Today apple launched the new AppleTV or as I would affectionately call it the new AppleWii. They changed not only the look and feel, but the whole dynamic of the AppleTV. Apple even brought back on board storage in the form of a 32gb or 64gb version, but should you run to the apple store and buy it?
Lets start by talking about why you need storage space. The new AppleTV is more of an iOS device like an ipad than anything else. The best way to sum it up would be to tell you it turns your TV into a no-touch ipad with a wii style remote to control for it. This means that you are going to need somewhere to put all the apps you are going to download. In comes the 32gb and 64gb storage. The fact you can only buy a 64gb AppleTV is going to be a massive problem.
When I bought my iphone I got a 32gb knowing that I like to keep a lot on it, but thinking I could cut it down to what I need. Yea that made sense, but it just sucks to always have to try to figure out what apps have to go… In short it was just a bad idea. Apple thought so too so now you can get iphones with 128gb. So this is where I got a bit confused. Apple will sell me 128gb to keep in my pocket, but something that sits under my TV and that I never have to carry around only comes in 64gb… Uh Oh … In most homes the TV isn’t just for you it is for everyone in your house that uses that TV. This means that everyone will have to share the space. This is part where all the single people win! If it is just you chances are that might work. For the rest of us that have kids, roommates, spouses or other living companions this may not work so well.
Ok so space is gonna be an issue, but what is it that will eat it all up? GAMES! Chances are it will be games. Apple made it a big point to show off the games it has for AppleTV. Does this mean Nintendo Xbox and PlayStation are worried. No, I doubt it, but it does mean that your favorite iphone game may now be on your TV. Personally the idea of playing Angry Birds on a big screen has me excited! Apple also switched to Bluetooth for their remote. This means the we may see third party Bluetooth game controllers. It might even pair with an apple bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
So lets dive a bit deeper into what else this thing will do and the dynamics of it. The new AppleTV will run on tvOS which according to what we learned today is just a variant of iOS. As a programmer that makes perfect sense to me. You want all the good toys and tech from iOS, but you need to be able to interact with it in a slightly different way. For AppleTV the way you interact with it is a far cry from the sleek silver apple remote Apple we are currently used to. The new apple remote has a touch pad at the top, some buttons on bottom and best of all you get to swing it around like a wii remote! This comes with a price though… Power Consumption, the new remote is Bluetooth not IR that means it uses more power. It uses so much in fact that Apple added a lightning connector.
All in All I think Apple is really going toward what we all wanted and hoped the original AppleTV could be. I am very excited to see if these changes work well and what the experience will be like. Hopefully once they hit the shelves I will be able to give a better view of what it is like in reality. Who knows connecting a keyboard and mouse may lead to some hackish fun with the little guy!