I have been eagerly awaiting the Apple TV refresh for a long time and received my 64GB Apple TV 4 on launch day. I thought I would provide my thoughts in case you were looking to buy one.
The box itself looks almost exactly the same as the older units, just that it is noticeably taller than it’s predecessors, almost twice as tall. They also removed the optical audio port. Everything else is the same.
One thing that changed is the remote. The new remote has a touch pad area where you can swipe and click through menus. There is also a home and menu button. The home button brings you to the home screen from anywhere in the interface The menu button goes back one selection. There is also a play/pause button and also volume controls. The most important button is Siri. There is a microphone in the remote that allows you to use Siri.
I like how you can use Siri to turn on captioning, rewind shows and also show sports scores and weather. I am still trying to find more ways to use Siri. For some reason, searching for movies or shows is not perfect. Sometimes Siri will not find a show or movie even though it exists or it will only show it available on iTunes when it is, in fact, available on Netflix or other apps.
I like the new interface and it is easy to navigate. I know that there are not a lot of apps right now, but I do feel that it is not easy to locate apps. Right now, you can look for items you purchased, featured apps and you can search. I hope they will make some changes to help find more apps easier and also add more apps.
The quality of the images and video are great and the flyover screensavers are awesome. The flyovers include cities such as NYC, San Fransisco and The Great Wall of China, to name a few. The flyover videos are 200MB each!
It was fun to play Crossy Road with my kids in two player mode. We were able to use both our iPad an iPhone as a controller, as well as the Apple remote. We also played Asphalt 8 where you hold the remote side ways to to tear and control the car.
One thing to note is that the Remote app for iOS does not work for the new Apple TV. I hear that Apple should be updating it soon. This makes text entry tough. Letters and other text are presented in a linear fashion. You can swipe side to side to select letters. There is a short cut that you can use for caps and delete; you just need to click and hold the track pad. I was told the the older remotes also work with the newer Apple TV.
I also really like that I was able to pair my bluetooth headset so that I could actually listen to a show when my kids were running around screaming. The Apple TV will switch to the headset when you turn it on and back to the TV when it is off. You can also use the Apple remote to control the power and volume of the TV or surround sound, which is great.
Is it worth the $199 that I paid for it? Yes and no. I love the hardware updates that make the unit faster with Airplay and navigation. I also like the new TV OS. If I did not sell my older Apple TV and Roku, I probably would have settled for the $149 32GB version. If you are only going to stream TV and download a couple of apps, you should be fine. If you plan on downloading a lot of content and video, you may want to get the 64GB version.