Apple had one of their many yearly events today and announced a slew of updated products, one of which will most likely have a serious impact on TV and console manufacturers alike: the new Apple TV with an App Store. This may not seem very significant, and in fact it’s been rumoured for some time that the Apple TV would get an app store at some point, but it does change the playing field for a lot of the big players out there. Here are 5 reasons why.
The Apple TV is a small box that sits next to your TV and connects directly to it in HD resolution. With it you can seamlessly enlarge a video you were watching on your iPhone or iPad to play on the big screen. You will also be able to go listen to music, of course watch movies, and now a slew of other things thanks to the new Apps capability. The killer feature? Price. This thing starts at $149! Even if you just use it to play Netflix, show some YouTube videos at your home party, or play some casual games Wii-style with your friends, this thing is a steal.
For the last few years, the big console brands have tried to do this, but only Apple has the power to do it right. The operating system that the Apple TV will use is very similar to the one in your handheld, meaning all those developers that made the millions of apps you have on your iOS device can also relatively easily make apps for the big screen. They can even choose to make them “universal”, meaning you could in the future get Plants vs Zombies on your iPhone but also play it on your TV. As we’ve seen with all the touch devices out there, the possibilities for what the developers will come up with are almost endless. This gives Apple an edge over all console competition.
3: Casual gaming
While some of us, myself included, do partake in the joy of playing high-def big production console titles, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, as more and more people get into gaming, traditional PC and console gaming are lagging behind. Instead mobile gaming has picked up a lot of pace, and with these games being simple but incredibly engaging it’s easy to see how that same formula could work for your TV as well. Again, Apple has the upper hand here compared to other console manufacturers as they have a large third-party developer following that will usher into this new golden era of making apps.
As much as we love to hate voice input (Siri, Cordona, etc) it’s hard to not see what’s coming: a world where we don’t actually have to use anything but our voices to use technology around you. In a casual setting like in the TV couch this is especially true. Just the fact that you can quickly look up things on the Internet as you’re watching something is a major win. Which movie did this actor play in before? What’s the temperature like outside? Easy and seamless.
In fact, voice input in your living room becomes increasingly powerful if used by third-party apps. This could mean that you could literally host your own trivia gameshow from the comfort of your own home.
5: Anything is a controller!
One of the coolest things about the new Apple TV is actually something you can’t see. It’s the bluetooth connectivity built right in. This means that the Apple TV can communicate wirelessly with devices around it. Say an iPhone. Or an iPod Touch. Or an iPad.
This means every iOS device you have is now a game controller and a remote. Everyone with an iPhone in their pocket will be able to join the game.
Learn more: Apple TV – Apple
This article originally appeared on We X This.