7 ways Apple TV can get better

“I like the Apple TV a lot,” David Katzmaier writes for CNET. “It’s one of my favorite streaming media devices, coming in third place on my list after a couple of Rokus and ahead of Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.”

“There’s still room for improvement, however,” Katzmaier writes. “WWDC, Apple’s big developer’s conference kicking off Monday, provides a great opportunity for the tech behemoth to announce its latest Apple TV upgrades.”

Katzmaier writes, “Here’s what I’m hoping to see” at WDDC on June 5th:

• Amazon Video app
• 4K and HDR streaming
• ‘Hey Siri’ hands-free TV
• Better gaming support
• Optical digital audio output
• Remote finder
• Better TV and device control

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How about also dumping the amateurishly-designed Siri Remote and debuting a remote designed for actual use?

That said, we recently bought several more Apple TV devices* as we’ve now all finally cut the cord. These Apple TV devices are on the fabled “Input 1” (the cable boxes are gone) but they are used well over 90% of the time to simply run the PlayStation Vue** app which, along with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (we used those via the apps in our Sony 4K smart TVs as they stream in 4K which Apple TV cannot handle – plus there is no Amazon app for Apple TV) and a smattering of specialized subscriptions (MLB.TV, for example), have nicely replaced cable/satellite at a greatly reduced monthly cost. Each of our Siri Remotes are immediately clad in $7.88 Akwox Remote Cases (we don’t use the supplied wrist straps) that allow us to immediately tell which side is up by touch, correcting one of Apple’s many Siri Remote design flaws***.

*We went with Apple TV units because they work the best with all of our other Apple devices (AirPlay, Remote app on iPad and Apple Watch, etcetera). We’ll immediately replace them with the next-gen Apple TV even if they don’t support 4K, but they’d better!

**Worst-named, but best-featured streaming TV service currently available

***With the Siri Remote, users can’t tell which end is up in a darkened room due to uniform rectangular shape. The remote is still too small, so it gets lost easily. All buttons are the same size and similarly smooth. Only the Siri button attempts to be different, but the slightness of its concavity is too subtle to matter; a raised dot on the button would have been much easier for users to feel. The tactile difference between the bottom of the remote vs. the upper Glass Touch surface is too subtle as well; this also leads to not being able to tell which end is up. A remote with a simple wedge shape (slightly thicker in depth at the bottom vs. the top), as opposed to a uniform slab, would have instantly communicated the proper orientation to the user.

YouTube TV launches in select U.S. markets – April 5, 2017
Record live TV without a cable subscription – March 23, 2017
Making sense of myriad cord-cutting options – March 17, 2017
The ultimate cable television cord cutting solution for Apple TV owners – February 17, 2017
Sony releases PlayStation Vue app for Apple TV – November 17, 2016

Apple TV trails Roku, Amazon FireTV and Google Chromecast with 5% of all U.S. households with WiFi – April 3, 2017
Apple hires Amazon’s Fire TV head to run Apple TV business – February 8, 2017
‘The Grand Tour’ smashes Amazon streaming record – November 22, 2016
Jeremy Clarkson confirms new post-Top Gear Amazon Prime show will be in 4K – November 20, 2015
Apple TV and the 4K Ultra HD conundrum – October 8, 2015
Amazon unveils $100 Fire TV box 4K video support, Alexa voice control – September 17, 2015
Apple made ‘audacious bid’ for Top Gear trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May, but lost out to Bezos’ Amazon – September 1, 2015
Apple’s move into content creation could devastate Netflix and Amazon
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why would Apple want to make their own movies and TV shows? – September 1, 2015
Apple exploring entry into original entertainment production – August 31, 2015
Top Gear’s Clarkson, Hammond and May sign with Amazon Prime for new show to debut in 2016 – July 30, 2015


  1. We have moved to a mix of Amazon Fire TV/Stick devices and ATV 4s. AF Sticks in low use rooms (guest room, etc.), AF TV in the main viewing room due to extensive use of Amazon Video (mirroring from ipad is a pain). PS Vue is a good deal, but still has significant tech issues, and if you want CBS away from home, you need to pay extra for it. We also use the recommended remote cases for the Siri remote.

  2. Amazon offers The Grand Tour, Apple offers Carpool Karaoke. What does that tell us?

    In short, Apple needs to clear house, fire about three layers of executive idiots including the Beats crew, and start over.

    The existing Apple TV hardware and software has been outclassed by companies that have more user friendly and affordable visions for the future, which deliver a range of products and continuous improvement in those products. Apple is stuck trying to be an app vendor with an overpriced, underperforming set top box that isn’t easy to use.

    1. It tells use apple is smarter than Amazon. Sure the Grand Tour is great but it’s also; very expensive, It requires a large time commitment to watch, It doesn’t help sell other products, and it doesn’t have high rewatchability. CK is cheap, short, sells music, and is the kind of thing you rewatch over and over as you show it to all your friend. Plus James Corden is unlikely to make many racist jokes or get an organization to try and boycott you. In short it’s a way smarter business decision.

  3. The fscking remote is a design nightmare. Lack of real tactile up or down..freaking Siri button in the worst spot..shouldn’t be that hard for gods sake.

    Having recently tried the competition, Apple UI is really far above the rest..Most of the improvement needed is about organizing the UI and getting the networks/providers (like Charter) from being dicks.

  4. What’s the buzz on a release date for the next gen AppleTV? Are they really looking to do so at WWDC?…

    We recently added a second TV and I’ve been really torn as to what to add as a streaming device. I would miss the easy integration of AppleTV and being able to easily throw up AirPlay from computers or iPHones, but otherwise, I’m really not a big fan. Should I move to Roku? Seems like the buzz is that Roku is the “best” one if you take AppleTV out of the mix.

    Is that true? Or should I just cave and buy another AppleTV if they announce an updated version without the really stupid remote at WWDC?

  5. First, thanks MDN for the remote case suggestion. Bought mine and it’s great.

    AppleTV remote when I first saw it thought it, more than any other product, begged for a case. But the minimalist / purist took over and I tried to go without. Of course, the lack of directional tactile cues got to me a few times, maybe more than a few.

    I’m not particularly sure what the major gripes are with the remote design, but I think a surface cue could have been helpful, not necessarily a change in shape.


    That’s probably the biggest lack of inspiration present in the thing; I can find my iPhone but I can’t make my remote control beep. Of course, this would require Bluetooth… not sure if it has that.*

    *yes, though a long time Apple user, I’m not really interested in all the tech specs

  6. Apple TV games are shit!! They are worst than the old Flash games. And what with all these Runner games? Runner games are for retarded people. I want to be in control of the character, not only jumping.
    Apple should buy a game studio or something.

  7. How about something simple like access to all of your movies and videos in your iTunes library in one App with the use of Siri? Why didn’t that not make your list? Don’t you think that would make the product better and make it more of a hub?

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