Tag Archives: Apple TV

Apple releases iOS 10.1, updates the Apple Watch, TV & MAC – Extra info not revealed and some thoughts

Last night in the UK, Apple released iOS 10.1 along with updates to the Apple Watch, Apple TV and the MACs.

I was extremely keen to update to iOS 10.1. The official changelog is as below. Some of the bug fixes had been impacting my iPhone 7 Plus but are all fixed for good.

Update

Update

And for the Apple Watch, watch OS3 fixed the following –

Update

But the update also including extra fixes not listed.

– At the same time as going live with iOS 10.1, Apple Pay got switched on for Japan.

– For UK citizens using the Three UK network, iOS 10.1 was a huge and important update and the new carrier update to Three 26.0 fixed 4G connectivity, other connectivity problems and issues connecting to a Three Home Signal Booster. I am on Three UK and can confirm the change. The specific issues were with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

– Worth noting is everyone can now use the Portrait mode in the camera app, although it is still shown as in Beta. However, it works extremely well.

Updating the Apple Watch

I updated my Apple Watch as soon as my iPhone 7 Plus was on 10.1 by going into the Apple Watch app on my iPhone and manually checking for the update that was around 61mb. Word of warning, it took me about 25 minutes to update

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The new Apple TV – Apps and my updated thoughts / review – Editorial

So according to Engadget the Apple TV now has 2,600 apps. 50% are games and the balance are predominately in the entertainment sector.

So did Tim Cook get it right when he said the future of TV is all about apps? Maybe.

Currently, I own an Amazon Fire TV, a Google Chromecast and the new Apple TV. My TV, despite its age has WiFi via a dongle and has smart TV services. So I have plenty of choice for obtaining films, apps or TV shows over the internet.

I have stopped using the chromecast. With the Apple TV and Fire TV it offers no benefits at the moment. It also helps that I am using an iPhone instead of an android phone, although my android phone is a Huawei G8. When Amazon provides an app for the new Apple TV and BBC iPlayer arrives, that will be enough for me to unplug the Fire TV as that won’t be needed anymore.

Now to my updated thoughts on the Apple TV. A new firmware arrived a few days ago. It plugged some bugs but more importantly allowed the iOS remote app to work with it. This should have worked from Day 1. Games are plentiful and there are some good ones. Problem remains that the implementation by the developers on supporting a game controller and or the Siri Remote are inconsistent and a PITA to guess which option will work best.

I absolutely hate the Siri Remote. I keep accidentally catching the trackpad and end up skipping or jumping to another part of the film. Finding anything using the Siri Remote and the iOS app is also a PITA. Another issue is how difficult it is to watch the next episode of a TV show. Nothing works like it did on the old layout. Twice the Siri remote didn’t work as it had gone flat. And prior to the firmware update, I was unable to use the Apple TV until I had charged the remote for a short time. Now at least I can use my iPhone to operate the Apple TV via the iOS remote app.

Talking about apps, the discovering process needs to improve. It is getting harder and harder to find new and decent apps or games. The settings option’s menus have been moved and I haven’t got used to all the changes yet.

The neat stuff. During the Walking Dead, someone whispers something. I couldn’t hear. I use the Siri remote, and said “what did he say”. The TV show go back 10 second and sub titles appear temporarily to help reveal what was said. There is an audio setting that allows you to remove loud noises e.g. bangs and level off the sound. This makes it easier to here spoken words and a preferred listening mode for me. You can turn this on per film etc by swiping down on the show or film whilst its playing to reveal this option, or turn it off or on in the main settings. I also like that you can be logged in to several different iTunes accounts, even with one from the UK and another from the US.

So its ok. It needs a further update and some great apps like Amazon and BBC iPlayer.

Apple produces 6 videos to promote the new Apple TV – Plus updated review on the Apple TV

Apple has released 6 new videos to promote and or sell the Apple TV.

You can view the next 5 clicking HERE.

I have now had Apple TV for several weeks and even purchased the Nimbus Game Controller as well. The new Apple Siri Remote is a pain in the arse to use. The top half is a trackpad which I seem to touch by accident even from the edges when picking it up off the arms of the sofa. That means my accidental presses keep interfering with whats playing on the Apple TV. Sometimes I end up fast forwarding a movie, pausing or even quitting it. 

The remote also doubles up as a game controller. Some games work really well with it, others are more fiddly. So I bought the Nimbus Game Controller for the Apple TV and it works half of the time. The issue is limited support by developers. The good news is the game controller works with my iPad Pro and iPhone. The Nimbus game controller is the best game controller I have used on iOS. It recharges using a lightning cable.

I use my Apple TV for viewing films and TV shows. This function works fine, and for the fast time on Monday night, I pressed the siri button on the remote and said “what did he say”.  I was watching Walking Dead, and the Apple TV rewound the program back about 10 seconds and turned subtitles on, to reveal the word spoken as “help”. That is so freaking cool and useful. 

Another issue I have had is the Apple Siri Remote not responding as it was flat and needed recharging. That meant I could not operate the Apple TV until I put some charge back in the remote.

There is still a shortage of apps but in time this will be rectified. App discovering in the UK Apple TV store is not as easy to find stuff as the US Apple TV store.

Apart from that, I love it and all the other aspects from Airplay all work beautifully. 

Apple TV has arrived – Which storage option to buy 32gb or 64gb? – Opinion

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Just like that at around lunchtime in the UK, the new Apple TV became available to order. Two storage options are available – 32gb or 64gb. So which do you buy? Apple states –

“If you plan to use your Apple TV primarily to stream films, TV programmes and music, or to play a few apps and games, you’ll probably be fine with 32GB of storage. If you plan to download and use lots of apps and games, choose the 64GB configuration.1 Keep in mind when making your decision, that some apps, when in use, do require additional storage.”

Another factor is the price. £129 and £169 respectively. The 3rd generation is available for £59. In fact, if you have a 2nd generation it is worth more second hand than the 3rd generation as you can jailbreak it and extend its functionality.

£129 or £169 is rather pricey too. Also note there is no HDMI cable in the box. Make sure you get the latest type with HDMI v2.0. With this new box there is no optical out socket.

So what makes the Apple TV worth the extra. Its the first new Apple TV box for years. It has a new remote control, Siri integration and apps. Is it worth buying? Hard to say at the moment as apps have not appeared yet and Siri will need testing.

For me I still want to be able to login to my iTunes US account, stream without buffering and see how good the new apps and games. I will pass some feedback in due course on my experience.

What are your thoughts?

Apple – My verdict on all the new announcements – iPhone 6S, Apple TV, iPad Pro and new Apple Watch options

Yesterday, Apple carried out a near perfect 2 hour masterclass keynote speech, announcing a wide range of new products. Here are my initial thoughts on everything.

New iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

The new iPhone has a new 12mp camera that coupled with the new A9 processor and digital image processing chip allows for 4K video recording, live photo capture and a whole lot more. Apple made the point that by increasing the MP they did not sacrifice pixel quality. The tech specs show that the camera sensor has got smaller not larger with the iPhone 6S. Instead of 1.5 microns it is now only 1.22 microns. As a comparison , the LG G4 camera sensor is 2.6 microns in size with a f/1.8 aperture. The iPhone 6S is still only f/2.2. Despite these specs, the proof is in the pudding and time will tell.

3D Touch now comes to the iPhone (or Force Touch). The front camera is now 5mp. With all the other features and tight hardware and software integrations, the iPhone makes for a compelling package, albeit at a high price.

A new pink colour is now available too.

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is a giant iPad with a 12.9 inch screen. It has the new A9X processor and has bespoke accessories from the new keyboard with speakers and the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil is a stylus for the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro looks excellent but at 713g for the WiFi only model and 723g for the WifI plus LTE it is just too heavy. Also, it pricing invades the MacBook Air or Macbook line up. Surely, it is better to buy one of these and run proper desktop apps? Beautiful product if you like that sort of thing.

Apple TV

The new Apple TV with TVos shows promise. A clean user interface, using siri and a new remote control that also adds as a game controller. Proper game controller can be used with the Apple TV too. Current limitations restrict apps to 200mb with the other app components needing to be held in the cloud. So probably more of a casual gaming option. Siri searched other TV streaming platforms which I thought was a neat feature. Overall, I really liked the new Apple TV.

Apple Watch

So just in time for the holiday season, Apple launches a whole range of new straps, watch finishes and special edition straps. This is surely going to be a popular Xmas stocking filler. Watch OS2 was shown off too and looked very promising.

Data Storage Costs

Finally, Apple reduced the size of their cloud data costs, making the service far more reasonable and competitive.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I thought Apple nailed it. Tight integration of engineering, software and hardware shone through. Whilst I remained optimistic, Apple’s share price has dropped 2.16 following the keynote speech.

So what are your thoughts on the Apple product announcements?

Today is the biggest day in tech – Apple Inc

Later today Apple will be live streaming its keynote speech. All the tech world will be watching what Apple announces today.

The prediction across the globe are –

– New iPhones with an upgraded camera module to 12mp, allowing for 4K video too.

– New Apple TV box with support for apps and gaming

– iOS 9 fully revealed

– Watch OS 2 – possibly an upgrade to the Apple Watch software

– new iPads possibly although I think these will be left to another keynote speech in October.

And then after Apple have you in a feverish mode of excitement over their new products, they instruct you to buy everything on Friday.

Why is this the biggest event. Simply all competitors, fans and anyone with an interest in tech will be glued on what Apple announce. Plus the keynote speeches are super slick.

Apple Spring Event – Apple TV, new MacBook and Research apps

So apart from the Apple Watch, Apple also announced the following –

1) Apple TV – now reduced to £59

2) MacBook 12 inch – a new slimmer MacBook was announced in 3 colours. http://www.apple.com/uk/macbook/ Seriously stunning and some amazing engineering. But only one connection port. The USB-C port allows Charging, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps),Native DisplayPort 1.2 video output, VGA output using USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter (sold separately) and HDMI video output using USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (sold separately).

3) Upgraded internals for other MacBooks.

4) 5 Research apps – Apple announced the Research Kit. The 5 medical research apps include glucose, cancer, asthma and more. It allows the iPhone user to privately submit data for research purposes to help combat these diseases. Maybe even help find a cure. I thought this was a really good idea, and even better that Apple would make this Open Source too.

5) HBO Now – Coming to Apple TV.

There was also a whole range of updates on units sold and Apple’s success.

Setup your Apple TV with your iPhone – here’s how

The easiest way to set up an Apple TV 3rd generation only, is with an iOS device. To use this easier setup mode, you’ll need an iPhone 4s or newer, third generation iPad or newer, iPad Mini or fifth generation iPod Touch. Whichever iOS device you use must be running iOS 7.

When the Apple TV is first powered on, it will boot up to a setup screen. Make sure the iOS Device is connected to the wireless network that you want the Apple TV to connect to. Then use Control Center to turn on Bluetooth. Then you just need to touch your iOS device to the Apple TV.

Once you touch the iOS device to the Apple TV, a pop-up appears on the iOS device. When the pop-up appears you can remove the iOS device from the top of the Apple TV. Enter your Apple ID and password in the prompt to continue the setup.

After entering in your Apple ID and password, the next prompt asks if you want the device to remember them, so when you purchase any music, TV shows or movies from the Apple TV you will not have to re-enter in the password each time.

The Apple TV then connects to the wireless network, activates, connects to the iTunes store and welcomes you to the main page.

Apple TV – the new smart box

Apple keeps claiming it’s black box that’s so small and compact is just a hobby. And yet it sells millions of them.
So what will be this year’s hobby update. Well if ios 7 is anything to go by, Siri has come of age. So expect to see Siri tightly integrated into the new Apple TV, along with iRadio and other services. I would also expect the design to change to allow for Siri to function better.

What would you like to see updated with the next version?