I have a real soft spot for the Apple TV. I’ve used the range for years, and it’s still got pride of place in my home — but I also think it’s one of Apple’s disappointing products.
And that makes me sad.
The recent tvOS 13 update has been a long-awaited push in the right direction for the hardware, yet for this current iteration of the device, I have a feeling it’s too little, too late.
Oh no, you’re going to get all David Copperfield aren’t you?
Now, the first Apple TV I used (which I believe was a second generation device) felt ahead of its time. I remember being in awe of how you could just send a video straight from your iPhone or iPad to the television. Honestly, my friends and I spent hours playing YouTube videos through the big screen. It was magical.
Unfortunately, things have been on a downward trend since then.
Aside from a few small additions (better hardware, new remote, Siri-integration, a 4k model), the Apple TV hasn’t added any features as powerful or interesting as those early days of casting video.
Hell, I wouldn’t even say the Apple TV is even the best at that any longer. These days, the substantially cheaper Chromecast ($35 compared to the Apple TV HD’s $149) is far more efficient at sending phone video to your TV.
In terms of functionality, the purpose of the Apple TV became… muddy. Yes, it works well as media streamer, but you can get way cheaper Android media boxes for that price (like the $70 Roku stick for example). It didn’t really have any features that truly separated it from the market.
In other words, it felt like Apple had a great, ahead-of-its-time thing going, but just kinda ignored the hardware until it lost its competitive advantage.
I feel there’s a tvOS 13-related ‘but’ coming here…
Well, tvOS 13 has included some of the first interesting updates of the Apple TV since… well, ever. Now, I assume this increased focus on the device is down to the launch of the confusingly named Apple TV+, also known as the company’s streaming service.
With this set to be a big focus for the tech giant, it makes sense that’d it turn some attention to one of the primary ways to view the upcoming shows and movies: its video-playing hardware.
Right. So what are the tvOS 13 updates then?
Let’s use the ever-dependable bullet point list to help us get this done quickly:
- Multi-user support: you know how Netflix has users so you can watch your own shit? The Apple TV has that now too
- Apple Arcade: yep, you can now play a huge library of games on the hardware
- You can connect Xbox and Playstation controllers to the Apple TV now: not bad, right?
- A control centre: kinda minor, but you can now hold down the TV button on the remote and access a menu similar to the iOS version
There are a few other minor updates (like wireless sound syncing and new screensavers), but these are just incremental features — even if they are useful.
What Apple has done here — specifically with Apple Arcade and controllers — is give the Apple TV a point of differentiation: gaming.
In theory, you should be able to play a title on your mobile on the train, then arrive home and pick-up where you left off on the Apple TV. That’s cool. It makes the hardware feel more relevant again, like it can do something none of its competitors can.
But what’s the problem?
Well, it’s the hardware itself.
The Apple TV HD was launched in October 2015, while the 4K version was released in September 2017. That’s old. This means the performance of some Apple Arcade games isn’t really that great. If you’re looking for a great gaming experience, you want something that can handle it.
Or, if you view it another way, we’re looking at hardware that’s effectively coming to the end of its life before there’s a clear reason to buy one. That’s not a particularly appealing thing to say about a product, especially from Apple.
So what would you do differently?
It always surprised me that something like Apple Arcade wasn’t released ages ago, as gaming seemed like an ideal fit for the hardware. But at least we’re there now.
Another thing I would’ve loved to see would’ve been Apple investing more in supporting tvOS developers. If you browse through the app store on the device it’s… uninspiring. Deeply so. While the iPad, iPhone, and even the Apple Watch have apps that seem built for the system, there’s really a lack of exciting software for the Apple TV. Any help the company could’ve given to increase this community would’ve paid dividends.
It’d also be great if Apple could open up the Apple TV to more third-party video services from across the globe, even though I don’t expect this to happen, as it’s got this far with its walled-garden approach to software. You can always dream though.
Then what’s the future?
Basically, I think the time of the current Apple TV devices is over. They’re looking out-of-date and were never really developed to their full potential — which kinda sucks considering I’ve owned mine for almost four years now.
So, yes, tvOS 13 is a step in the right direction, but it has come too late to save the current Apple TV crop — but it’s good news for the next generation Apple TV.
If the company feels the pressure from Apple TV+, keeps updating tvOS, and maybe throws in a hardware surprise or two, the next generation of the Apple TV might end up being the first must-buy version of the hardware in an age. And for that, I’m excited.
Editing HTML Like A Boss In VS Code
Here’s a seven minute video from Caleb Porzio that focuses on some of Emmet‘s HTML editing features. You might think of Emmet as that thing that expands abbreviations like
table.stats>tr*3>td*3 into glorious, expanded, and perfect HTML. But Emmet has other HTML editing trickery up its sleeve. My favorite is “wrap with abbreviation” (which happens to be
A on CodePen), but there are more, like expanding your selection inward and outward and tag changing.
If you haven’t seen it, the Emmet 2 preview on CodePen is pretty neeeeat. It shows you what you’re about to expand into before you do it:
PS5 Game Install Sizes Revealed, And They’re Enormous
There was hope that the efficiency of the PlayStation 5’s super-fast SSD hard drive would reduce game file sizes, as titles wouldn’t need to duplicate data to ease read speeds. That, apparently, is not quite the case, as the minimum install requirements for a couple of PS5 launch games have been revealed – and they’re enormous.
Demon’s Souls, for example, will eat up 66GB of the next-gen system’s storage space; Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales will gobble up 50GB, and if you plump up for the Ultimate Edition – which includes Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered as well – you’ll lose an eye-watering 105GB. That’s already an eighth of the device’s available 825GB.
It’s worth noting that textures will be more detailed on the PS5, so developers may well be saving space compared to PS4 titles, but using it up with higher quality assets. In the case of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered, for example, the original game with all of its DLC installed takes up approximately 75GB on the PS4, compared to roughly 55GB in its revamped form.
Still, it looks like you’re definitely going to have to juggle which games you’ve got installed – although eventually you will be able to expand the system’s storage space. You can find out more about that through the following link: Which SSD Drives Will Be Compatible with PS5?
Best of everything in tech and gadgets we’ve seen recently
At Gadget Flow, we’re constantly scouring the online world for the best new and interesting gadgets for our readers. And we’ve come across quite a treasure trove as of late. Check out today’s roundup of the best in tech and gadgets we’ve seen recently. We have so many new favorites to tell you about.
With IFA 2020 just ending and Apple rumors around the corner, there have been a lot of exciting new tech updates recently. We are surprised to see some really cool designs in everyday tech that will surely surprise you. From beautiful smart photo frames to robot vacuums, the designs are getting sleeker while the technology is getting even smarter.
Having said that, let’s take a look at the 15 best tech and gadgets that will make you appreciate innovation in a whole new way. It seems like we’re gearing up for a more design-inspired tech world.
Autel EVO II Pro 6K Folding Drone
First on our best of everything in tech roundup is the Autel EVO II Pro 6K Folding Drone. This impressive gadget gives you 360º obstacle avoidance and can record up to one billion colors.
Neato D Series Robotic Vacuums
Remove up to 99.97% of the allergens on your floor with the Neato D Series Robotic Vacuums. Available in three models, one will definitely have the capabilities that fit your needs, including one with LIDAR-based technology.
Meural WiFi Photo Frame Digital Picture Display
You’ll love the Meural WiFi Photo Frame Digital Picture Display. This home gadget uploads albums right from your smartphone so you can keep your memories throughout your home or office.
Amazon Halo Health and Wellness Band
Another great item on our best of everything in tech list is the Amazon Halo Health and Wellness Band. This useful device monitors your health data and even makes a digital 3D model of your body.
MSI Summit E Series Business Laptops
Increase your productivity with the MSI Summit E Series Business Laptops. Excellent for remote work, these laptops use the 11th Gen Intel processor and have an infrared camera that’s compatible with Windows Hello facial recognition.
Gigabyte Aorus 15P Portable Laptop
Professional gamers will get everything they need with the Gigabyte Aorus 15P Portable Laptop, another great item on our best of everything in tech guide. This gaming laptop gives you a 144 Hz refresh rate and boasts the Intel Core i7-10750H processor.
LIFX Clean Antibacterial Smart Bulb
Sanitize surfaces and kill bacteria with the LIFX Clean Antibacterial Smart Bulb. This smart home gadget emits high-energy violet light to kill bacteria like E.coli. It also works with voice assistants and connects to Wi-Fi for easy scheduling.
Weekend-Works Circle Watch Aesthetic Smartwatch
Enjoy a smartwatch with an edge-to-edge screen with the Weekend-Works Circle WatchAesthetic Smartwatch. The extra-large display makes everything easy to see, and its 15º tilt makes sure you always get a good view.
DJI Osmo Mobile 4 Foldable Phone Gimbal
You’ll love the magnetic design of the DJI Osmo Mobile 4 Foldable Phone Gimbal. This video stabilizer is easy to use and offers gesture control.
Panasonic Cubie Steam Convection Oven Versatile Microwave
Cook a range of meals with the Panasonic Cubie Steam Convection Oven Versatile Microwave. This useful microwave helps you steam healthfully and is large enough to accommodate a sizeable amount of food.
Vue Lite Everyday Smart Glasses
You’ll be amazed at how thin and stylish the Vue Lite Everyday Smart Glasses are. Great for all-day wear, these glasses let you listen to your favorite songs, make calls, and access the internet via voice assistants.
LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier Battery-Powered Face Mask
Another great device on our best of everything in tech roundup is the LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier Battery-Powered Face Mask. This mask features two H13 HEPA filters to provide you with fresh air indoors or outdoors.
8Bitdo TG16 2.4 Wireless Gamepad
Game completely free of lag with the 8Bitdo TG16 2.4 Wireless Gamepad. This new gadget looks a little retro, but it has all the modern capabilities you need, including 18 hours of battery life.
Blink Indoor Security Camera
The Blink Indoor Security Camera is one of our best of everything in tech items because you won’t have to change its battery for two years. It’s also wireless, which means you can keep it wherever you like.
CLMBER Pure Workout Machine
The CLMBER Pure Workout Machine boasts a cutting-edge companion app. Developed for commercial use, this workout machine gives you all the stats you need and keeps your body in the proper position throughout your workout.
Well, there you have it. These are the best of everything in tech and gadgets that we’ve seen recently. And we’re pretty sure you’ll agree with us that there are a ton of exciting new things out there. Let us know your thoughts about these items in the comments.
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