The new Apple TV could solve the biggest frustration of watching television at …

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alto’s Adventure is coming to Apple TV.

On Thursday 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.Consumers for years have had to wrestle with a bewildering array of set-up boxes, cords and television ports to get all of the online shows that they want to watch on the biggest screens in their homes.

BOSTON, Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Strategy Analytics’ just published iOS apps forecast predicts the Apple iOS App Store will reach nearly $30bn in revenue by 2021. It’s still early days, but access to more apps has the potential to overcome many of the limitations of the old Apple TV3 as well as bringing casual gaming to the big screen. No single TV device, for instance, easily plays content from Amazon Online Video and iTunes — the video offerings from Amazon and Apple which happen to be vying with each other for dominance in the living room.

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. 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. Storehouse recognizes this need, and the visual storytelling app service has taken on the challenge by building an app for the next-generation Apple TV device. Last time we heard from Storehouse they were launching major updates for their app that ditched the social networking functionality and replaced them with tool to help you better share with your close friends and family.

Well now they’re introducing an Apple TV app that helps you and your friends share what’s going on in your life with everyone gathered around the 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 hockey puck-sized box offers some cool new features that can be used now — you can search for shows through the voice assistant Siri and a new remote lets you navigate by touch and play games. Tomorrow global content owners Netflix, Hulu, Disney, YouTube, Spotify and others will experience exponential revenue growth fueled by in-app subscription sign-ups.

Storehouse, a company we voted our favorite mobile app at the Crunchies in 2015, is taking a crack at the tired TV slideshow, but in the process seems to have created something so cool that it makes the concept exciting again. “Users don’t really want their whole iCloud libraries being shown on the TV,” Storehouse CEO Mark Kjawano told me. This can be because of photo duplicates, screenshots and mundane images like photos of receipts that end up destroying the photo slideshow experience.

The developers of popular media players VLC and Plex have committed to bringing their apps to the new Apple TV, which will certainly make it more useful for people who like to stream content around their home. Netflix recently allowed in-app sign-up for its service and quickly climbed the ranks of the highest grossing entertainment apps in more than 20 countries. What Kawano and his team wanted to do was give everyone access to the TV feed and let them showcase their favorite pictures on the screen at a moment’s notice. This fits in with the recent attitude shift within Storehouse, as the company has opted to abandon public sharing and discovery in favor of more private moments.

Apple TV’s watch-by-apps approach has another benefit — it can be the device that finally pulls together all of those subscriptions, watchlists and movies you’ve randomly downloaded all across the Web. Apple’s continued position as a premium brand, App Store popularity and embedded technology easing in-app payment will contribute to increased sign-ups for subscription services on the iOS platform. Kawano highlighted the value of organizing and sharing photo albums from the app – as when husbands and wives might throw photos from a trip up on the Apple TV to organize them before sending them to their in-laws. 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. While the iOS app includes photos, videos and text to tell stories, the app for tvOS just focuses on the visual multimedia. “We decided that [text] just wasn’t the right thing for the living room,” Kawano said.

Both Apple and Google have pretty clear policies stating that any developer who submits an app that passes store standards can be made available for their devices. Other revenue streams remain strong – in-app purchase will still drive billions in revenue each year throughout our forecast – but the growth of subscription and consolidation among key players is a key trend that will drive future growth for the App Store, Apple, and content owners.” About Strategy Analytics Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides the competitive edge with advisory services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for emerging technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive electronics companies.

Apple TV apps look like they’re offering developers really interesting opportunities to play with how people view content on such a large screen, Storehouse has a beautiful iOS app and it appears that their TV app is striving to reach the same visual aesthetic while offering users some new utility. From a design perspective, Kawano’s team needed to take into account several considerations: photos had to fill the height of the TV screen, for example, and users needed to be able to scroll easily.

But Kawano defended his company by saying that the app is “about collecting and viewing [memories].” Users can log into Storehouse for Apple TV using the same login they use for all the other Storehouse apps. But truth be told, iTunes’ selling point has never really been about exclusive content but rather convenience for customers who own its phones, tablets and other devices.

Ultimately, if the two companies do not get along, there will be a lot of customers who will be forced to split their libraries or pick one content hub over the other. As entertainment becomes a bigger part of all of these companies’ businesses, it’s possible that consumers will just have to keep dealing with the consequences of corporate clashes in their own living rooms. 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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