A friend bought me a new Apple TV for Christmas this year. I was perfectly happy with my old Apple TV box (the previous generation), so I wouldn’t have gone out and bought myself a new one. But it’s a cool new toy, so I’ve been playing around with it. (My friend also bought me a Nimbus game controller, which is kind of nifty, but I haven’t done anything with it yet.)
My main use for the Apple TV has always been to watch iTunes content, specifically Doctor Who. I don’t get BBC America, so I buy Doctor Who from iTunes and watch it through the Apple TV box, usually. For that simple use case, the new Apple TV might actually be a little less convenient than the old one. I’ve found the interface for browsing through purchased content is usable, but slightly less convenient than the old interface.
The new remote is interesting, but so far I don’t find the touch surface to be any more useful than just having buttons like on the old remote. The Siri functionality works well, though I feel weird talking to my remote, and I’m not sure how often I’ll use it. And I’m also not sure how I feel about having a rechargeable battery in it; it’s a nice idea, and maybe necessary to support the touch surface, but I’m wondering how often I’m going to have to recharge it. (And I’m wondering how long before it wears out, since it doesn’t appear to be user-replaceable.) With the old remote, I just had to stick a new watch battery in it once every couple of years.
The app store is a good thing, and I hope to see some interesting apps show up there, but so far, there’s not much I’m interested in, aside from stuff that was already available on the old Apple TV. The Netflix app is fine, and there are apps for the usual networks, like PBS, Disney, Comedy Central, and so on. I did use the Disney XD app yesterday to binge on a bunch of Gravity Falls episodes, and it worked well.
I haven’t tried playing any games on it yet, but I’ll get around to that eventually. I hear that Alto’s Adventure is pretty good, so maybe I’ll pick that up.