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4K Apple TV

Ultra High-Definition 4K Apple TV Launching This Year - Report

Connected Theater
February 16, 2017

A 4K Apple TV, finally.

Apple plans on introducing a fifth-generation Apple TV later this year. Internally codenamed “J105,” the new set-top box “will be capable of streaming ultra-high-definition 4K and more vivid colors,” according to Bloomberg.

Given the growing popularity of 4K televisions, this news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that a 4K Apple TV is coming. The lack of 4K compatibility continues to be the biggest complaint about the fourth-generation Apple TV, which launched in October 2015.

Nonetheless, Bloomberg admits that adding 4K isn’t enough to turn the “gadget into a groundbreaking, iPhone-caliber product.”

They note:

Apple has essentially settled for turning the television set into a giant iPhone: a cluster of apps with a store. “That’s not what I signed up for,” says one of the people, who requested anonymity to talk freely about internal company matters. “I signed up for revolutionary. We got evolutionary.” Gene Munster, who covered Apple for more than a decade as a Piper Jaffray analyst and now runs Loup Ventures, echoes the criticism. “Apple TV begs the question: Why does Apple do hobbies?” he says. “Either do it right or don’t do it at all.”

I would agree.

As I noted back in January, adding 4K support is just one of the ways to improve Apple’s “hobby” device. The others include:

Design change, customization

An interface dominated by rows of app icons might continue to work on iPhone and iPad, but the same can’t be said for Apple TV. Despite some improvements (thank you, folders), the Apple TV interface remains a cluttered mess.

In 2017, Cupertino needs to rethink the Apple TV interface, making it easier for users to customize. Think background images that change depending on the time of day, and sections where our most-popular apps are easily accessible. And if app icons aren’t going away, shouldn’t they at least be a little bit smaller on the screen?

Entertainment vs. Gaming

Apple TV is both an entertainment and gaming device. However, not everyone who owns one uses it for both purposes. Perhaps two home screens are now necessary, one for entertainment, the other for gaming.

Love for Apple AirPods

One of the best Apple AirPods features is the ability to pair with devices that use the same iCloud account automatically. These devices include iOS, macOS, and watchOS products, but not Apple TV.

You can still pair Apple AirPods with an Apple TV like other Bluetooth devices. However, the process isn’t nearly as innovative. Hopefully, Apple corrects this oversight soon.

You should take a look at Bloomberg’s report, which examines Apple TV struggles over the years, putting much into perspective.

Are you planning on buying a 4K-compatible Apple TV?

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