How to Use 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

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. 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.Apple’s new set-top box, the Apple TV, arrives in stores today, with big expectations for what it can do to simplify the complicated world of streaming video. 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.

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. Not just for die-hard Apple fanatics or house-proud design nuts who buy their tech specifically to match their minimalist “brushed chrome” scheme, the fourth-generation console finally looks like a serious contender for Amazon Fire’s throne, thanks to revamped hardware, more streaming services and a new, easier-to-navigate touchpad remote.

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. Apple is hawking the new device with the tagline: “the future of television is apps.” Whether Apple can revolutionize “television” — meaning the entertainment industry — is still up for debate. This means viewers will be able to find their favourite shows via a universal search function that will pull up where they can watch a series or film on everything from Netflix and NowTV to HBO Now. 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. But unlike other competitors, and this is where Apple really trumps the Amazon Fire TV 4K, Siri will also respond to more complicated demands, such as “bring up all action films from the 1970s” or simply “Siri.

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). Yes, the first 20 times of exclaiming “Siri, fire up Downton Abbey” to an empty room will feel strange, but perhaps we’ll soon cringe thinking of our predecessors tapping on clunky remotes in the same way we do when watching Richard Gere answer his gigantic Eighties cell phone in Pretty Woman or the naff email system Tom Hanks uses in You’ve Got Mail.

Well, the upgrade to the quality of window-shopping alone, by way of apps such as Gilt or even Zillow, explains why Apple and its partners thinks this is a good idea. 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. As well as the usual gaming suspects, Apple TV features a host of new titles are set to be included such as Manticore Rising, Rayman Adventures, Shadowmatic, Transistor and Guitar Hero Live. Yet the clever, lightly animated app from digital comics company Madefire has me excited about the future possibilities for television-sized graphic novels or kids’ books down the line. The remote also includes a wrist strap and a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope so that you can use it as a game controller in a similar style to the Wii.

It will also be interesting to see how gaming evolves on the TV, as developers play around more with the capabilities of the new remote, which has a touchpad, gyroscope and accelerometer. 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). The TV can pair with a more serious game controller, but it seems like Apple’s niche, at least for now, will be for more casual games that work with the iPhone. 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.

That sounds like a boring perk, but it’s so much simpler for users to know that the way the remote works for iTunes is the way it works across every other app. 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. 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. For example, you can look up videos from certain apps by cast member, so asking for “that Friends episode with Brad Pitt” pulls up the right episode immediately.

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. Even at its starting price tag of $150, it may be a bit too much for those who aren’t that plugged into the Apple ecosystem, especially when rival devices such as Google’s Chromecast ($35) and Amazon’s Fire TV box ($100) and stick ($40) are easier on the wallet.

But the latest version of the TV does show that this product has officially graduated from the “hobby” designation it held within Apple for many years — and lays out an exciting vision for the largest screen in your home. 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.

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