“Apple currently offers about 60 third-party apps for Apple TV, and all of them are on a tight leash,” Jared Newman reports for Fast Company. “Every app must fit into a strict template, defined by its top navigation bar and text-heavy lists atop a featureless black background. If Apple opens its platform to more apps, as expected, several developers I spoke with hope they won’t be stuck with those rigid templates.”

“Nuvyyo, for instance, has created a custom Roku app for its Tablo broadcast DVR hardware, letting users find and record shows through a grid-like channel guide,” Newman reports. “That same system couldn’t exist in Apple TV’s current format, says Steve Brambilla, Nuvyyo’s director of client engineering.”

“Apple’s current templates do have one advantage: They create consistency, so users don’t feel lost as they move between apps. But that’s something Apple could solve with strong developer guidelines, says Scott Olechowski, cofounder and chief product officer for media server software Plex,” Newman reports. “An influx of new Apple TV apps would also complicate the process of figuring out what-to-watch problem that other platforms have experienced while allowing more developers into their app stores. One likely solution from Apple will involve universal search, which is already headed to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 9. By letting app makers index their contents to appear in Siri and Spotlight searches, users could just ask for the name of an actor or TV show, and get results from individual apps.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We long to be able to say, “Hey, Siri, play the next episode of Other Space and Apple TV knows which episodes we’ve viewed and therefore shows the next unwatched or in-progress episode. Or, “Hey, Siri, play Idiocracy and it presents all of the outlets which offer the film and their prices (or you can set preferences to only show you the outlet with the lowest purchase and rental prices).