I may be one of the few members of the AppAdvice team who doesn’t have an Apple TV. I used to have one, back in the first generation days, but ended up plugging a Mac Mini into a television instead. Nowadays, I watch most of my television on Netflix, either from my MacBook Pro or my Xbox 360, both of which plug into my television. It’s not that I wouldn’t use the device, I just haven’t seen any features in the Apple TV that my current setup doesn’t already include. So, what will Cupertino need to announce in September for me to spend a bit more cash on an Apple TV?
Siri on my television
I seriously want Siri in the Apple TV. Part of what turns me off about the set top box currently is the remote, and its inefficient way of navigating menus. If I could just tell my television what I wanted to watch, that would be so much better. It’s not unheard of; Amazon’s Fire TV supported simple voice search from the beginning. And let’s not forget my favorite smart speaker, the Amazon Echo, with its beautifully functioning voice control features.
How likely do I think it is that Siri will come to the Apple TV? Right now, I’d put the likelihood at about 70 percent.
I don’t believe in having something that can only be used for one thing. I like my devices to serve multiple purposes, and that’s why I choose to have a computer plugged into a television for my media consumption. I can use it to check my calendar, send and receive email, and yes, even play games. The Xbox 360 is similar, in that I can use it to play games or watch television or movies, through Netflix and Crackle.
Do I want to do everything on an Apple TV? No, of course not. I would, however, love to be able to install some third-party apps to the device. I’d like to see updates to the video services already on Apple TV, like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu. I’d also like to see some gaming action on the set top box. Next, I’d welcome an app like Fantastical 2 on the Apple TV for those times when I want to quickly check my schedule while I’m watching a show.
I’d peg the chances of third-party apps showing up for Apple TV at about 60 percent. Apple seems to still consider this device a hobbyist’s accessory, so they may not want to take the time to open up the APIs for more developers.
This is a big one for me, since I’ve begun turning my apartment into a smarter home. I’d like to see the Apple TV act as a HomeKit hub for all of my connected appliances and lights. My Amazon Echo can control some smart home devices, but I’d prefer to centralize all of that within my Apple ecosystem, and have the Apple TV capable of running the show when I’m away from home.
How likely is this to show up? I’d give this one about an 80 percent chance of being announced with a new Apple TV. The current generation doesn’t have enough processing power to handle it, but a new device will likely have a much more powerful processor and be more than capable enough. We also know that the Apple TV beta software in October 2014 had support for remote access to HomeKit-enabled accessories.
Here’s the one everyone seems to have been waiting for. Apple has been rumored to be working on its own streaming television service, and folks are hoping to see it unveiled in September. Cable cutting options are growing by leaps and bounds, and it would be great to see more capabilities built into the Apple TV. We have Apple Music, and it would be fantastic to have such a service for television and movies.
Unfortunately, this one has a likelihood of 50 percent or less. Analyst Gene Munster, of Piper Jaffray, told investors that the new content offering is a “wildcard” for the anticipated Sept. 9 event. According to AppleInsider, Munster called the chances at 50–50 for the new streaming television service to be unveiled during the keynote presentation, because negotiations with the networks are still ongoing.
Those are the big things that it would take for me to buy an Apple TV this fall. Other features, like a Bluetooth touchpad remote and 4K resolution support, would be nice, too. Ultimately, though, it comes down to this: I want to be able to use an Apple TV for apps and home automation along with watching television, and I want to be able to control it with my voice. Everything else is just gravy.
Image Credit: Business Insider