As expected, Apple has used today’s dedicated media event to finally take the covers off of its fourth-generation Apple TV running brand new tvOS. We’re going to forgo the small talk and jump straight into the features, specifications and launch date for the fantastic new Apple TV 4. Carry on reading for the full low-down.
If you were looking for a smacking new design to hit the Apple TV 4, this may be a bittersweet deal for you. However, Apple has packed enough goodies in its popular set-top-box to compensate for that. Here, it is.
Features / Specs
Apple has decided to apply limited design resources to the fourth-generation Apple TV. After all, if it isn’t technically broke then there’s no real harm in attempting to fix it. The newly announced Apple TV is a continuation of the models that have come before it, maintaining a very familiar design ethos. The improved technical specification and restructuring internally means that the hardware is slightly taller and bigger than the Apple TV 3, but that’s to be expected. Comes in black color, same as the previous two-gen models.
The new found capabilities of the Apple TV sees it officially move from being Apple’s “hobby” project to being a product that’s worthy of discussion and admiration, both in terms of functionality as well as revenue generation for the Cupertino company. Under the hood you will find that this year’s Apple TV is powered by an A8 64-bit processor that is found in the iPhone 6 models as well. This is a notable jump up from the A5 chipset found in the third-generation model.
One of the main focus areas in the development of the new Apple TV was undoubtedly affording users with the ability to be able to control what goes on with greater efficiency and ease. The original Apple TV remote was undeniably beautiful, but it couldn’t really be described as functional. The new and improved remote control that ships with the Apple TV 4, houses an integrated Glass touch surface for swipe navigation and control, Siri button, play / pause, volume, a Menu button, display button, and also a built-in microphone so that commands for Siri can be input from anywhere without shouting.
There’s also the integration of advanced motion control thanks to the inclusion of an accelerometer and gyroscope which helps to navigate around the UI and more importantly can also be used for gaming purposes. The new remote connects using Bluetooth as opposed to IR in previous-gen models.
It comes with a rechargeable battery that can last up to 3 months on single charge. Charging is done via the usual Lightning connector found in iOS devices.
Software – tvOS:
Yes, the new Apple TV ships with a brand new operating system called tvOS, which is based upon Apple’s mobile operating system – iOS. This brings Apple TV on par with the rest of the company’s mobile platform offerings. This gives developers a whole new platform to target with an array of apps and games that can be run and played right on the ATV 4.
Needless to say, the entire UI has been revamped, and improvements like bouncing between apps by double-tapping the Home button on the remote, customizing your Home screen, ability to set cinematic screen savers etc. will go far into bringing the new Apple TV into more and more living rooms across the world. The tvOS also includes key iOS technologies such as Metal, giving the set-top-box some serious punching power in the casual gaming world.
The integration of Siri into the fourth-generation Apple TV is one killer feature that will have consumers eager to get their hands on the device. The inclusion of Apple’s evolving digital assistant means that owners of the new hardware are able to fully control the set-top box via audible voice commands. Searching for your favorite movie or TV show just got a lot easier, however, thats not all that Siri can do on the new Apple TV.
Just like the iPhone and iPad, the all new Apple TV will now respond immediately to given commands and execute whatever it has been told to. The input for voice command is given using the all new remote control, as explained earlier. Check out the image below for some of the functions that can be triggered via Siri.
The addition of universal search is an interesting move from Apple. The additional features afforded to the Apple TV 4 via the brand new tvOS will also be complimented by the ability to search a plethora of services from one single search area. So, as an example, if you’re searching for a particular movie, the new Apple TV will look for that movie on the likes of iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and an array of other sources should they exist. It’s truly one converged search capability that will delight end-users.
The time has eventually come. It’s been discussed and speculated upon for so long, but the angels have spoken and the Apple TV App Store is finally here in all of its glory. Like its iPhone and iPad counterpart, the Apple TV App Store not only allows the device to be extended through the installation of excellent applications, but also coincide with a dedicated Apple TV SDK that allows third-party developers to develop and publish an array of powerful apps and games tailored for tvOS.
Apple Music is headed to the Apple TV 4! The experience will be as full as that on the iOS platform with complete support for library, playlist, access to 30 million songs, and even the Beats 1 radio.
The bump in capabilities has ultimately meant that Apple have had to provide the Apple TV 4 with a little internal storage bump. The latest hardware will come in two storage options; 32GB and 64GB. The increase in storage should provide plenty of space for game data and the installation of third-party apps now that the device has been opened up to the App Store.
Support For Third-Party Game Controllers
In addition to gaming with motion-supported included remote, Apple has also added support for bluetooth based third-party wireless controllers for gaming purposes, which means soon there will be special Apple TV compatible third-party controllers available that you can get separately for gaming on the big screen.
- Apple TV 4 – 32GB: $149
- Apple TV 4 – 64GB: $199
It will be available for purchase end of October.
Contemplating on ordering the Apple TV 4 when the time arrives? You should check out promo video of the device, below.
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