The first 10 Apple TV games you should play

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple TV 2015 edition – review roundup.

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 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.Apple TV was a “hobby” for the company for a long time, but after selling more than 25m units, Apple is getting serious about its set-top box in 2015.

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. 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. 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.

But is the hype – “the future of TV is apps” – correct, or will Apple TV struggle against cheaper rivals like Amazon’s Fire TV and Google’s Chromecast? 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. Chen of The New York Times seemed especially surprised by how much he liked it–many of them noted that Apple faces some stiff competition in this market.

Although developers have already been able to make apps for smart TV rivals, Apple’s vast base of developers will set the device apart, analysts say. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

Amazon’s approach with the Fire TV Stick was to boil the contents of the regular Fire TV down into a small USB-powered HDMI stick, like the Chromecast, that you can plug directly into your TV and power via USB. 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. It’s hard for me to imagine Apple releasing a brand-new TV device that would struggle to play higher-end games, but the current $69 model doesn’t run any apps at all, so it would still be a step up. Beyond running apps, such a product would also have another major feature: It would be a small, unobtrusive device to bring AirPlay support to any TV set. It lets you play plenty of games, but titles originally designed for phones and tablets aren’t necessarily as appealing on a big screen, and most work best with a third-party game controller.

And then consider that those apps could also be used to transform TVs throughout an office into status boards (at IDG I velcroed iPads to the back of TV sets so we could run Panic’s Status Board app). It might also be nice to see an update or addition to the $99 AirPort Express that does what Google’s $35 Chromecast Audio does–supply audio via AirPlay to an external speaker or other output device. I’ve got a bunch of Bluetooth adapters that sort of do this, but I’ve found using them to be unreliable, and of course, they require that you stay relatively close for the connection to remain intact. I don’t know who to blame, Amazon or Apple or the streaming gods themselves…” “Apple points out that Apple TV runs a 1.0 operating system, called tvOS.

I find myself connecting my iPhone to speakers by the good ol’ headphone jack in most cases, which is dumb (and forces me to be next to the speaker to play anything, and give up the use of my iPhone if I’m not sitting right there). All of that is fine, but you have to wonder: Why is Apple still frantically squashing bugs three days before the product ships? (The answer is, no doubt, ‘Because we can’t miss the holiday season, no matter what.’)” “Limitations are everywhere. Only a small handful of apps work with Siri search right now – iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime – so finding something in, say, the ESPN or CBS apps isn’t possible. Tim Cook says a Siri search API is coming, but I get the feeling Apple wants Siri search to be a differentiator for the more premium services, so we’ll see how wide open that API is when it gets here. And once Siri drops you into a streaming app from that universal search, it’s a free-for-all – they all have different interfaces and recommendation engines, and none of them talk to each other.” “As good as Siri has become, it feels limited on this device.

By making the set-top box a part of its giant app and services ecosystem, the company is moving Apple TV into a future that’s much broader and bigger than Roku’s or Amazon’s.” “All the extra features have now put Apple TV in a position to become a powerful apps and games console, not just a box for streaming movies and TV shows. Even for those more basic elements, the device is better at streaming video content than less expensive products from Amazon, Roku and Google, all of which I tested over the last month. The comments section is open for your early thoughts on it – or, indeed, if you’ve been using one of the rival devices and have views to share on how Apple TV will compete with them.

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