We’ve had our crafty mitts on 4th Gen Apple TV developer’s kit for almost two months, and we’re just about ready to participate in the #FutureOfTelevision when it comes to building stuff for it. The reviews are in, and we think it’s cool that Siri now lives on our flat screen and not just on in our pockets. It’s cool that we can use the remote control to play games. But, as the resident skeptic, I have to ask, “Future of TV? Really?”
1. For someone who has no interest whatsoever in gaming, I can’t really get too excited about the Apple TV games. In all fairness, I don’t see why a gamer would replace their console with Apple TV anyway. But I can totally see this be a cool party trick for Movie Night or something to kill time while you wait for your Uber to arrive.
2. Live TV isn’t obsolescing anytime soon. As long as we have elections, sports tournaments, New Years Eve countdowns, and awards show, you’re not going to kill off cable packages or replace live broadcasts. Unless Apple can figure out a way to coincide with linear broadcasting and live feeds, it ain’t gonna happen.
3. I’ve owned a smart TV for a few years now and an older model of Apple TV, so I’m already watching all my shows with apps. I don’t even know anyone else who doesn’t watch TV this way, except for my parents.
4. Hulu and Netflix don’t know each other, so how can they know me? What I mean is, they each have their own suggestions, search results, and recently watched shows and movies so without any way to talk to each other, I’m kind of on my own when it comes to curating an intuitive and personalized recommendation list or queue. Why can’t Siri pay attention and figure this out for me?
5. Other ways Siri has dropped the ball is not being able to search for apps in the App Store or input text through diction. Big time bummer.
What Siri can do is something that not even Google search has been able to crack since the beginning of time, and that is find me “Movies from the 1930s that are in color, not depressing, and have a strong female lead.”
If you’re like me, you probably asked what I did, which was: What am I gonna do with a zillion apps in my living room?
Well, almost anything. I know you can’t ask Siri to find you the best baby goat video on YouTube (that was probably the first thing I tried) but you can take a yoga class, you can learn how to sew, and you can cook a gourmet meal! But… can you not do all of that on a regular TV, computer, phone or tablet? What makes the Apple TV not just a giant iPad without a touch screen? After Googling this very question, people seemed to unanimously vote that the life-changing app was QVC. How is it that a home shopping channel is the most innovative app to download across the board? And who is even watching? I’ll tell you who: ME, but only during the holidays when I’m at my parents’ house watching satellite television at 4am and nothing else is on and I have insomnia from all the holiday drinking I’ve been doing while catching up with my high school friends. I think I almost bought a magenta cowl-neck Merino sweater once and, maybe, a blender.
I’m really excited to watch TV, and with a swipe and a click, purchase the thing I’m watching on the TV. THAT to me, is the future.
The only thing more interactive than buying blenders from Arnold on my TV is if I could walk through the screen and fall onto the stage of The Price Is Right.
Or if I somehow could be next to Tyra behind the panel on America’s Next Top Model.
The Verge had a quote that I feel best encompasses what the Apple TV has delivered:
[Apple TV] is very much the best version of television’s present. Apple has a lot more work to do before the future actually arrives.
“Teach me how to make truffle mac and cheese.”
“Let’s do a yoga class.”
“Most important episodes of Gossip Girl.”
“Show me gift ideas for my European and intimidating boss who might not believe in Holidays but I want to cover my bases anyway.”
The future might not be here, but the present is, and imagine what it can do for your DIY arts-and-crafts blog. I would sure as crap subscribe to a channel that was only building IKEA furniture. Dog trainers can have in-home house calls with clients who can’t afford to have personal attention or a flexible schedule. Makeup mavens and YouTube tutorial stars can have links to purchase their favorite products in their videos. I can finally master contouring.
You could learn a new language. You could be a judge on The Voice. You could be the Weakest Link or The Bachelorette. Maybe I’m getting carried away. But for anyone who creates content or likes to digest it, the Apple TV is a super neat new platform to explore, and it happens to be the best box out there right now, even though it is still around the corner of what I would call #TheFutureOfTV, or at least the future of “Netflix and Chill” (Doesn’t seem that hard to link your Tinder profile to your Netflix queue). Also, is anyone else concerned about “Drinking and QVCing?”