Where’s The Wow? The New Apple TV Is Just Playing Catch-Up

So Apple closed out today’s event with the band One Republic playing their two year-old hit “Counting Stars.”

Which only seemed to confirm the day’s theme, at least as far as Apple TV was concerned.

While there were plenty of upgrades to the AppleTV box, most of them were things their competitors have been doing for a while. Which, if our social media feeds are any indication, left many people feeling like Apple was playing catch-up rather than forging ahead.

Apple’s big announcements around TV centered around four new features: a new remote,  Siri integration, universal search, and a new SDK for games. And while they all had individual pieces that were innovative, nothing really overwhelmed us.


A Sleek New Remote

The most impressive new feature was probably the new remote control, which featured a glass touch pad that will allow you to swipe through the on-screen menu and tap to select. That’s a unique feature but without a keyboard to do the things you really want to do (e.g. search for specific shows) it’s still a hassle. Which is why a mini-tablet or smartphone based remote continues to make more sense.  Still, points to Apple for the sleek design.

Voice Commands Via Siri

The next big feature was Siri integration. You can use Siri to search, to pause, to rewind and fast-forward (in specific increments of time), even to call up the cast of the show you’re watching.

All of which Amazon Fire already does.

And here’s the rub with Siri: voice recognition systems circa fall 2015 do a good job with “find me Brad Pitt movies.” Less so with “find me Angelina Jolie movies.” And don’t even try “shows with Mariska Hargitay.” (Hence the aforementioned need for a keyboard.)

The voice-activated rewind and fast-forward and “what did she say” feature (Siri rewinds 15 seconds and includes closed-captions) should work well though, and we agree with Apple that voice commands are the future. It’s just that we’re not there yet.

… read on at tvrev.com

Originally posted by Alan Wolk at TV(R)EV
9th September 2015