Nov 3, 2015 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Apple TV, Products, Review

Apple_tv_4th_generationIt has been my fifth day with the all-new Apple TV, and while the interface is certainly fast, (by the way 1080p is a welcome upgrade from my previous 720p Apple TV) there are a few areas that are in need of help. Some areas of complaint have already been mentioned by others, but there are a few omitted nuggets which could really make the system a lot more powerful, and frankly, amazingly better.

Taking a look at the physical, the taller Apple TV versus the previous generations makes zero difference. However, the remote control is an advancement compared to the previous couch-hiding silver remote. The new remote’s optional lanyard certainly helps keep it noticeable on the couch, a coffee table or even if it somehow wondered into the kitchen. I have found myself constantly pressing Siri instead of the menu button. If Apple would add a simple braille bump to the menu button, using it would prove much less error-proof. Outside of blind finder navigation (which would really help), the trackpad with click solution works very well, and having the remote run on Bluethooth eliminates the need to have line of site to the Apple TV. Overall, the remote is a welcome upgrade. 

The Apple TV’s menu is virtually unchanged, while the screensavers are a welcome addition. An area of complaint by many, including me, is the App Store’s lack of genres or easy listing of all games or other titles. The entire App Store seems void of any organizational structure whatsoever. I can only hope this is due to an initial lack of content, and as more App are added this will change. However, if Apple finds this acceptable, hundreds of developers will have wasted tens of thousands of hours building Apps which will never be discovered or found. Whenever I am in the App Store I get the feeling that there is some magical treasure trove of Apps hiding somewhere, I simply have no way to access or discover them. This issue needs to be corrected by Apple — and in a hurry — as the App Store seems completely unfinished.

I've downloaded several games and channels, but as with my previous Apple TV, the main menu is rapidly becoming a massive scroll page of choices. Like iOS, why Apple has not made it easy to create folders for Apps is puzzling. I would love to make a folder or category of games, or a sports folder, or educational folder, etc. This is not rocket science or brain surgery. It seems more or less common sense for a 2015 operating system of any type to have these abilities. I just hope someone at Apple figures this out. It is hard to believe no one within the internal Apple TV software had thought about this, or that the idea was not given enough credibility to make it happen.

Lastly, the new features all work as advertised. Siri is powerful and holds lots of promise to add even more flexibility in the future. The entire speed of the device is second to none, and the OS is solid and stable, which are all things one expects from Apple products. Overall, Apple TV seems rushed to market, as if a network bundle or something else was going to be the big deal for Apple TV, but didn't materialize, thus this is what is left. Hopefully "plan b" is being worked on now and can give Apple TV a major lift and update soon.

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