Posts tagged with "apple tv"

Apple Debuts Five Short Apple TV Ads Featuring Apps and Games

Apple on Tuesday uploaded the first collection of adverts for the Apple TV since the device was released late last month. Each of the five adverts are short 15 second videos which give a quick introduction to some of the most high profile apps and games that launched with the Apple TV.

The five featured apps are Crossy Road, Asphalt 8, Disney Infinity, Netflix and HBO Now. You can view them all below the break or on Apple's YouTube account.

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Disney Infinity for Apple TV Offers Nimbus Controller Bundle

Sarah E. Needleman, reporting for The Wall Street Journal on Disney Infinity 3.0 for Apple TV:

The Apple TV version of Infinity 3.0 includes the pad and the usual figurines but also a wireless controller called Nimbus designed specifically for Apple’s device. It features buttons and analog control sticks that gamers are familiar with, as well as Apple’s Lightning connector. It’s made by SteelSeries, a 14-year-old company that specializes in gear for competitive gamers. The controller also works with games played on iPads and iPhones.

On its own, the Nimbus sells for roughly $50 in Apple’s retail stores. When bought as part of Infinity 3.0, it basically comes at a $15 discount. (The Apple TV version of Infinity 3.0 costs about $100; the console versions run for about $65.)

Obviously, Disney can afford to physically bundle the controller inside the game because it comes with figurines to collect and use. But if I were SteelSeries, I'd be seriously looking at more of these partnerships and discounts for high-profile games coming to tvOS – whether they have a physical counterpart or not.


Apple Announces Apple TV Tech Talks


The new Apple TV is here, bringing incredible and immersive apps and games to the big screen. Get in-depth technical information on building and designing for tvOS, learn refined coding techniques, and obtain valuable development instruction from Apple experts. Register by November 13, 10:00 a.m. PST for an opportunity to attend a Tech Talk in a city near you.

This year, Tech Talks will be focused on tvOS and will take place in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Japan, and Australia. Sessions will cover best practices on "designing apps for tvOS, implementing focus-driven user interfaces, integrating the Siri Remote and game controllers, leveraging TVML for media apps, and enabling On-Demand Resources", plus gaming and graphics, video streaming, and more.

Developers can register here.


How Apple TV Turned Me Into a Game Developer

Alexander Repty documents his experience in developing his first game, Cosmos — Infinite Space, which launched last week on iOS and the new Apple TV:

For several reasons, I have never created a game before. This changed on October 30th, 2015, when I released my first one, Cosmos — Infinite Space. In just over seven weeks, I went from not knowing the first thing about making games to having published a complete, viable game on the App Store for two platforms.

This is a great little story, and whilst the app isn't selling in great quantities, Repty approached the project as a hobby and in that context the result has been terrific. Something that was particularly interesting to me was that Apple's introduction of Top Charts to the Apple TV's App Store earlier this week appeared to have quite a meaningful impact on sales of Cosmos. Hopefully yesterday's introduction of Categories to the Apple TV App Store will be a further boost to Cosmos and other App Store games.

When Apple slowly introduced top charts and categories, the effect on sales was really noticeable. Before the introduction of charts, my sales in Europe were almost double those of the US market. When charts were introduced in the US, sales there started surpassing sales in Europe by over 50%.

After six days on the store now, Cosmos has brought in $463 for us with no sign of slowing down. Even if it were to keep this up, it would not be remotely enough to live off, but it’s nice to see some reward for all the work in addition to all the lessons learned.


Apple Adds Categories to the Apple TV App Store

Jeff Benjamin on iDownloadBlog notes that the Apple TV App Store now has a Categories section:

Good news for Apple TV owners looking for better ways to discover new apps on the App Store. After adding Top Charts, Apple has added a new Categories section to the App Store as well. As of now, the Categories section appears to be a bit limited, so far listing only Games and Entertainment.

On Monday it was the introduction of Top Charts to the Apple TV's App Store, and today it's the introduction of Categories (albeit limited to just two at the moment). Apple's listening and (thankfully) moving quickly to address concerns about app discoverability. The next thing that should be on their list, in my opinion, is the ability to link to Apple TV apps and preview them on the web. And whilst we're on the topic of Apple TV wishes, let's hope a few developers at Apple have also been re-allocated to quickly update the iOS Remote app to support the new Apple TV.

Although the Categories section appears to be US-only for the moment, this will likely roll-out internationally within a few days. Top Charts was also limited to the US at first, but is now available internationally.


Plex Now Available on Apple TV, and Apple Adds Top Charts to Apple TV App Store

The highly anticipated official Plex app for the new Apple TV is now available on the App Store as a free download. The Plex Apple TV app can play all of your video, music, TV and photo collections from any computer or NAS device that you install the Plex Media Server on. You can view more screenshots of the Plex Apple TV app on the Plex Blog.

There truly isn’t any other platform we’ve wanted to be on for as long as we have the Apple TV. Today’s the day, and we’re celebrating. The app is free in the app store for everyone, and requires the latest media server.

Meanwhile, Apple appears to have listened to some of the complaints about the lack of discoverability in the Apple TV App Store and added a Top Charts section. Just as it does on iOS, the Top Charts section is broken down into Top Free, Top Paid and Top Grossing lists.

Top Charts is currently limited to the US App Store, but it seems likely that the feature will roll out to international stores over the coming days. Unsurprisingly, the lists for the Top Paid and Top Grossing apps are dominated by games, whilst the Top Free list is mostly occupied by media and entertainment apps. If you don't have access to an Apple TV or live outside the US, you can see the top 10 apps in each list on MacRumors.

Perhaps in another effort to increase the discoverability of Apple TV apps, Apple has refreshed the App Store Featured page and is now highlighting some new apps. Typically on the iOS App Store they only refresh the App Store Featured page once a week on Thursdays. Hopefully this happens more frequently on the Apple TV App Store, at least until they introduce categories or some other ways to discover apps that aren't featured or trending.

Apple TV’s Siri Search to Include Apple Music Early Next Year

Another of the criticisms mentioned in early reviews for the new Apple TV is lack of Siri search for Apple Music. In a statement sent to BuzzFeed, Apple has confirmed a software update will enable the feature early next year:

One of the most useful features of Apple’s new Apple TV is its Siri-enabled universal search. It’s something Apple TV owners have been asking about for years — the ability to quickly and effectively search across multiple video platforms simultaneously. And now that Apple’s enabled it for video, the company is working to extend it to music as well. In a few months, Apple TV owners will be able to tell the device to find a song or album the same way they’d tell it to find a movie.

Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Siri is coming to Apple Music on Apple TV at the beginning of next year.

Hopefully Siri search on Apple TV will also be extended to the App Store.


Nilay Patel’s Apple TV Review

Speaking of Apple TV reviews and criticism to the setup experience, Nilay Patel explains in his review for The Verge:

Take setup again: yes, the tap-to-get-settings-from-an-iPhone feature is cool, but you can’t restore anything from a previous Apple TV, so when you first get started you have to head into the App Store and search for and download every streaming app you use. Then, once you’ve got them all, you have to authenticate all of them individually — even apps like HBO Go and Watch ESPN that require the same cable provider TV Everywhere username and password. And the iPhone Remote app doesn’t work with the new Apple TV yet, so you’re stuck either swiping around the onscreen keyboard or digging up a laptop to enter an activation code. It’s frustrating — I found myself reluctant to download new apps because I didn’t really want to log in yet again. If the future of TV is really apps, adding new apps has to be virtually frictionless.

That's a fair criticism, and I'm surprised that Apple hasn't figured out a universal "Download & Login" setup flow for TV apps yet. It also sounds like a typical American problem – the issue with cable bundles and provider logins applies to the States, but I'm not sure how it'd reflect, for instance, on European countries.


Christina Warren’s Apple TV Review

The Apple TV embargo lifted last night, and the first reviews have been published with a general consensus that the device is a worthy upgrade with some annoyances for search and logging into apps.

I recommend starting with Christina Warren's review, which gives a great overview of the platform and the brand new Siri remote:

Swiping faster on the touchpad moves faster across the interface, slower goes slower. Movements are extremely precise and never felt out of control. The remote is Bluetooth — not IR — so you don't need direct line of sight to navigate — which is nice. On some Bluetooth-based remotes, I've noticed lag between a selection and what happens on screen but the Siri remote always keeps up.

Tapping the Menu button will take you back one level or give you a menu of an app you're in. Tapping the home button will bring you to the core home screen. Double tapping the home button opens up an app switcher, so you can easily navigate between screens. If you want to close out an app, swiping up on the trackpad will dismiss it.