Apple TV review: If the future of television is apps, sign me up

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple iPhone 6s Plus review: Mr Dependable.

The Apple iPhone 6s Plus (128GB) is clearly the most expensive smartphone in the Indian market if you take Vertu and other such luxury brands out of the picture.So here’s a wild one: Apple is experimenting with giving people $50 discounts on Apple Watches if they buy one at the same time as a new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus.

The Galaxy on Fire series has kept iOS space shooter fans entertained over the years, but for the Apple TV release, Fishlabs decided to do something different.Apple this week started selling its new streaming video box, another piece of hardware that connects to your TV set with the sometimes-undelivered promise of making cable unnecessary. Friends looked sympathetic, employers impatient, their IT staff grimly predicting your forced switch to the Windows nemesis, an inevitability as sure as a wet Glasgow summer.

They’re only running the promo in a handful of stores in California (Burlingame, Chestnut Street, Corte Madera, Hillsdale, SF, Stonestown) and Massachusetts (Boylston Street, Burlington, Cambridge Side, Chestnut Hill) — not online. Apple’s newest set-top box arrived in stores—and on the doorsteps of those who preordered—on Friday, and once you rip open the box, setup is pretty simple, although far from painless.

Executives at the Cupertino tech giant have said that tvOS, the new operating system for Apple TV, is “95 percent” of the same core framework as iOS, so that apps being built for the different platforms will stay in sync across different devices as they’re updated. There is a reasonably large market for expensive phones, driven by people who want a top-end device for its performance, dependability or just flaunt value. And while games of this sort can be complex on consoles, Manticore Rising is designed around the Siri Remote with an auto-firing ship, which means you get a reasonably full-fledged experience without needing a gamepad.

It’s an interesting direction for Apple, which for years insisted calling the apps on its TV box “channels.” All of the standard video streaming apps are there on the new Apple TV, such as iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, and HBO. But the more interesting Apple TV apps might just be the ones you don’t expect — the casual games, the commerce apps, even interactive weather apps. Booking an Airbnb almost always involves sending links to other people so they can check out the options you’re considering (unless you’re traveling solo). But it didn’t work for me at the office—the network I’m using has WPA2 Enterprise security, which requires me to log in with a username and a password, not just a password. The app offers an easy login, using an activation code on the web rather than entering in your credentials using the remote, and shows big, gorgeous photos of vacation rentals.

Entering usernames and passwords with a remote is a pain in the butt, so you might be tempted to grab a Bluetooth keyboard, or launch the Remote app on your iOS device, to input this text like a gentlemen. And, this is one of those apps where Siri isn’t especially useful: I searched for “Vancouver” using Siri while in the Airbnb app and was told that was beyond her capabilities right now. The idea of watching live, first-person POV videos on Apple TV will sound either incredibly mundane or very exciting, depending on how you feel about Periscope (or about vertical video on a large screen). I am moving to the iPhone after a series of Android phones that touted great cameras — the OnePlus 2, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and Samsung Galaxy Note 5. An information overlay pops up from the bottom of the screen showing the exact location and details on the listing, as well as its listed price and estimated mortgage.

If you’re looking for signs of a bubble, you can even scroll down with your Apple TV remote and take a look at the 10-year “Zestimate” of real estate prices in Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, you can’t buy stuff through the Zillow app, but were you really going to buy that $9.6 million dollar home with a $36,000 per month mortgage payment, anyway? (And would Apple still take its 30 percent revenue cut?) If Zillow is about real estate porn, Houzz serves the same purpose for interior design and renovations.

But you’re not just driving one car; the game layers each of your drives on top of one another, so that the second car you’re driving is fighting for the road against the first car you drove, and so on. What I like best is the fact that pictures look natural in the end and not over-saturated and over-processed as it ends up being on many Android phones. Storehouse launched as a notably beautiful iOS app for creating visual narratives, complete with social network features that made it feel like a mobile-only version of Medium.

To search with Siri, all you have to do is hold down the microphone button on the Siri Remote.) So to really get started, you’ll want to grab some apps. From there you’ll see the current temperature, chances of precipitation, UV index, humidity, and visibility, along with a short-term weather reading, an hourly forecast and a daily glance, all by swiping on the touchpad remote. If you already have a subscription you purchased within that service’s iOS app (which you shouldn’t do anyway, since you’re likely paying more than if you had just subscribed in a web browser), you can click Restore Purchases and you won’t have to sign in. And luckily, when it’s time to enter your email address, there’s a Recent list with shortcuts to the email addresses/logins you’ve already entered—that’s really handy.

The Yummly app shows various cuisines, courses, and dishes on the left-hand side of the app screen, with perfectly staged food photographs in a grid on the right. Oddly, though, the app’s right-side menu was cut off on my TV screen, and so far I haven’t found a way to view a full recipe — just the list of ingredients. If you put apps in the top row of icons, the marquee row along the top will show you a preview of content inside those apps. (In the old generations of Apple TV, that top row was off limits.) For example, I put Netflix up there and saw popular Netflix items like Orange Is the New Black and Family Guy.

You might want to take a quick tour through the Settings app, especially if you want to enable Restrictions, say, to disallow purchases or rentals from iTunes, or in-app purchases, or Explicit music or podcasts, or R-rated movies and M-rated TV shows. There is one aspect of Android that I love and have not really been able to experience on the iOS device, at least not natively, and that is Google Now. I think it is time Apple plugged this gap, especially since Apple maps is reasonably good and there are other data sources it can tap into for accurate data. Let me tell you this is the most relaxed I have felt with a a phone in a long time, primarily because I am not glancing at the battery icon every 10 minutes to see how long I have to go and I am not entering a new place with a recee of the power point. It also has one of the best cameras in the business and, of course, an overall experience that showcases the power of its processor and robustness of the platform.

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