 9 January 2017
I agree; I use my ATV almost every day, and it sucks. It just goes to show that Apple has sort of lost its way.
Who's in charge?
When the answer is "nobody knows" you know it's time to reorg.
11:14 pm — Monday, 9 January 2017
Mac Pro is Dead:
I *love* my 4th gen Apple TV, no snark. Great product.
The remote kind of sucks due to being symmetrical and hard to hold, but the functionality of it and the touch pad is great.
11:37 pm — Monday, 9 January 2017
Mac Pro is Dead:
I turned off the "TV app via button" feature, though. That is a disaster. Way too complicated of a mental model.
11:38 pm — Monday, 9 January 2017
We going from today's date for the 10 year anniversary in which the iPhone was demoed, but we're also going by today's date for the 10 year anniversary in which the Apple TV was demoed for a 2nd time?
Obviously the Apple TV is the opposite end of the industry and culture changing technology spectrum to the iPhone, but that's a moot point. Either use the date it was introduced or hit the market, not when the internal codename was dropped.
1:33 am — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
I have a few 3rd gen Apple TVs that I only find useful due to the very nice Beamer.app, and a 4th gen Apple TV that I bought out of optimism that Apple would get it right.
The 4th gen drives me nuts; mostly the remote. What an awful, awful design. You can't touch the thing in the dark without fucking up the playback of whatever is currently playing. You can't tell whether you have it oriented the right way in the dark without touching it, which, half the time, will unexpectedly click something or swipe something. It's just a fucking putrid design; it makes you wonder if Apple ever tested the fucking thing, in, like, an actual living room where people might actually use the fucking thing, rather than in one of their sterile, blazing white, maple trimmed saferooms.
Suffice to say, I am not impressed. Although the App ecosystem is an improvement over the previous gen 'channels' system. If only they hadn't crippled the gaming ecosystem but not allowing games to require a controller....
3:13 am — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
I agree with the 4th gen remote. I can't tell which way to hold it in the dark, and amusingly enough there are too many fucking buttons.
What's the difference between the TV button and the menu button? I have no freaking idea. And clicking on the glass pad is nice, but then why are there even more buttons? I mean, do I pause by clicking the glass button or the pause/play button?
And what does the fucking TV button do anyway?
And I've had this damn thing since launch day. I can figure out how to configure a Cisco router, but I just can't get my head around the ATV remote.
Was the old remote so bad?
4:15 am — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
> If only they hadn't crippled the gaming ecosystem but not allowing games to require a controller....
IIRC they allow requiring a controller
10:42 am — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
@Stroke!: The remote is worse than that. I just bought a 4G yesterday, having never owned any ATV before, and hadn't realized that top and bottom look the same and was trying to plug into the wrong end.
12:48 pm — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
My Optional Name:
Yes, the new ATV remote blows. If you like the ATV otherwise and prefer the older remote, then just get an older ATV remote and pair that. Or use a cheap Harmony remote and control the ATV, TV set, and everything else with just that. The only thing you can't do with these is use Siri, and even that will cease to be a problem if they ever bring the "Hey Siri" feature to the ATV. "If".
1:42 pm — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
I may sound like a crazy person but I don't have a big problem detecting the remote's orientation even in dark. When I grab it I immediately know if it's up or down; if my thumb is feeling the big volume button on the right, it's right-side up, if not, it's upside down. However it seems like I'm the only person who feels this way.
5:33 pm — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Counselor of the Exchequer:
1 cent Apple Remote workaround.
6:19 pm — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
And I have a 8 button mouse, so it's not like I'm a complete incompetent at technology.
6:53 pm — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
That rubber band is going on my ATV remote tonight.
6:55 pm — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
I'm surprised that Apple doesn't sell ATV remote rubber bands for $20.
7:06 pm — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
An ATV remote sock!
7:16 pm — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
I get more anxiety trying to figure out which side of my 4th gen ATV remote to pick up without inadvertently scrubbing ahead on Netflix than I do trying to plug in a USB cable correctly the first time. At the current rate I'll probably just grab the latest NVIDIA Shield revision when it goes on sale. As long as it has Plex, Netflix, Prime Video and a usable UI, I don't really care what it is.
10:47 pm — Tuesday, 10 January 2017
A rubber band is going on my remote right now. Thanks!
12:18 am — Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Patrick Henry, the 2nd:
I had two 3rd gen ATVs, which I really liked. But they are old now (and don't support Plex). I'd love to replace them with a new gen. But A) its fucking EXPENSIVE. Why the fuck is it $150 BASE. That shit needs to be $100 or less.
Plus, as the comments here indicated (this is why comments are great- grubs can blow himself), its not really a great device.
So instead, I have an Xbox One and a Roku 3 that I pretty much use and never touch the old Apple TVs.
Thanks Tim, for getting this huge Apple "fanboi" to use non-Apple products- including a Microsoft one!
8:20 pm — Wednesday, 11 January 2017
ATV4 has plex and you can get them for $129 at the apple refurb store. Plus they're on sale all the time.
You could probably get one on eBay for < $90.
12:01 am — Thursday, 12 January 2017
@Patrick Henry, the 2nd
That's $20 more than the Roku Ultra. I own both as well as the Chromecast and I think the price difference is more than justified unless the 4k support is really important to you, and I have a 4k TV.
But much praises have been heaped on the Roku's superiority everywhere online including here so I often feel like I'm the only one.
2:56 am — Thursday, 12 January 2017
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