After three years in the making, the new #Apple TV will finally be released in late October, with prices ranging from $149 to $199 – no UK pricing available yet. Unlike what many had hoped, it won't kill games consoles nor cable #Television, but it might lay the foundation for a more serious foray into the television business.
Apple has been rumoured to be working on an alternative service, one that will give users the ability to choose which channels they want to have with a low monthly fee; that's not what the new Apple TV is about.
What it is, though, is a revamped version of the streaming device that is now powered by its own operating system, tvOS, based on iOS. It has an App Store and integrates Apple Music. More importantly, it comes with the Siri remote, a brand new gadget with very few buttons (6 in total), a glass touch surface and voice-activated requests.
At the event, Apple demoed a handful of games, showing off the remote's accelerometer and gyroscope, and previewing Beat Sports from Harmonix (the same company behind Guitar Hero, which is now also available on the Apple TV). Disney Infinity, Airbnb, Zillow, shopping app Gilt, new apps from Netflix and HBO were also highlighted. Is it enough to be revolutionary, as CEO Tim Cook stated during the event? .
"It's definitely a game-changer," says Counterpoint Technology analyst Neil Shah. "Apple has remarkably integrated Siri across the Apple TV platform from content search to conducting different actions and furthermore, into the gesture based remote which is truly the key differentiator here, as it can work and interact with TV apps in an intuitive and novel way," he tells us.
In the event, Tim Cook gushed about how incredible the device is. "TV plays a huge rule in our lives," he said, "it really is the golden age of television (...) but the TV experience itself hasn't changed that much in decades." He vowed to do something about that with Apple TV. "Our vision for TV is simple and perhaps a little provocative: we believe the future of television is apps." That's truly Apple's strength, across all devices: the quality and commitment of its developers is unparalleled – and it might do the trick, again.