Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple TV Review Roundup

Based on the reviews I’ve read so far on my crappy hotel WiFi connection, this sounds like a near-killer product with baffling shortcomings.

David Pogue:

Apple Music is here, too. It’s a shame Siri can’t communicate with Apple’s own $10-a-month service. It’d be cool if you could just say, “Play Harry Connick Jr.” (or any album, song, or performer you can think of) for instant playback. […]

I have another beef, too. There’s still a lot of text entry on the Apple TV—every time you enter your account information into an app, for example, or when you’re searching the Apple TV app store—and it’s excruciating. You have to slide over to one letter after another on this absurdly designed layout. […]

And why, above all, can’t you speak to dictate? You can on the iPhone and the iPad—why not here? Whassa matter, Siri—you chicken?

I thought Siri was Siri and would function similarly device-to-device, but it doesn’t sound like it. This seems like another AirDrop-like situation, where something you try on one device won’t function the same on another device, despite it being named and marketed similarly.

John Paczowski, Buzzfeed:

Setup is a breeze thanks to tap-to-configure, which quickly transfers basic information like Wi-Fi network and password and iTunes Store account to an Apple TV from an iPhone. My parents could probably set this thing up and the only phone call I’d get from them would be a triumphant one touting their success.

Smart. A few different companies have been doing this with peripheral-type devices and it makes a lot of sense.

Christina Warren, Mashable:

But tvOS isn’t simply blowing up the iOS experience for a bigger screen. That’s something we’ve seen from other Android-based set-top boxes (including, to a certain extent, Amazon’s Fire TV), and it doesn’t always work as well as you might think.

That’s because a six-inch experience and a 10-foot experience are different. The nice thing about the Apple TV and tvOS is that it knows that the experiences are different and the apps are built in a way to make that kind of shift work.

Unlike features like AirDrop or Siri, the UI is something that should feel similar product-to-product, but be tailored for the specific needs of each. tvOS sounds like a cousin of iOS and OS X that’s built specifically for a big-ass screen. Developers ought to keep that in mind; it’s going to be hard to build something great for this product without owning and extensively using one.