As of Macworld 2008, someone pressed the reset button on the Apple TV. While there’s some nice additions to the Apple home media player, is it good enough to be called Apple TV 2.0?
I recently opined prior to Macworld 2008 about what new shape Apple TV might take. After all, it’s less than stellar performance necessitated some kind of update. But the question is, did Apple go far enough with the Apple TV? Yoav of Codswallop didn’t think so:
“What would you expect from a TV device? TiVo-like functionality? Media Center capability? Storage? Apple TV has none of those things. Sad, but true.”
Yoav, makes some good points, there’s no doubt about that. These are the arguments I’ve heard people putting forward since the Apple TV first abortively broke cover back in February 2007.
Apple as a media business
One thing you have to consider though, is the mind of Steven P. Jobs. Here’s a man who doesn’t like complication or clutter.
Yes, competing devices have hard drives, DVR features, TV tuners and hard drives, among other things. But it’s as well to consider why Apple leave such things out.
First of all — and as I mentioned earlier — such feature inclusions would increase the general clutter and complicatedness of using the Apple TV. So it’s a question of usability more than anything else.
Secondly, the Apple TV is a vehicle for Apple’s own ambitions and media deals first. Everything else is a very distant second.
Think of the addition of YouTube video — might that be attributed to Apple having Eric Schmidt, Google CEO on their board of directors?
Thirdly, because of the “end-to-end” expectations of their customers, anything Apple squeeze into the Apple TV would probably need to work across a number of different devices, such as the home iMac, iPhone and iPod Touch. As is the case with their new movie rental service.
In time, I think we’ll see things like DVR functionality and storage, but they’ll probably be added to a new high-end Apple TV — maybe called Apple TV Pro, or something similarly prosaic and simple.
What do you think — are Apple on your wavelength, or is the Apple TV sending out the wrong signals?