First look: SteelSeries Nimbus wireless controller brings multiplayer gaming …

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alto’s Adventure is coming to Apple TV.

Yesterday I came to grips with the new touchpad remote and chatting to Siri, but for many people the most exciting thing about the fourth-generation Apple TV is the appearance of the App Store. Apple’s loyal army of software developers is joining the tech giant in its bid to conquer the living room with a new version of Apple TV, creating apps for the big screen that they hope will attract users and unlock a rich source of revenue. The snowboarding game will be making its debut on Apple’s set-top box soon after the device starts shipping, and will feature support for both the included Siri remote and third-party controllers. (The iOS version, meanwhile, has also been updated with controller support.) It’ll be a universal app, so that you’ll only need to buy it once on either iOS or Apple TV, and will include support for iCloud saves, so you can share progress with the iPhone and iPad versions of the game. But while you can use Siri to search Apple Music on your iPhone, that feature won’t be supported on the Apple TV until “the beginning of next year,” Apple told BuzzFeed News.

Alto’s Adventure first launched on iOS in February, and went on to become one of the best titles on the platform in quite some time — a much-anticipated Android version is also in the works. Siri’s universal search is being lauded by early reviewers as the new Apple TV’s best feature, letting you find content across multiple services without having to remember which one has what, or inadvertently paying to buy or rent content you could stream for free with a subscription. And developers say they relish the opportunity to reach users in a more intimate setting. “It’s a phenomenal opportunity to fit into people’s lives when they are comfortably sitting on their sofa,” said Madefire CEO Ben Wolstenholme, whose app features vivid digital books.

An API will let developers add universal search to their own apps, so presumably other music streaming services could jump on board, like Pandora and Rdio, which both have apps for other set-top boxes such as the Roku and Fire TV. Most of them are flotsam and jetsam at this point but it shouldn’t take developers long to get onboard now that they no longer need to jump through so many hoops.

The story behind the story: When Tim Cook told BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski that Apple would open the universal search API, he said, “It should be very simple.” But as of yet we don’t have a solid idea of how simple developers will find it—in other words, how long users like us will have to wait for more apps to support universal search. Yet the TV, which starts at $149, has some advantages over other devices: People are accustomed to spending money on entertainment, and they will be engaged for longer, said Danielle Levitas, a senior vice president at research firm App Annie. The fact that Apple Music, which presumably had a head-start, will need another couple months at the least might mean that “simple” is a bit of a stretch. For now Apple TV owners have a few apps to choose from – mostly streaming services and games but also a handful of “experience” apps like Airbnb for browsing rentals, Kitchen Stories for cooking tips, Craftsy for tutorials and Zova for exercise – alluding to the Apple TV’s potential as a Wii-style family device. It will be interesting to see whether, like iOS, some apps are only available in the US – a quick look at the US store already reveals games which aren’t available in Australia.

With the freedom to install apps Apple also grants you the ability to reorganise the apps the home screen, plus you can double-click the home button to call up an iOS-style app switcher. You can still take a big swing at the ball and there’s an optional wrist strap, which could be a wise investment if you’re not in the market for a new television. Tilting the remote to steer works well, although it’s surprising that Apple hasn’t forced every game to use the remote the same way so sometimes you’ll need to turn it around in your hands as you switch games. This won’t bother everyone, but it’s another frustration compared to other consoles which generally make it easy for everyone in the house to track their progress and play at their own speed.

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