Monday, November 4, 2019

Apple TV, Apple TV, Apple TV, and Apple TV+

Dustin Curtis (via Hacker News):

Apple TV is a hardware device.

Apple TV is an app on Apple TV that curates content you can buy from Apple and also content you can stream through other installed apps (but not all apps, and there is no way to tell which ones).

Apple TV is an app on iOS/iPadOS devices that operates similarly to Apple TV on Apple TV. Apple TV on iOS/iPadOS syncs playback and watch history with Apple TV on Apple TV, but only if the iOS/iPadOS device has the same apps installed as the Apple TV – and not all apps are available on all platforms. Apple TV is also an app on macOS, but it does not show content that can only be streamed from external apps on an Apple TV or iOS/iPadOS device.

Here’s the post color-coded.

Update (2019-11-07): Jason Snell:

An article like this would also be written if Apple went to market with a hardware device called Apple TV, an app called Videos, a smart-TV app called Apple, a reselling strategy called Apple Channels (or having no name at all!), and a subscription streaming service called Apple Cinema. Too many names, Apple! It’s confusing! Why not something simpler?


So, yes: Apple’s strategy is a mess. I’m also not sure that the alternatives are any better.

I saw someone the other day say that television is so much simpler than it used to be, and I had to laugh. Television has never been more complicated. Apple’s very Apple-like attempt to stick to a single simple phrase—“Apple TV”—can’t spackle over just what a messy situation the streaming entertainment world is right now.

7 Comments RSS · Twitter

... and there is Apple TV Remote, an ...

Don't forget the Appple TV Remote app which is almost identical to the Apple TV app, except it uses a slightly different font (this bothers me) and gray lettering instead of blue. Oh, and the text underneath one says "TV" and the other says "Remote".

Fortunately, for music and podcasts, we have iTunes. Wait, what?

[…] Michael Tsai, who also points to a colour-coded […]

@Jason Snell is simply wrong, you do not want multiple separate products to be named the same thing. It is needlessly confusing and having separate names means those products can grow separately if need be. If Apple were to abandon the Apple TV "smart TV hardware" (as they did with Airport devices not long ago), the headlines announcing the "EOL of Apple TV" would be very confusing and could torpedo the other services/software.

Sören Nils Kuklau

I don't know why Apple couldn't have done more suffixes.

The Mac's operating system isn't called Mac. It's called Mac OS (or now macOS).

Likewise, the Apple TV app could be called TV App (sounds stupid? It's no more stupid than "Mac OS"!), its channels TV Channels, and so forth. They could also have done the non-generic approach they used to — the Mac also isn't called the "Apple Computer", and iTunes wasn't called "Apple Music Player" back in the day. While app names like Numbers and Pages and Mail are kind of cute, the problems they cause are self-inflicted. They have a competent marketing team; they can figure it out (and hopefully do better than "Apple TV XS Pro Max").

I can't believe how bad the Apple TV app on Mac is. I shouldn't be surprised, considering how terrible the News app is... but TV app makes it so difficult to actually DO ANYTHING. Despite me having a TV+ subscription (included with my student Music plan), the TV+ content isn't shown at the top except in a confusing carousel. Why aren't they under the top categories of "Today's Highlights" or "New & Noteworthy"? Instead I see a bunch of stuff that I don't have free access to. Then when I do find the show I want, there's NO option to download all currently available episodes. It's one-by-one. WTF?

Then when I want to delete a single EPISODE, the app asks "Are you sure you want to delete the selected TV show from your video library?" which makes it sound like it's going to nuke all of my episodes for a particular show. After I click "Delete TV Show", it THEN asks "Do you want to move the selected TV show to the Trash, or keep it in the Media folder? Only files in the Media folder will be moved to the Trash." What?!? 1) if I selected to delete the episode, just delete it! Why is this second dialog necessary? and 2) Doesn't the statement in this dialog contradict itself? It's saying "Do you want to do A OR B? By the way, A = B." What the hell is the Media folder anyway, and how would I access the episode if stashed it there?

So confusing. What has happened to Apple? Their Mac software quality is so shit in the past 2-3 years. Seriously, it's easier for me to download a show to my seedbox via Bittorrent and watch it on VLC than it is to use TV app with TV+. I can't imagine a regular user trying to figure this out.

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