The new Apple TV bullet point impressions

Published On October 30, 2015 | By Kirk Hiner | Apple TV

There’s nothing quite like delivery day for a new Apple product. And whereas in the past I’ve provided a totally unnecessary unboxing video, I decided to forgo that (this time). The Apple TV is basically just a black box, albeit a very shiny and meticulously crafted one. You almost feel guilty removing Apple’s protective covers because you know it’ll eventually lead to scuffs and smudges.
Apple TV
But I’ve done that nonetheless. I’ve set up the new Apple TV, and I’m now downloading the compatible games in my library. That is, after all, why I upgraded this time (having skipped the previous version). I’ve got some new games I’ll be reviewing here very soon, but in the meantime, here are my initial bullet point impressions.

  • Apple continues its trend of having the best packaging around. I know, I know, it’s not that important to the overall experience, but the lack of wasted space is both indicative of Apple’s products and is good for the environment. Anyone who has ever helped kids open their toys will know what I mean.
  • The new Apple TV is about 33% taller than my previous model, but otherwise shares the same dimensions. And even with the new height, it’s the smallest unit in my entertainment center…easy to set behind or stack on top of another unit.

Apple TV

  • The power cord seems surprisingly cheap for Apple.
  • We’ve lost the optical audio output output, but that’s just following the trend. HDMI is a wonderful thing, after all.

Apple TV

  • Connecting the Apple TV to your network is gloriously simple. If you’ve got your iPhone or iPad nearby, the Apple TV can find it via Bluetooth and grab the settings that way. No need to bounce back and forth between character screens trying to enter that cryptic network password you likely forgot anyway.
  • The new remote is easy to use once you get the hang of it. Swiping is responsive (and you can adjust the sensitivity), and feels largely like using your thumb on your iPhone.
  • The button, however, is counterintuitive in the Apple world. When customizing the various settings, I habitually clicked on the wrong button and ended up back at the previous screen because the idea of a button on an Apple device like this felt so foreign to me.

Apple TV

  • And although the Apple TV remote is comfortable to hold, I think you’ll still want to get a case for it, especially if you’ll be gaming. It’s slick, so it’ll otherwise be easy to drop when swinging it about.
  • The HD video screen savers Apple includes are mostly pretty, and a few are actually quite calming. However, they take up 600MB on the device, and Apple states new ones will download every month, if you let them. I’m hoping the previous ones are automatically removed.
  • I was a bit put off at first by the layout of the apps, which seems more like it’s meant to drive purchases than to give you access to your stuff (typical iTunes). I couldn’t find my Apple TV apps when I first launched the App icon because Apple has hidden the fact that you have to download them first. To do so, you’ll need to clicking on the Purchased text at the top of the screen App screen, then manually pull them off the cloud, one by one. Once you do so, they’ll appear on the home screen.
  • Bluetooth compatibility appears to be a bit finicky. My Apple TV connected to a set of Bluetooth speakers we have on another floor on the other side of the house (and which I didn’t know had been left on) without any setup, but couldn’t find the Logitech Bluetooth keyboard I had used with my previous Apple TV. Happily, though, connecting to my Steelseries MFi gamepad was no problem at all. Looks like I’m finally going to finish Oceanhorn.

I think that’ll do it for now. Watch for our full Apple TV review soon. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of games to play.

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About The Author

is greatly looking forward to the day when he no longer cares about Apple, games, and gaming technology. But right now he does, and he loves to talk about them, just as he’s been doing on the web since 1998. He can otherwise be spotted as that one guy in Ohio wearing a Minnesota North Stars hockey sweater. Kirk has a wife and three kids, and is a generally happy fellow.

  • Ed

    Mine came this morning. I’m impressed.