Hands-On With the New Apple TV: A Closer Look at the Hardware and tvOS

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon removes all Apple TV, Chromecast listings from its website.

These tech giants are every bit as phenomenal as the fabled University of Michigan basketball team from the early 1990s. (I miss the baggy, yellow shorts and black socks!) If Amazon passes GE, it will become the sixth most valuable company. Apple opened up preorders for the fourth-generation Apple TV on Monday, but didn’t say when the 32GB and 64GB models would be available to buy in-store.LOS ANGELES: Amazon has followed through on its plans to go nuclear on its competitors: The company removed all listings of Apple’s Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter from its website.That’s the consensus among reviewers this week as the newly upgraded set-top box — seen by Wall Street analysts as a big bet on the living room — prepares to hit stores Friday. It’s unclear why the company didn’t announce a date, given that they probably want to sell a lot of products, but now it’s official: New Apple TVs are on Apple Store shelves starting right now.

The new Apple TV is unlike Apple’s earlier generations of the device, which simply offered access to apps like Netflix, HBO and Hulu as well as your own iTunes library of content. The Apple TV has the potential to be a lot more than a set-top box: Its new tvOS operating system, like that of the iPhone’s iOS, will serve as a platform for hundreds of apps.

The company confirmed the decision to stop selling both devices when contacted by Variety, sending a statement that read in part: “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.” Blaming missing support for Amazon video on Google and Apple is somewhat misleading: Chromecast has long had an open SDK, allowing any publisher to add casting to their mobile apps. Online ordering and in-store pickup wasn’t yet available on Best Buy’s website, and Target was estimating Apple TV delivery dates 2–4 weeks out and no in-store availability in the New York area. A bigger selling point for many is the slick new remote control, which Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook hailed as “revolutionary.” It does a pretty good job acting on Siri voice commands like “Show ’80s romantic comedies,” writes Geoffrey Fowler of the Wall Street Journal. For example, the new remote comes with a touchpad for sliding control over skipping back or ahead, and has its own accelerometer and gyroscope for motion controls on games.

It’s much more likely that the real reason for the removal has to do with backroom business: Amazon has long feuded with Google over Android and Google’s app store rules, and the e-commerce giant may balk at Apple’s revenue sharing demands. Nevertheless, users will frequently still have to use this fancy remote to hunt and peck, one letter at a time, through an on-screen keyboard to find movies. “It’s excruciating,” gripes Yahoo’s David Pogue, blasting an “absurdly designed layout” for the on-screen keyboard that puts all 26 letters of the alphabet on a single line.

It’s possible – especially if oil prices don’t improve soon and Buffett’s investment portfolio – loaded with market dogs like IBM, American Express, Procter & Gamble, and Walmart – continues to lag the broader market. Elsewhere, some reviewers were disappointed that the Siri commands only worked with a few key apps, and that its handy search capabilities aren’t available for YouTube or broadcast channels like NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS. That’s particularly unfortunate, according to Yahoo’s Pogue, as Amazon’s video service “is looking like it’s going to be the new Netflix, now that Netflix is de-emphasizing movie acquisition.” Deal.) Still, there is no denying that Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook are among the five most important companies for many businesses and consumers.

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