Apple Officially Discontinues AirPort Routers →

April 27, 2018 · 13:28

Zac Hall received Apple’s official statement on the topic of their AirPort routers:

We’re discontinuing the Apple AirPort base station products. They will be available through Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last.

I’m surprised they chose to exit this market, especially since integrating mesh Wi-Fi into their existing products could be such a huge feature. I’d love for my HomePods and Apple TVs to extend the internet automatically in and around my house. This would additionaly be a great incite to actually buy more HomePods and would allow people to have less clutter in their houses.


The New YouTube App for Apple TV Is a Disaster

February 20, 2018 · 16:11

I have been using the new Apple TV YouTube app for these past few days and, to be frank… I absolutely hate it. YouTube, with one fell swoop, broke:

  • the ability to touch the edges of remote’s trackpad to skip 15 seconds in either direction;
  • the sounds which accompany navigating the UI via the trackpad;
  • the possibility to scroll the timeline in a very precise fashion, with visible thumbnails;
  • the ability to touch the trackpad to bring up the timeline.

This app is so badly designed and breaks the tvOS UX paradigm to such an extent, that I will not use it until it is fixed. Everything about it is so tragically bad — it’s basically a copy of their web player — that I’m utterly surprised Apple review let it through. At this point, I would prefer to not have the app at all than to imagine people using (and getting used to) this garbage.


Jason Snell Ears On with the HomePod →

June 6, 2017 · 15:42

Jason Snell:

In general, I found the HomePod to sound quite good, with a powerful bass and great clarity in the treble. However, in a few cases—Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” was the one that really struck me—I felt that the Sonos Play:3 more accurately reproduced the feel of the track, while the (extremely early, pre-release version of the) HomePod’s clever audio processing technology spread the bass and vocals out so much that it didn’t sound right anymore.

Of course, with the HomePod half a year away from shipping, there’s probably a lot of software tweaking yet to be done in terms of audio processing.

This sounds very promising! I’m definitely looking to get at least one. The HomePod is missing one feature that I would love to see — the ability to use two, three or five of them, to set up a 2.0, 3.0 or 5.0 surround sound system for my Apple TV. I realise that this wouldn’t be cheap, but… no wires!


Apple Hires Amazon’s Fire TV Head to Run Apple TV Business →

February 8, 2017 · 10:34

Mark Gurman:

Apple Inc. has hired Timothy D. Twerdahl, the former head of Amazon.com Inc.’s Fire TV unit, as a vice president in charge of Apple TV product marketing and shifted the executive who previously held the job to a spot negotiating media content deals.

The moves suggest a renewed focus on the Apple TV and on providing more content for the device, an effort that has been stalled in the past by failed negotiations.

I use my Apple TV 4 every single day. It has potential, which is currently wasted by inadequate software, bugs, and missing apps. I truly hope this means that Apple is taking strides to make this the best platform possible.


Walt Mossberg Talks About the Night Steve Jobs Called Him About Apple TV →

September 1, 2016 · 08:18

Peter Kafka:

Jobs himself publicly downplayed Apple’s public TV efforts as a “hobby”; in 2010, Jobs told Mossberg and Kara Swisher that Apple couldn’t really get into TV because there was no “viable go-to-market strategy.” The same year, he reportedly said the same thing internally, adding that “TV is a terrible business. They don’t turn over and the margins suck.”

But in 2011, Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson famously wrote that Jobs was working on TVs late in his life, and that he thought he had “cracked it.”

I’ve worked with Walt Mossberg for many years, but I’d never heard him talk about his TV conversation with Jobs before. Then last week, Mossberg wrote a Facebook post referring to a “secret project [Jobs] planned to continue to run” after he left his CEO job.

I called him this week to get the full story. Here it is…


Why Amazon Prime Video Isn’t on the Apple TV →

June 1, 2016 · 08:45

Dieter Bohn:

Bezos argues that for video players, he only wants Amazon to sell devices that support Prime Video. And while “you can always get the video player on the device,” you can’t always get them on “acceptable business terms.” When our own Nilay Patel pressed Bezos and asked whether those terms involved Apple’s famous 30 percent cut on all purchases, Bezos said that “private business discussions should stay private.”

I would probably use Amazon Prime Video if I could get it on my Apple TV. But I can’t. So I won’t (both pay and watch). I hope those are acceptable business terms for Bezos.


Apple’s First Foray Into Original TV Is a Series About Apps →

March 25, 2016 · 08:48

Emily Steel:

Apple announced on Thursday that it was working with the entertainer Will.i.am and two veteran TV executives, Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, on a new show that will spotlight the app economy.

Whenever I see Will.i.am next to a technological topic, I cringe.

Mr. Cue said that the new series did not signal a broader ambition by the company to greatly bolster its presence in original productions and streaming video. Last year, Apple was rumored to be exploring options for original programing and held talks with a number of big TV companies about offering a streaming television service.

“This doesn’t mean that we are going into a huge amount of movie production or TV production or anything like that,” Mr. Cue said. He added that the company would continue to explore exclusive projects similar to the series about apps or its push into music programming.

Still, I wonder if Apple (or the people in charge of the project) will contact “normal” developers to get their stories, instead of celebrities.


Screening Room — New Movies Straight to Your Living Room →

March 12, 2016 · 15:39

Chris Welch:

Screening Room plans to charge $150 for access to a tightly-secured set-top box that would let people skip theater lines and watch brand new films in their own living room. On top of the equipment cost, viewers would have to pay $50 per screening, and they’d get only 48 hours to watch the movie after laying down that money. Theaters and movie exhibitors are expected to receive a decent chunk of profits to offset complaints that Screening Room could potentially throw a wrench into their profits.

I’m fine with the price, but I’m pretty sure the technology will be atrocious. I wish they could just get their act together, and put the movies in iTunes.

Make it easy, and people will pay; make it hard and people will go out of their way to make it easier, pirating along the way, not caring about the fact that they are doing so.


tvOS 9.2 beta 3 — What’s New?

February 9, 2016 · 13:27

If the OS X, iOS and watchOS betas weren’t enough, Apple also released a third beta of tvOS 9.2 yesterday. Since I’m using my Apple TV 4 in Poland, it’s much more limited in its functions that the units being used in USA. This is slightly frustrating, especially since Siri just started working a few weeks ago for the first time, but is still extremely limited in what she can do. Despite this, I love watching tvOS evolve, and since I use my Apple TV every day, I hope it gets better quickly.

Continue reading →


Peter Kafka on Why Apple Walked Away From TV →

December 10, 2015 · 09:40

Peter Kafka:

Industry executives say Apple has spent much of 2015 pushing for a “skinny” bundle of TV channels — limited to perhaps a dozen core networks — delivered over the Web, which would retail for no more than $30.
So while the price of the individual channels that Apple wants to package has been an issue, it’s the composition of the package itself — which channels go in, and which don’t make the cut — that is just as important to both Apple and the programmers, according to sources.

If Apple gets its way, it means the traditional pay TV package, which averages around 100 channels, will get shrunk by nearly 80 percent. And while TV executives will say that they understand that consumers don’t want to pay for channels they don’t watch, all of them will argue that their channels are must-haves.

Emphasis mine, which ultimately highlights the problem.

My wife and I have been cable/satellite free for over three years now, relying only on our Apple TV and PS4 to watch movies or TV shows. Basically what we want is either individual apps for the channels we are willing to watch1 or a subscription for a package, but it was to be worthwhile and not bunch of crap we won’t ever turn on.

  1. We’ll pay for them individually if need be.

Apple TV Subscription Service Put on Hold →

December 9, 2015 · 08:49

Matt Weinberger:

Moonves said that Apple and CBS were close to settling on a price point of between $30 and $40 per month for these bundles — Moonves specifically mentioned the price point of $35 multiple times — before Apple decided to pause and reconsider.

I’m really hoping this is something which will be worth it, available worldwide, and that Apple holding off today will allow them to create a superior product in the future.


Twitter Is Trying to Solve the Apple TV Login Problem →

December 3, 2015 · 08:25

Sean O’Kane:

With Digits, developers can get rid of the need to type out email addresses and passwords when logging into tvOS apps. In place of all that hunting and pecking, Digits-powered apps will give users a unique code and prompt them to enter it at digits.com/appletv on their phone or computer. It’s essentially the same idea that Facebook proposed last week when it announced its own SDK for tvOS, and while it’s still a bit wonky, it will definitely save users some time — especially those with long email addresses and passwords.

The Apple TV should realistically just show a pop up on the user’s iPhone, and ask for permission use his/her login data from there. Whatever Apple should or can do, they could do better than what’s currently implemented.


Five New Apple TV Ads

November 18, 2015 · 17:19

Apple debuted five new Apple TV ads yesterday, showcasing various features of the new platform. The obvious one is video, which is represented by Netflix and HBO Now—neither of which is still available in Poland, which pisses me off to no end. The second, potentially very important, feature are games, with the heroes being Crossy Road, Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition: Star Wars and Asphalt 8.

I am writing these words sitting in a cafe and one of them made me laugh out loud, to the consternation of the people around me—guess which one.

Watch the ads →