Apple TV is something of a mixed bag for Apple and a mystery for Apple TV customers. Some functions and features are to die for. Apple TV rules the roost with applications. Other functions are less inviting.
Navigating Apple TV can be a pain; the remote is clumsy, Siri is deaf or just doesn’t understand Brooklynese, and competitors offer far more bang for the buck. So, what can Apple do to rescue Apple TV? I have a short list.
Not. That. Bad.
Recently, members of the nattering nabobs of negativism, chatter members all of the technorati elite politburo have pointed out Apple TV’s many weaknesses, and how poorly the device performs relative to competition from Google Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire. Since Apple TV is priced higher than all those devices combined, one could say Apple leads in revenue and profits; pretty much like it does everywhere else.
Regardless, Apple TV needs a few more changes to make it the must-have darling of the cut-the-cord members.
- Price – yes, Apple TV is just too expensive. It’s loaded with features, yes, but people care about video streaming and less about buying and owning videos.
- Navigation – to be fair, none of these home streaming TV devices have good navigation, and it takes longer to switch between channels when they’re apps than it does to switch when using a cable TV remote. Clearly, interface is an issue.
- Streaming TV Package – Google’s YouTube TV is pretty cool. Stream what you want to watch including local television stations, and keep what you want to save on Google’s cloud. That means you can pretty much watch what you want where you want and when you want, thanks to YouTube TV’s skinny TV package. Apple TV needs that, too.
- Picture-in-Picture – ESPN has an excellent picture-in-picture option called MultiCast so you can watch up to four games at the same time. Think how cool that will be with the rumored 4K Apple TV. That’s four 1080p high resolution live streams on one screen.
What’s not to like about an Apple TV which can stream four different channels onto one screen and quickly zoom in and out between each one?
ESPN is doing it right.
Now, ESPN’s new MultiCast feature is great for sports, but Apple should make a similar function built-in to tvOS for multiple app channels. Four different channels onscreen at the same time, Picture-in-Picture style, with an easy way to switch between channels to go fullscreen, and allow for audio from one screen to rule, while easily switching audio to other screens, but keeping all four onscreen at the same time.
These are important user friendly features that Apple could drop into the next Apple TV.