Terry White reviews Apple TV: Feels like an ‘unfinished’ product

“The NEW 4th Generation Apple TV overall is a nice ‘evolutionary’ upgrade,” Terry White writes. “However, at this point it really feels like an ‘unfinished’ product. The things that are missing like bluetooth keyboard support, the Podcasts App and a compatible iOS App were already in place on the previous model. Was this one rushed out the door in time for the holiday shopping season? Maybe.”

“I’m sure we’ll see software updates in the coming months to fill in some of the missing features with Siri and of course the App Store will continue to grow as well as seeing better apps going forward. Ultimately if you’re in the market for your 1st Apple TV, then you can’t go wrong here,” White writes. “Just like with the last two generations you’ll buy a product that will only continue to get better with each software update.”

“However, if you’re already an Apple TV owner and thinking about upgrading I’d have to say that there is definitely no reason to run out and buy one. I got the 64GB model because I’ve been burned each time I had the opportunity to get the larger capacity iPhone and decided to save the money only to wish I had gotten the larger capacity a few months down the line,” White writes. “I certainly don’t see myself needing 64GB of storage today, but who knows what apps will be out in 6 months?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, so maybe ZDNet’s Apple TV review wasn’t that much of an outlier, after all.

The differences between some of the reviewers who get earlier product ahead of launch versus those who review Apple product after launch are not meshing up as well as they have in the past. Getting an Apple product to review ahead of launch is a privilege, but objectivity shouldn’t suffer. Both Apple and those reviewers who receive preferential treatment via need to be careful to guard their reputations going forward.

ZDNet reviews Apple TV: A diamond in the rough – very rough – November 2, 2015
New York Times: All-new Apple TV invigorates the set-top box – October 29, 2015
Paczkowski: Yes, the Apple TV you’ve always wanted is finally here – October 29, 2015
Apple TV’s Siri search soon to include Apple Music – October 29, 2015
Apple TV review: Channels are dead. The future of TV is apps – October 29, 2015
Mossberg reviews the new Apple TV: ‘This is the one I’d buy’ – October 28, 2015


  1. Sure, rushed out the door, for the holiday season. Um… And that’s bad for whom?

    If Apple TV has been waiting in the side lines for a year and a half, getting content providers to sign up, where are the finished polished details, they had overtime to work on in the lab?

    Bluetooth keyboard support should be a given. Maybe it is a strategic move, so that people are guided towards Siri. The only way for Siri to get better, is if more people use it.

    Apple TV may require crowd sourcing to bridge the gap, early adaptors have to understand that.

      1. You forgot about iWorks and Final Cut Pro X. Apple tends to go back to the drawing board. On the surface this is a gem 4 product. But it is v.1.0 of the new paradigm shift in TV. I am not saying they did a great job. But maybe calling this Apple TV is not the best way to look at it. It’s Siri TV.

        1. Or….customers have NOT forgotten about those Betaware drops which hurt our productivity. Apple has moved backwards in terms of delivering quality software. Yet another example is “Photos”.

    1. Siri won’t type in passwords will she? Omission of bluetooth keyboard support and use of the “Remote” app on iphone are critical for the new Apple TV and need to be fixed ASAP.

    2. One thing on tv4 I do not like is that in order to hear Siri talk back to you, you have to turn on VoiceOver which repeats every fucking menu item you’re on…otherwise you only see Siri respond in on-screen text.

  2. Welcome to the new Apple:

    * a $200 streaming box that just caught up to those that cost $50

    * an underpowered, overpriced Macbook with a single port

    * a worthless, buggy, overpriced watch made with cheap parts

    * laptops and desktops with screen laminate falling off

    * a ‘Pro’ iPad that can’t run a single pro level application, has no ports, a stupid pencil and a worthless yet expensive keyboard, all for the price of a decent laptop

    * a CEO who can’t ANYTHING but f*%k up!

    And we’re surprised that Wall Street lacks confidence in Apple leadership?

  3. Got mine over the weekend. I do love it! Set-up was so simple, the video looks great, and the remote is a huge improvement over the old model. That being said, there is huge room for improvement:

    — The Netflix app choked when I set it up. It just displayed a dark screen. I had to go online to learn that double-clicking the “TV” button brings up an app-switcher, where you can swipe apps up to kill them. Doing that and relaunching Netflix solved the problem, but I can’t help but think that a lot of more casual users wouldn’t have figured that out. They need to work on app stability.
    — In a similar vein, when I tried to sign out of iCloud so my wife could sign in, the Settings app hung. Killed it, relaunched it, I was signed out. That really shouldn’t have happened.
    — That keyboard sucks. I can’t believe they went back to a straight-line keyboard! Didn’t they learn their lesson with the 2nd gen? And the author is correct: there is no excuse for not having the Remote app ready for the launch. None.
    — Discovering apps in the App Store blows, currently. There is no way to just get a straight listing of, say, all the video content apps. The reason this is a big deal is because you have to download everything. It’s not like on the 2nd/3rd gen where the home screen is pre-loaded with a ton of stuff by default. They’ve taken those old “apps”, converted them, and put them in the store. There is a “purchased” tab, which lists iOS apps you’ve bought that have sister apps for the AppleTV. That’s nice, but if you got used to watching one of the more obscure channels on the old model, and you didn’t have the app for your iPhone or iPad, there’s no obvious sign that the app exists.
    — Take care of your remote, folks. According to Reddit, the glass can shatter from a 2-foot drop if it lands unlucky, and a replacement is $80.

    Everything except the remote can be fixed with software updates, and I know it will be. But I think this guy’s at least partially right: it’s “unfinished”. Not as in incomplete, but like unfinished furniture. It really needs someone to give it that final coat of polish.


    1. “— Take care of your remote, folks. According to Reddit, the glass can shatter from a 2-foot drop if it lands unlucky, and a replacement is $80.”

      The original iPhone was apparently going to be a plastic front until a few months from launch, because it scratched too easily. And wise decision. But on a remote, this is one part that should’ve been plastic. Without a display behind it, who cares if it gets some scuffing and scratching? Infinitely preferable to cracked glass.

      This is not a phone, or even a laptop trackpad; remotes can and will be dropped onto the ground, and having to even think about protecting a remote control with an impact-resistant case points to terrible form-over-function design at its worst.

      1. The remote looks like a pile of grease after touching it.

        The touch surface is noticeably greasy.
        Even the bottom of the remote looks greasy. Probably from trying to use it upside down half the time.

    2. Totally agree. For me the remote scrolls in exactly the opposite way to what Apple has had us get used to since the Mighty Mouse. Also, with 15000 songs In my library, now it take 15 swipes down with my thumb just to reach the B’s! Old remote: hold down arrow and watch the alphabet scream by. Definitely needs work.

  4. I’d like to see iTunes metadata get indexed so that Siri could find my local movies. Currently only purchased movies downloaded from the cloud can be found and run. I have hundreds of ripped DVDs that I still have to manually scroll through to watch.

  5. Wow, if Apple TV fell like an unfinished product, I wonder what he has to say about android (and its tons of phones and tablets), chromecast, Surface, etc.. Sure he trashed all those products, right?

  6. I don’t see what all the fuss is about having to enter passwords. It’s not like you have to enter passwords all the time. So far I have entered passwords twice. Once in the initial setup and once when downloading an app for the first time.
    Sure the keyboard on the iPhone remote app is easier to use. But again, the passwords probably do not need to expire because the unit is not mobile.

    My theory is that Apple is going to update the Remote app so that Siri will work with it. That probably is more difficult since it has to send the requests to the AppleTV.

    Overall I like the new AppleTV. DLed one game and the remote worked well as a controller. It is pretty obvious that the device has a lot more to offer. As usual, the first iteration (of this new design) will be twaeked over time.

  7. For those of us who don’t play games, and already own Apple TV, what would be the point of upgrading, other than Siri and a fancy new remote? Since I already have apps on my iPhone and iPad, persuade me….

  8. Hell, lighten up!
    Just look at everything they did this year!
    Watch and WatchOS 2.0
    iPhone and iOS 9
    El Capitan
    TV OS 1.0
    Swift 2.0
    all Free, and all the hardware they put out to go with it. It gets better every year. If you have been using Apple products since the mid 80’s you might not have the patience. Just saying

  9. With bluetooth keyboard/ mouse support the 4th generation ATV will be the cheapest Mac(desktop Mac Air). This thing is capable of running Keynote, Pages, Numbers, GarageBand iMovie, Mail, FaceTime Audio, optimized versions of Adobe creative software and much more. If they allow this to happen then not only will the Mac Mini can have an early retirement but also have everyone in the pc world totally disrupted. A simple software update that can give a user the ability to use it for work or play would be great.

  10. The inability to easily browse through all the videos on my iTunes server really sucks. Worse, every now and then the touch screen glitches and takes be back to the top of the list. Very annoying to have to scroll through 500 titles to get back to where I was when the glitch occurred.

    At the very least, they should have the “A-Z” down the right hand side as Apple does for the contacts list. Did these engineers bother looking at what Apple has done in the past?

    Not being able to search through your iTunes local files with Siri is another HUGE omission. This product really smells like it will take two or three more spins to get it right.

    As many have pointed out, typing out logins and passwords is a PITA. And why not use a 5×5+1 matrix for the alphabetic characters rather than a 1×26. Also, not having the cursor wrap around from the left to right side (and vice versa) is criminal. What happened to Apple’s emphasis on good user interface design?

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