What app developers want to see in the new Apple TV

“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).


  1. I use “Home Sharing” and if you have a couple hundred movies, you have a long list to scroll through to find the one you want. Current ATV GUI doesn’t scale well. I think the Apple TV has to solve for a whole new usage paradigm. New Remote, New GUI and User Interface guidelines, HomeKit, Siri, maybe ability to pause and record streaming video (needs storage for that).

    I guess we’ll all know the answers in 9 days. Can’t Wait !!

  2. About the templates: I understand the desire for consistency, but I think it’s more important for a service to operate the same on multiple devices. Case in point: Netflix. Netflix has spent a lot of effort unifying their experience over all their devices. They just rolled out a new client for the Wii U that makes Netflix look and behave the same on that console as it does on the other consoles and smart TVs. But on the Apple TV, they’re forced into that template.

    I say ditch the template and let the developers design the experience themselves. That approach isn’t hurting sales of the Roku.


  3. Apple has been stood in front of an open goal with the ball at its feet for years. Open up the AppleTV for apps and Games! Every WWDC they have a game developer on stage showing how good their latest A class processor is at moving pixels, just let people play games on it the revenue stream will be huge.

  4. And get a real remote, not that little suppository. And don’t say the remote app is any better, by the time you get it working and recognizing the Apple TV, I could have used the silver suppository. This on a 3rd gen ATV too.

    1. Yes, I don’t need an Apple Universal remote, but I would like it to be able to turn on an off the TV, the soundbar and control the volume and switch inputs so that I didn’t have to hassle with more than one remove. Currently I use an old TiVo remote for my Apple TV because it can turn on an off my TV and control the volume and can do everything the Apple TV remote can do, plus, with a flip of a switch it also controls my TiVo.

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