Tim Cook candidly jested said that Apple took a “really long” time to bring an upgrade to the 2012 version of the Apple TV – even chuckling along with the crowd following the statement. Apple’s take on the TV set-top box is now bigger, more powerful and built with Siri to assist you through the new operating system.
An overhaul that sees it now carrying a powerful 64-bit A8 CPU and PowerVR GX6450 GPU, together with 2GB of RAM. Significant jumps in each category; that sees Apple also adding more internal storage (32GB or 64GB), a better WiFi radio (802.11ac) and even a redesigned tvOS.
A great operating system that will see the Apple TV now support Apps and have an accelerometer and gyroscope on its newest remote. Connectors on the small black box are similar on past editions, a power, HDMI and an ethernet port.
With an addition of the app store for tvOS, Apple hopes that its third-party developers will expand and further the device’s functionality that places a new emphasis on gaming. You’ll be using the newly designed remote that comes with a glass touch pad on the top end that connects to your box through Bluetooth 4.0.
Embracing voice-recognition and utilising Siri as its personal assistant, it’ll be one of the best ways to interact with your Apple TV but currently only has support in these 8 countries:
For everyone elsewhere, the Siri button on the new controller will only get you to an “open the on-screen search app”. It’ll probably have the same traits as its predecessor, only with larger search functionality. Don’t be downhearted, if you’re initial thoughts were to pick it up, because Apple usually rolls support as the device’s lifetime lengthens.
You’ll be able to ask the female personal assistant things like:
Search through Apple’s library and its 3rd party apps for a TV show or movie
Questions about who is starting in our favourite movies or shows
Weather in a particular city
Replay or skip to a certain time line
Replay content and asking “what did she say?” will rewind the content and bring up subtitles
Apple TV’s gaming experience will now have a shot at rivaling the Nintendo Wii, thanks to the new Siri remote that includes the accelerometer and gyroscope. During the keynote we saw a multiplayer game dubbed Crossy Road, which allows users to tether an iPod Touch or iPhone as an additional remote.
Also demoed, was Beat Sports, a music and sports combo that sends music timed baseballs for you to hit. Apple’s main showcase to its new gaming element will be Disney Infinity 3.0, Guitar Hero Live and Rayman Adventures’, surely pleasing a wide range of gamers out there.
A further extension of apps bring about a demonstration of online shopping directly on Apple TV, thanks to companies like Gilt – giving Apple an edge when compared to other set-top boxes out there. Obviously they won’t be leaving out the main purpose of the device, providing TV enthusiasts the viewing tools to get push notifications for game-time moments in live sports games.
Potentially a great living room companion, the Apple TV starts shipping towards the end of October in 80 countries and will go for $149 / RM 641 (32GB) and $199 / RM 856 (64GB). Check out the product page here.