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Review: Fourth-gen Apple TV with Siri Remote and tvOS App Store

The new Apple TV has been revamped both inside and out, sporting an wholly new handling complement dubbed tvOS that brings it even closer to iOS, along with an overhauled Siri Remote featuring voice submit and a illusory clickable trackpad. But it’s what’s nonetheless to come — namely, a expansion of a Apple TV App Store — that will make or mangle a next-generation set-top box.

The fourth-generation Apple TV comes in twin capacities of 32 and 64 gigabytes, labelled during $149 and $199, respectively. Both models come with a same black “puck”-like design, nonetheless a new indication is rather taller than a predecessors.

With ability being a usually disproportion between a twin models, we feel many users will be calm with a 32-gigabyte version. But for a review, we tested out a high-end 64-gigabyte version.

The hardware

The Apple TV itself stays a low-key affair, meant to mix into a home museum setup and concede users to concentration on a calm on their HDTV.

Apple still does not boat a section with an HDMI cable, that while minor, seems like a bizarre repudiation for a association focused on palliate of use. The new indication also ditches a dedicated visual out cable, that will be seen as a beating by those who use home museum headphones nonetheless a receiver, or who wanted to use a Apple TV as a dedicated AirPlay audio player.

While a box itself lacks in a few tiny areas, a Siri Remote is a outrageous improvement. It’s svelte and gentle and functional, and a built-in Bluetooth connectivity means users don’t need line-of-sight to control their Apple TV, distinct with many other vital room remotes.

Still, a Apple TV itself and a Siri Remote embody infrared support — a former to concede concept remotes to control a Apple TV and a latter to concede a Siri Remote to adjust volume on TVs and receivers.

The Siri Remote also recharges over Lightning, that is a acquire change for those of us who are not meddlesome in shopping deputy batteries. There is no energy adapter for a remote in a box, however — usually a customary Lightning to USB cable.

Setup and usage

Initial setup on a Apple TV is a pinch: Users can send iCloud and iTunes certification from their iPhone to a Apple TV around Bluetooth. In a tests, it took a integrate of tries to get a setup to work, nonetheless once it was on a way, we had a device adult and using in no time.

The knowledge was not as smooth, however, for a crowd of services that we entrance from a Apple TV.

Entering calm with a Siri Remote is rather of a chore, and confusingly, Apple does not embody support for a iOS Remote app during all (yet).

With prior second- and third-generation Apple TV units, a Remote app could be used for practical keyboard entry, that severely expedited a experience. With a fourth-generation Apple TV, we were forced to use a Siri Remote with an onscreen alphabet, that valid to be a unwieldy and extensive routine when signing into Netflix, HBO Now, Showtime, Watch ESPN, and more.

We suppose that this emanate will be resolved over time, with destiny updates to tvOS, and hopefully an updated chronicle of a iOS Remote app as well.

Siri and concept search

Siri on a Apple TV is strike or miss.

Cross-platform hunt does in fact work, and it works well. we told Siri we wanted to watch a film John Wick, and we was presented with a choice to squeeze or lease it on iTunes, or watch it streaming for giveaway with my HBO Now subscription.

Siri can also hoop broader searches. For example, tell it to uncover a list of Quentin Tarantino cinema from a ’90s, and you’ll get your wish.

It can even be used for commands while examination programs, including enabling sealed captioning, adjusting sound, or expecting out information about a calm playing.

Siri also launches apps, gives sports scores, provides a heat and more. It even retains some of a quirkiness of a iPhone reflection — when we asked a Apple TV Siri because it does not speak, a complement responded with: “No one likes a Chatty McChatterson when there’s a uncover on.”

But there are shortcomings. Siri now usually works with iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime. Apple has betrothed that concept voice hunt support will be accessible in a future, nonetheless for now, we won’t get that with your purchase.

Even some-more baffling is a fact that Siri does not work during all with Apple Music or any privately owned iTunes Store song content.

But maybe a biggest impiety of all is that there is now no approach to hunt on a App Store with Siri. Coupled with a skip of support for a iOS Remote app, and acid for apps is a frustrating process.

All of this feels like early days, and things that Apple will be means to repair over time with light improvements. But it’s tough not to strike a device for not ancillary these capabilities out of a box.

tvOS and a App Store

Despite a issues with search, we feel a tvOS App Store is off to a good start. At launch, there are pronounced to be some-more than 1,000 apps already accessible to download, many of them giveaway and concept apps also accessible on iOS.

Upon rising a App Store, we were means to navigate to a “Purchased” add-on and see a list of some-more than 40 applications we had already commissioned on a iPhone or iPad. This cross-platform support with iCloud some-more firmly brings a Apple TV into a company’s ecosystem, and creates for a good knowledge out of a box.

Developers can select to make their own, apart TV apps, nonetheless a genuine advantage for consumers will be when apps are universal, permitting them to buy once and possess an app opposite all devices.
Developers can select to make their own, apart TV apps, nonetheless a genuine advantage for consumers will be when apps are universal, permitting them to buy once and possess an app opposite all devices.
For example, we purchased Geometry Wars 3 on a iPhone, and were means to immediately download a same app for giveaway on a iPad and a fourth-generation Apple TV. Playing a diversion with twin thumbsticks on a Apple TV was a ideal experience, nonetheless interjection to iCloud diversion save syncs, we could also move a saved swell with us on a go, and play Geometry Wars with a touchscreen on a iPhone.

In this instance it’s easy to see how a Apple TV will turn a essential partial of a Apple ecosystem for many users.

Much like with a entrance of a iOS App Store, a first-generation iPad, and this year’s entrance of a Apple Watch, applications on a tvOS App Store are strike or miss. Apple would be correct to urge find as good — the App Store now lacks a tip downloads list, that is a fun approach to see what’s renouned on iOS.

Some apps have been rebuilt from a belligerent adult to take advantage of a new Apple TV, like HBO Now. Some are simply simple ports of a prior barebones Apple TV apps, like NHL GameCenter (to that an refurbish is entrance in early 2016). And afterwards there are some apps where we have to consternation because they exist, like Zillow.

But that’s a good partial about carrying a extended App Store: There’s a tiny something for everybody here, and it’s usually going to get improved as time goes on. Developers are, for a many part, usually singular by their possess creativity, and we’re confident that a tvOS App Store is going to be a vast understanding pennon forward.

And while they are wholly cosmetic, a Apple TV’s live wallpapers are positively beautiful and hypnotic. Not many else to say, except, wow.

Controller support and gaming

Apps are arguably a pivotal partial of a Apple TV experience, nonetheless many games that usually use a Siri Remote are singular in terms of their functionality. We found that Asphalt 8 worked excellent with a remote: Acceleration was automatic, sloping a remote was used for steering, and a trackpad could be pulpy for braking.

A some-more unwieldy knowledge was had with Geometry Wars 3, where a multiple of touchpad and lean controls authorised for both relocating and sharpened in eccentric directions. It’s transparent in this box that Siri Remote support was enclosed usually to accommodate Apple’s possess rules, that need that any diversion on a App Store work with a remote.

But no one in their right mind would play that title, or many other games, with usually a simple remote. Thankfully, a new Apple TV also supports iOS-compatible diversion controllers, that have been accessible on a marketplace for a few years now, and our experience is that they work great.

Unlike iOS, where it’s scarcely unfit to find out that games on a App Store support third-party controllers, a Apple TV creates it unequivocally transparent when a pretension facilities diversion controller support.

In addition, users who bond a Bluetooth controller can also navigate opposite a entirety of tvOS, permitting users to burst in between games (or usually apps) nonetheless wanting to put down their controller and collect adult a Siri Remote.

Unfortunately, a Apple TV is singular to twin earthy controllers. And developers who can’t find a approach to shoehorn in Siri Remote control support won’t be means to pier their games to Apple TV. But we wish that Apple could relax these stipulations in a future, permitting a new Apple TV to truly widespread a wings as a viable gaming platform.

For now, we consider it’s off to a good start. The guarantee of concept app support with iCloud diversion syncing and controller harmony has been realized. Now a responsibility is on developers to support a platform, and for gamers to start shopping titles on Apple TV.

The future

We’ve spent a lot of time articulate about what we design to be bound in a destiny with a Apple TV, nonetheless maybe a biggest repudiation of all is Apple’s heavily rumored subscription streaming radio service. The latest reports have pegged it for launch someday in 2016.

It’s unfit to know usually how, or even if, this use will play into a Apple TV ecosystem. But positively some who buy in to a new height are energetically expecting what it competence do for cord slicing prospects.

We’re happy to contend that, for now, things continue to get improved each day. Both HBO and Showtime are onboard for wire cutters, and that’s a outrageous start. CBS is also charity a subscription-based plan, nonetheless it lacks sports.

Most other streaming apps on a Apple TV need some form of a wire login to entrance on-demand content. But that’s expected to change over time, as user habits develop and networks cavern to consumer pressure.

That said, we wouldn’t suggest shopping a Apple TV on a guarantee of what’s to come. As it stands right now, a stream product as a lot to offer. But is it value $100+ some-more than a Chromecast or Roku?

The competition

Priced starting during $149, a new Apple TV competence be tough sell for some consumers, generally when other iPhone-compatible streaming inclination like Google Chromecast are extremely cheaper.

Chromecast is basic, nonetheless for $35, it’s tough to kick a price. It doesn’t offer scarcely a functionality of a new Apple TV, including minute apps and concept search, nonetheless if we usually wish a Netflix machine, that might be enough.

There’s also Roku, that offers a 4K-capable Roku 4 for $130. Lack of 4K support for a Apple TV is a bizarre omission, deliberation a new iPhone 6s shoots 4K video, nonetheless with a default of accessible 4K content, subpar Internet opposite many of a world, and a singular series of affordable 4K radio sets on a market, we don’t see this as a unequivocally vast deal.

There’s also a $40 Amazon Fire TV Stick ($50 with Voice Remote), and a bone-fide Fire TV with 4K support for $100. But Amazon’s products also feel like a representation to sell we into a Amazon ecosystem and a lineup of content, even some-more desperately so than Apple with iCloud and iTunes.

Apple also sells a third-generation Apple TV for $69, that offers many of a same apps and services from a fourth-generation indication built-in. The skip of games, Siri Remote, Siri hunt and tighter iCloud formation make this a tough sell, though.


For now, before a tvOS App Store has time to grow and mature, and before Apple has a possibility to work out some of a kinks and bugs on a fourth-generation Apple TV, a categorical doubt for impending buyers should be: How invested are we in a Apple ecosystem?

If we already have a second- or third-generation Apple TV, or even a Chromecast, and we essentially use it usually for Netflix, it’s substantially best to wait and see. We consider a Apple TV will be a good height going forward, nonetheless during a outset, there’s no rush to buy in this early.

If you’re a heavier pennon with subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, and a vast iTunes library, concept hunt of those platforms is a vital offered point. The new Apple TV creates it many easier to find what cinema or shows are accessible on what platforms, that has been a headache for years, and something that Siri now handles improved than any other streaming device on a market. It isn’t perfect, nonetheless it’s a outrageous step in a right direction.

For gamers, a new Apple TV is off to a surprisingly clever start. If you’re heavily invested in iOS games and we already possess an iOS gaming controller, you’re substantially a form who will be happy if we buy in now.

While a Apple TV isn’t going to reinstate titles a size of flagship Xbox One or PlayStation 4 games in a nearby future, there’s adequate here to see promise. Not to mention, iOS and tvOS already offer better, some-more seamless cross-platform purchasing, personification and syncing than Sony’s possess PS4 and PS Vita. Granted, that’s some-more of a explanation on a disaster of Sony than Apple’s possess success, nonetheless still — it’s mobile and vital room gaming, always connected and always with you.

If you’re a cord cutter, wait. You won’t be means to bypass wire login screens nonetheless for many vital networks on a Apple TV. Hopefully that will start to change with a rumored Apple subscription use in 2016.

Finally, if we don’t have a streaming device yet, it unequivocally comes down to how savoury a $149 cost indicate is. Netflix-only users will expected be calm with a simple Chromecast, nonetheless if we wish some-more calm options or are heavily invested in an iTunes film library, we’d advise skipping a $69 third-generation Apple TV and usually removing a fourth-generation indication with Siri Remote.

In further to some-more estimate energy with a integrated A8 chip, a Siri Remote and a touchpad are a fun to use. And a inclusion of a App Store means that a device will urge and grow, with new third-party apps nearing all of a time.

The grounds has been laid, and it’s a plain substructure for a destiny of Apple in a vital room.

Score: 4 out of 5


  • The Siri Remote with touchpad works great
  • Universal hunt finally creates it easier to locate content
  • The App Store and iCloud formation are off to a earnest start
  • Game controller support is already improved than on iOS


  • Siri doesn’t support a App Store or Apple Music — yet
  • Why no iOS Remote app support?
  • At $149, some might wish to wait for some-more cord slicing incentives

Where to buy

The fourth-generation Apple TV is labelled during $149 versed with 32GB of storage and $199 for 64GB. Alongside Apple’s earthy and online stores, AppleInsider partner MacMall has both the 32GB and 64GB model in batch now, while BH Photo, that offers tax-free orders outward of New York, expects supply soon.

Article source: http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/11/02/review-fourth-gen-apple-tv-with-siri-remote-and-tvos-app-store

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