Apple Updates Apple TV 4K; Introduces New Siri Remote

Originally published at: Apple Updates Apple TV 4K; Introduces New Siri Remote - TidBITS

After years of benign neglect, Apple has unveiled a second-generation Apple TV 4K with a beefier processor and enhanced video capabilities. More interesting, though, is the redesign of the Siri Remote.


Sounds like (!) spatial audio is still only for the tablets and phones.

I’ve seen this comment elsewhere, but am not clear how it could be implemented on an Apple TV?

I’ll preface this comment by saying that I have not owned an actual television set since 1999. I subscribe to Apple TV+ and stream it mostly on my iPad but sometimes on my 27-inch iMac if other people will be watching.

This line in the last paragraph — * with the Apple TV service being available on most popular TV platforms, no one needs to own one* — has me wondering: What is the use case for buying an Apple TV? If I were to buy a new television set and it had the Apple TV+ app built in, what additional advantages would having the Apple TV device bring? I have the feeling the answer is astoundingly obvious to everyone but me, but I just can’t see it.

"…the abomination that was the Siri Remote is now dead. (Apologies to the handful of you who liked the slippery little devil.)…

Oh yesss! I so much hated this abomination that I recently purchased the BUTTON REMOTE FOR APPLE TV manufactured by Function101 and paid 20 USD to have it shipped to Germany. Not everything designed by Jonathan Ive made sense in terms of everyday use.

  1. tvOS apps and services like Apple Arcade
  2. Better privacy. My Roku TV tries to phone home every second.
  3. Better audio and video quality than pretty much any streaming box on the market.

Granted, those aren’t going to be strong selling points for most users. The Apple TV box has always been an ecosystem play, and at this point, I think that’s all it will ever be.

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I think Chik means spatial audio in AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Maybe that’ll be a feature in tvOS 15.

It feels like a lot of recent Apple design changes have been undoing a lot of Ive’s post-Jobs ideas. Notice how quickly the MacBook keyboards got fixed after he left?

As an owner of a smart TV (a TCL brand set with a built-in Roku device), I can say that these built-in streaming platforms are pretty bad. They have pretty slow UIs and awkward user interfaces.

The streaming capabilities built-in to DVD/Blu-Ray players are even worse.

My AppleTV, on the other hand, is fast and responsive. Definitely the best streaming experience.

For me, this is worth the price, as long as Apple doesn’t kill it before it has outlived its usefulness (as they did with the AppleTV v3).

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We have a Roku TCL and generally prefer it over the Apple TV. We put the Apple TV to work in our TV room last summer when I was working on the Apple TV book update, and the family quickly grew tired of all the bugs and interface quirks. Unfortunately, I don’t think TCL integrates Roku anymore. Their recent models run Android, which is awful as a TV platform.

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No not obvious to everyone, I have also wondered about this.

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I hope this trend will swap over to the iPhone too: the on/off button being exactly opposite to the sound level buttons is a nightmare.

I also wonder why the iMac has to get ever thinner, as the just released one seems to be. Now we will have one more power supply brick on the floor instead of a single power cable going straigt into the iMac.

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In addition to what Josh said, one other use case is Fitness+, which can be streamed to AirPlay2 compatible TV sets and devices starting with iOS 14.5 next week, but it doesn’t have the stats that show on the screen nor the integration with the Apple Watch that comes with the Apple TV. That’s probably only a small number of potential users. But, I am one of them, maybe… (plus this would be going on a 10+ year-old TV anyway, and it’s still cheaper and maybe arguably better for the environment to buy a new Apple TV than a new TV.) For right now I am using F+ with my iPad on a stand on my bike and just leaning against my elliptical machine, but being on the TV would be better.

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Not to derail the conversation, but I prefer the power supply on the outside of the machine. Yes, it’s an extra brick, but you can tuck it away, and if it ever goes kaput, it’s much easier to replace.

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I’ve strongly suspected that the butterfly keyboard, along with the gold Hermès Watch band and his shift to focus on fashion rather than function, were big catalysts for Jony Ive’s departure:

Thanks for all the responses! Turns out you can learn a lot just by asking smart people. :slight_smile:

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My theory about Ive is that Apple was desperate to keep him around after losing Jobs. Ive was bored and maybe had a little too much leeway, and did some very silly things, but Apple was hesitant to rein him in because he was so key to the Apple brand. I’m not sure if Cook got fed up with him or he just got tired of doing Apple stuff, but I do think Apple is better off without him. That’s not to dismiss his many, many tremendous contributions to Apple and industrial design, but everything eventually runs its course.


I don’t have a 4k tv so won’t be upgrading. I’d like to know if the new remote will work with older Apple TVs. Does anyone know? I’m using the Function 101 remote which I like but there are a few things that don’t work with that remote so I then have to go to the Apple remote. If this new 1 works with older models I’d get it.

A mute button at last! I also prefer the direction buttons instead of a touch pad.
I mainly use ATV for playing content (music, video & photos) from a Mac via Homesharing, including Apple Store purchases. The ATV is unique for this.

Yes, it works with any Apple TV that runs tvOS. In fact they are now selling the older HD version with the new remote as well.