Should you upgrade to the new Apple TV?

Anthony Caruana
14 September, 2015
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Now that we’ve had a few days to digest the news from Apple’s special event last week, we’ve been able to process what was announced and think about it without the buzz and hyper-excitement that surrounds one of Apple’s product announcements.

The Apple TV was given plenty of attention. In short, the big ticket items from the Apple TV announcement were

  • tvOS -  a new operating system for the Apple TV
  • a new Apple TV that will run the new tvOS
  • older Apple TVs won’t run tvOS
  • games and apps will come to the Apple TV
  • the new Apple TV has in-built storage (either 32GB or 64GB)
  • an all new remote control can be used as a game controller as well as a regular remote

So – if already have an Apple TV, is there enough here for an upgrade?

The new Apple TV is a nice piece of hardware but it’s probably the least interesting, although, core component of Apple’s media play. The real magic is in tvOS and the new controller. In one fell swoop, Apple has become a significant player in the gaming console market.

Through the iPhone and iPad, Apple has a rusted-on community of game developers already familiar with their platforms. Melbourne-base developers Hipster Whale are a great example of this. Those developers will be ready to release games when the new Apple TV is released later this year.

The new remote control is an example of what Apple does best. They’ve taken what they’ve learned about gyroscopes, accelerometers and touch interfaces and put them together to create a device that doesn’t actually feature any startling new technology but completely redefines our expectations.

tvOS brings many of the features iOS users are familiar with. Siri is an obvious addition, as we saw during the special event keynote. But other features such as Handoff are also important. Some of the obvious ways this will be used are in games, where you’ll be able to start a game on your phone and continue when you get home. Of if you’re shopping for some home decorations on your iPad and want to run your ideas past the rest of the family so you open the shopping app on the Apple TV.

For those with non-iTunes content, we’re hoping to see media streaming apps such as Plex get official apps rather than relying on jail-breaking to fully unlock the potential of the Apple TV.

UPDATE: It looks like Plex is coming to the Apple TV according to this report.

Would we upgrade?

We’re thinking a new Apple TV will be on our Christmas shopping list. The ability to play games, access other apps and the enhanced user experience make this an upgrade well worth considering.

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