As much as it has its place, Apple TV is not my favorite Apple product. Why not? First off, Apple’s hubris shines through a little too bright. “The future of television is here” my ass. Apple TV is cluttered and cumbersome and not quite ready to help the masses cut the cable cord.
As noted, Apple TV has its place, and over time– I’m thinking 4K video, and that point in the space time continuum where Siri can actually understand a slightly Chicago-like Polish accent– we can expect improvement. Here’s something new that might help and it works on your Mac, too.
The Enterprise Hub
My day job has me slaving to manage many hundreds of Macs, Windows PCs, Chromebooks, iPads, and a growing number of Apple TVs (along with a smattering of Rokus and other wannabes). How does one manage so many different machines scattered across a campus? Remotely, of course.
Apple’s business customers know about Apple Remote Desktop. It’s the de facto default way to manage many Macs on a network from a single location. It’s not the greatest app in the world, but it gets the job done. There’s something similar for Windows.
Apple isn’t the only game in town. We’ve been testing Jamf on a few machines. Think of Jamf as a remote management system. And not just Macs. Jamf Pro works on the Mac, yes, but you’ll be able to remotely manage iOS for iPhone and iPad, plus tvOS for Apple TV.
Yes, that means remote management and set up for Apple TV. Obviously, that’s not a big deal at home but it is a big deal at schools and businesses, and I’m sure Apple would love to get a toehold into the hotel industry. Why? Amazon’s Echo and Alexa are headed that way now.
Yes, you can use Jamf to manage a few of your home Macs, but what I’m thinking here belongs at the enterprise level, specifically hotel rooms. Why? My father owns a motel. It’s nothing fancy, but the location keeps the family busy, and I want to see how Apple TV can grow to become a staple of hotel rooms around the country.
The basic Jamf setup is three devices for free but more can be added for $2 per device per month. Over time, that can be more expensive than Apple Remote Desktop, but ARD doesn’t work for Apple TV or iOS devices.
Again, this is a test at school and at my parents’ motel. Right now I’m worried about Apple TV units becoming like motel towels.