How Apple can fix Apple TV

“Apple TV is widely expected to be getting an update soon with revamped hardware and software,” Adrian Covert writes for CNNMoney. “If it is successful, Apple has a chance to take over the living room.”

“But for Apple to do that, it won’t be because it built its own television or added an Apple TV app store,” Covert writes. “The Apple TV will take over the living room once Apple perfects the smart TV software.”

“A real ‘smart TV’ should seamlessly unify all of this content so that users don’t have to put much effort into finding something they want to watch,” Covert writes. “That’s why Apple is a perfect candidate to make a true smart TV happen. Apple already knows that the real magic of the iPod and iPhone was that the software was so easy to use. Apple’s expertise is in simplicity.”

Read more in the full article here.

21 Comments

  1. The main problem comes with their being so much choice. Here in the UK, I like the SKY box because it’s pretty straightforward, but with so many channels it’s still a hassle to go through them. Recommendations are annoying. The iOS app is good though because you can tailor the guide to just show the channels you want in the order you want.

    Ultimately it needs to do what it does well and simply. I have no expectations that it will replace any or all of my other services, but if it’s a hassle then it has failed.

    Personally I’d like it to do away with the long lists of stuff from my itunes library, and for the remote app to work better.

  2. Apple’s expertise is in simplicity AND ethics, so they won’t be listening to the advice of any jouranalysts soon. Sorry Adrian, you should go find your own company to run, unless of course your expertise is in jouranalysm. If that’s the case, spew on, enjoy your freedom of speech, while you still can.

  3. I like iTV and use it often.
    I am not so happy with the interface. The app format creates too many layers. If I watch something on YouTube but then want to watch some short clip on Hulu getting back to what I was watching on YouTube is a pain. They need to incorporate something like History in the browser that would take me to anything I had previously watched. The individual apps have History but there needs to be something universal.

    1. @Aldo
      I absolutely agree.

      They also need to remember which season and which episode you last watched in each series, and they need to default to the NEXT one in that series.

      AS you say, here’s no recently watched at the top level. The number of clicks required to get back to where you were is stunning. They do have a purchased section where you can find the last purchased episode, but if you want to go from THAT episode to the next one, you’re amazingly required to click through all seasons from the last down to that (same) current season, and click through all of the episodes in the current season from the first episode to the current one. I’ve barely begun to describe all the extra clicks needed. (Not to mention your need to remember which season and episode you were on)

      I’m a huge apple fan, but I also use roku, and these problems are nonexistent on the amazon and netflix roku apps. They both have a top level recently watched list (granted, its not available at the roku home screen) which take you, SIMPLY and instantly, (by default), to the very next episode of the series.

      Apple’s IOS developer guidelines encourage app developers to maintain context so the user doesn’t have to do a lot of work to get back where he was. In my experience iOS does a lot better at this than Android (I’ve used both extensively and am now using iphone) There are numerous places where apple’s own apps on apple TV would benefit hugely by following its own advice.

      IMHO AppleTV needs a project leader who knows better than this.

  4. Apple, just split iTunes into two applications: one for audio, one for video.

    Allow the video app to manage local content on hard drive or NAS, act as DVR, with full iDVD and Quicktime 7 Pro functions, Front Row functions, and ability to download true, full, real 180p+ resolution, full-channel audio HD content (not just streaming, but options to download to local drive. Enhance WiFi 802.11ac & Airplay to support reliable local “house cloud” functions.

    Add applications to AppleTV set top box, with much better efforts in leveraging IMDB search functions instead of “channels”.

      1. Are music videos audio or video?

        DOH, let’s add that to the pile of incredibly amazing dumb question. Like “are audio files audio or video?”

        Of courser you are just being obtuse and silly in an effort to bait aldo. Go get some rest and enjoy the rest of your day.

        Oh and as I am capable of taking the civilized step of answering a question (something that you might be able to accomplish someday) the answer to your question (as if it needs answering) is that music videos are videos.

        A video is defined as the recording, reproducing, or broadcasting of moving visual images. There is quite often an audio component in a video.

        Oh and as an added bonus, calling you a fucking moron does not cause me to lose any credibility to the answer.
        So consider yourself told again that you are fucking moron. Try to think before asking such ridiculous questions, unless of course you enjoy being an obtuse bully.

          1. Another erroneous statement, and an attempt at deflection away from the issue, it’s part of your modus operandi. Let’s try this again and see if you can progress forward. Pay attention now.

            Things are fine it’s a great Valetine’s day this is not about me, it’s about you. Try to focus on this.

            I have no idea on the intent you had when you posted your question. “Are music videos audio or video?” but it’s not the kind of question a civilized adult would post in an intelligent discussion on Apple TV.

            One can muse on the intent behind you posing that question, perhaps you are an intelligence level that someone with a pre frontal lobotomy would enjoy, or perhaps you are a bully that liked to be obtuse and silly in an effort to bait people. You may think that you are being funny, you may even be delirious to the point that you truly believe that you are making a valid contribution to a discussion. One could conjecture your intent for a long time unless you finally decided to come clean.

            This is your chance, so pay extra careful attention, there is a question coming up. I do wish you the best of luck. It’s a small step for most people but it will be a giant leap for 3l3c7ro.

            What was the intent behind your question “Are music videos audio or video?” ?

            1. Man you sure have trouble comprehending the English language.

              Here is a definition of “response”: “To reply or answer in words.”
              I emphasize “answer” because your so called response isn’t an answer to a question.

              MacUser made a suggestion as to what Apple should do with iTunes. Now if your comment/question would have been along the lines of “Hey MacUser would you categorize music videos under audio or videos?” That would have made some sense, asking for MacUser’s opinion on how the program(s) should be split and sorted out.

              Your post, however as it reads does not indicate that and as such it appears that your question is one where you are asking for a definition of something that a modern day intelligent human being should be able to understand. Insofar as the answer, well I’ve posted that prior to this post. Audio and video in modern day media are often kept in separate tracks. One for the video component one for the audio component. The majority of videos have an audio track (movies for example have spoken word, soundtracks and so on). While totally silent videos do exist, they are the exception. Audio tracks are audio tracks.

              To recap:
              1. Audio can exist on it’s own (spoken word music).
              2. Video can exist on it’s own, but that’s not the popular norm. Even silent movies had music.
              3. The majority of videos have an audio component.

              Most modern day educated people have some sort of grasp of this. That’s why your question does not come off as being an intelligent one, thus a clarification of your intent looked like a good way to go. Frankly, you’ve done a poor job at clarifying your intent in my opinion. While I cannot be 100% certain I feel that MacUser was very clear in his idea of “two applications: one for audio, one for video”. As the majority of videos have an audio component music videos would be under videos.

              Oh and to answer your question, yes I did read MacUser’s post. I also tend to read the majority of articles before I post.

            2. I must be different than you in that I listen to music videos often without watching them. I can then do other things while listening. I would classify them as mostly audio. MacUser’s idea of splitting iTunes into two apps may have to be split into several apps to achieve his desired result: music, spoken word, video, eBooks, iOS apps, video, podcasts, etc.

              With only a few words, my original post opened the unspoken multitude of many other possibilities. There are some on this site who need it spelled out in detail.

  5. Hardware needs to be sexier – think Mac Pro to make REALLY want one.

    And the software needs a further evolution toward simplicity – suggest as a starter two streams, audio and video.

  6. Yd, and the current AppleTV UI is horrible!!!!

    BLN should be blasting it instead of iOS7.

    God, the Apple TV is horrible!!

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the AppleTV, but I can never find what I want. I don’t have “popular” tastes and am really not interested in what sells most and what is popular.

    I spend hours flicking threw previews never finding anything…but I do enjoy trailers.

    The UI needs to be rethought again. Something has got to be better. Even though it’s already infinitely better than that piece of crap Motorola or scientific Atlanta box I paid $350 for on top of my cable subscription (we do things differently here in Asia than in the USA). My StarHub box was horrible. That’s why I cancelled my cable TV subscription. (As well as horrible content…600 channels of absolutely nothing…)

    We gotta break out of this!!!

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