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Apple releases new software for existing iOS-based Apple TV users

post #1 of 59
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Apple has released a free software update for second generation Apple TV users, bringing the revised new interface demonstrated for the new, third generation Apple TV.

The new update replaces the main horizontal menu with five app-like buttons: Movies and TV Shows (for buying and renting content), Music (for accessing content from iTunes Match), Computers (for connecting to local iTunes libraries via Home Sharing) and Settings (which brings up the standard configuration menus from before).












The new interface also brings app-like features formerly hidden in menus to a Home screen page familiar to iOS users, listing Netflix, MLB, NBA, NHL, Apple's movie Trailers app, Wall Street Journal Live, YouTube, Vimeo, Podcasts, Internet Radio, iCloud Photo Stream, the MobileMe Gallery viewer, and Flickr.




The new layout more strongly suggests the potential for a third party App Store for Apple TV, something other "smart TV" vendors have already launched (although there aren't very many killer apps for TVs that have yet appeared, outside of those Apple already bundles.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 59
Looks a lot like my idea for the Apple TV interface, but, you know, with that completely idiotic top bar in the way.

I still think they should go with mine.

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post #3 of 59
Has anyone upgraded yet?

There's some comments on other forums that the content is all either SD or 1080p already. I find this hard to believe, but I'd still like confirmation.
post #4 of 59
Nice, looking forward to getting home and updating.

I like the New 1080p Netflix also.
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Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. - GC
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post #5 of 59
did they update the Remote App for iPad too to work the same way?
post #6 of 59
I'm shocked that there's still no app store for AppleTV
post #7 of 59
Just wondering if anyone can answer a question for me about the ATV2 and the NBA app in Canada. I have an NBA League Pass login that works through their website and iphone app. In Canada the NBA app is hidden, but if you choose United States as the location in the iTunes setting, it'll show. When I try to log in to the NBA App, it won't work. Is the login really location based? I really hope this will be available in this update
post #8 of 59
For both the Apple TV and iPad2, Apple seems to have run out of connections to their servers for the iOS 5.1 update. I keep getting "cannot connect" messages
post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

For both the Apple TV and iPad2, Apple seems to have run out of connections to their servers for the iOS 5.1 update. I keep getting "cannot connect" messages

http://ios.e-lite.org

You'll have to do a restore with those images though.
post #10 of 59
Anyone know if they added an iTunes-style visualizer as a screensaver option for when you're listening to music through the ATV? Still seems like a no-brainier.

I am also frustrated by the top level UI... same problems as the last one IMO. The top bar is obnoxiously large and not very useful.

Also, for someone like me who primarily uses the ATV as a player for my main iTunes library, the top level titles of "Movies" and "Music" are misleading. I propose that the "Computers/Home Sharing" option be removed, and instead, movies and music from your home shared iTunes library show up under the "Movies" and "Music" menus, and from there you chose "iTunes Match/iCloud" or "Home Library" as the source for music.

I still don't buy into this "all my stuff in the cloud" crap. I don't think the broadband infrastructure, in the US at least, is capable, dependable, or even available enough to support that method for the majority of users. Seems extremely inefficient to chomp up bandwidth to re-download or stream content that's already sitting on my computer on my home network, especially now that 1080p is in the picture.

Maybe I'm in the minority, IDK. Oh well.
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has released a free software update for second generation Apple TV users, bringing the revised new interface demonstrated for the new, third generation Apple TV. ...

I know I will get pilloried for even mentioning it, but that has to be the *least* attractive UI I've ever seen from Apple.

Buttons that are rectangular for no apparent reason?
Day glow colours with complementaries like purple and orange side by side?

The old one was a horror to navigate but at least it was tasteful and attractive.

I hope we can at least move those buttons around. In Canada, you can't buy anything from AppleTV so the entire top row (the only row available), is virtually useless to me. I don't like the idea of having to scroll down to get to even the basic functions I use (like Netflix).

Edit: The more I think about it, it's a compete disaster. What kind of crappy UI only gives you access to five buttons on the main screen when we are talking about screen real estate like most giant TV's have today? Why did they make the posters bigger at the top at the expense of even one more row of buttons? Why make the buttons rectangular when if they were square you could fit 8 or even 10 of them in the first row?
post #12 of 59
[ flame suit on ]

From a UI standpoint - it's not a scalable design. More widgets? Really?
And what if you want more content?

You'll be scrolling down screens and more screens to see content.
[ see the last screenshot ].

This is an OK experience for tablets and phones where you can touch the screen.

Honestly - I think Microsoft has a better solution with their XBOX Metro design - allowing you to voice or gesture search or move things around.
post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

Anyone know if they added an iTunes-style visualizer as a screensaver option for when you're listening to music through the ATV? Still seems like a no-brainier.

I am also frustrated by the top level UI... same problems as the last one IMO. The top bar is obnoxiously large and not very useful.

Also, for someone like me who primarily uses the ATV as a player for my main iTunes library, the top level titles of "Movies" and "Music" are misleading. I propose that the "Computers/Home Sharing" option be removed, and instead, movies and music from your home shared iTunes library show up under the "Movies" and "Music" menus, and from there you chose "iTunes Match/iCloud" or "Home Library" as the source for music.

I still don't buy into this "all my stuff in the cloud" crap. I don't think the broadband infrastructure, in the US at least, is capable, dependable, or even available enough to support that method for the majority of users. Seems extremely inefficient to chomp up bandwidth to re-download or stream content that's already sitting on my computer on my home network, especially now that 1080p is in the picture.

Maybe I'm in the minority, IDK. Oh well.

well, heck, you don't HAVE to use the cloud. keep using your LAN + iTunes library routinely if you wish. the cloud - iTunes Match - adds a new resource for you to use when that is convenient. it didn't take away what you already got local. it's really most useful managing media on portable devices.
post #14 of 59
So will the ATV3 look better in all aspects? Menus, photos, etc.? Or is it only for 1080p video sources?
post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post

[ flame suit on ]

From a UI standpoint - it's not a scalable design. More widgets? Really?
And what if you want more content?

You'll be scrolling down screens and more screens to see content.
[ see the last screenshot ].

This is an OK experience for tablets and phones where you can touch the screen.

Honestly - I think Microsoft has a better solution with their XBOX Metro design - allowing you to voice or gesture search or move things around.

Hope you don't get flamed for saying Microsoft.

I sense an update to the iOS remote app that looks just like the on-screen version shown here. Installing the update now and will post impressions on feel.
post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

There's no way Apple's gonna let old models have it. I hope to be wrong, but I'll bet I'm not.

*ahem*

Jeez, you are angsty today.
"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
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post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

I am also frustrated by the top level UI... same problems as the last one IMO. The top bar is obnoxiously large and not very useful.

New stuff appears there... I use it all the time rather than drill down through menus. Download a new episode of Fringe, it's right there at the top. Simple.

Quote:
I still don't buy into this "all my stuff in the cloud" crap. I don't think the broadband infrastructure, in the US at least, is capable, dependable, or even available enough to support that method for the majority of users. Seems extremely inefficient to chomp up bandwidth to re-download or stream content that's already sitting on my computer on my home network, especially now that 1080p is in the picture.

Then don't buy it. No one says you have to. iTunes in the Cloud is for grabbing stuff that you don't have immediate access to. If you're on your AppleTV and your content is on your computer in the other room, just stream it from there. The "cloud" stuff is more of a backup or secondary location, so you don't have to fill up your iDevice.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

I am also frustrated by the top level UI... same problems as the last one IMO. The top bar is obnoxiously large and not very useful.

Also, for someone like me who primarily uses the ATV as a player for my main iTunes library, the top level titles of "Movies" and "Music" are misleading. I propose that the "Computers/Home Sharing" option be removed, and instead, movies and music from your home shared iTunes library show up under the "Movies" and "Music" menus, and from there you chose "iTunes Match/iCloud" or "Home Library" as the source for music.

Yes yes yes. The average person isn't sitting there thinking "should I watch an iTunes movie, or a Netflix movie", or "should I listen to my iTunes music, or the internet radio"; they're just thinking "I wanna watch a movie" or "I wanna listen to music". The interface should concatenate by types of entertainment (maybe throwing in "sports" and "news" as additional options with "movies" and "tv shows" and "music"), and then from there you can choose what you want and it doesn't matter if its streaming from Netflix or from your iCloud account or from iTunes, etc.

And with the old interface, I could at least go to "movies" or "tv shows" and then scroll down to, say, "search" or "top movies [tv shows]" without leaving the main menu -- i.e., I could be down in the "movies" menu, and then just right-click the wheel and move to the next menu. Don't see how that's going to work with the app-like icons; seems like one will have to go back up to the home screen each time before shunting over to another "app".
post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I know I will get pilloried for even mentioning it, but that has to be the *least* attractive UI I've ever seen from Apple.

Buttons that are rectangular for no apparent reason?
Day glow colours with complementaries like purple and orange side by side?

The old one was a horror to navigate but at least it was tasteful and attractive.

I hope we can at least move those buttons around. In Canada, you can't buy anything from AppleTV so the entire top row (the only row available), is virtually useless to me. I don't like the idea of having to scroll down to get to even the basic functions I use (like Netflix).

Edit: The more I think about it, it's a compete disaster. What kind of crappy UI only gives you access to five buttons on the main screen when we are talking about screen real estate like most giant TV's have today? Why did they make the posters bigger at the top at the expense of even one more row of buttons? Why make the buttons rectangular when if they were square you could fit 8 or even 10 of them in the first row?

+1, full agreement. This is a less attractive, and less useful, interface. Very surprised at this move by Apple - hope this isn't indicative of the post-Jobs era.
post #20 of 59
Updated my AppleTV and I like it... Much better(in my opinion).
post #21 of 59
No HBO 2 go yet? Wtf... Seriously?

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #22 of 59
I wonder if this will fix the home sharing bug? Home sharing disconnects at random if the firewall is turned on.
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post

I wonder if this will fix the home sharing bug? Home sharing disconnects at random if the firewall is turned on.

Just got it and yes I updated iTunes beforehand. Good news is this time turning off home share then right back on in the AppleTV settings reconnected. In the past, I've had to VNC to my server and bounced Tunes.

I also noted they have a restart option in Settings.
post #24 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I hope we can at least move those buttons around. In Canada, you can't buy anything from AppleTV so the entire top row (the only row available), is virtually useless to me. I don't like the idea of having to scroll down to get to even the basic functions I use (like Netflix).

I"m in Canada and I have the Rent Movies and Buy TV shows options available to me. I have seen Buy movies before, but the ones I just checked were all Rentals.
post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I hope we can at least move those buttons around. In Canada, you can't buy anything from AppleTV so the entire top row (the only row available), is virtually useless to me. I don't like the idea of having to scroll down to get to even the basic functions I use (like Netflix).

I was hoping to be able to disable buttons that weren't needed, but no such luck.
post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

Jeez, you are angsty today.

Forgive me for believing the same thing that has been true for nearly every single product launch prior to this one. I don't know what I could possibly have been thinking. Except common sense based on history.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
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post #27 of 59
I feel like the new Apple TV interface is just taunting me with the promise of a dedicated App Store that should be there but isnt.

But the iPad update is fantastic!
post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

Yes yes yes. The average person isn't sitting there thinking "should I watch an iTunes movie, or a Netflix movie", or "should I listen to my iTunes music, or the internet radio"; they're just thinking "I wanna watch a movie" or "I wanna listen to music". The interface should concatenate by types of entertainment (maybe throwing in "sports" and "news" as additional options with "movies" and "tv shows" and "music"), and then from there you can choose what you want and it doesn't matter if its streaming from Netflix or from your iCloud account or from iTunes, etc.

And with the old interface, I could at least go to "movies" or "tv shows" and then scroll down to, say, "search" or "top movies [tv shows]" without leaving the main menu -- i.e., I could be down in the "movies" menu, and then just right-click the wheel and move to the next menu. Don't see how that's going to work with the app-like icons; seems like one will have to go back up to the home screen each time before shunting over to another "app".

Yup. I really dislike this UI "update". Something tells me this whole redesign was done for the sole purpose of fooling new buyers into thinking the ATV has "apps". Yes, it did have some apps already, and this new update doesn't appear to add any new apps, but by turning categories into app icons, it now looks like there's a big app grid on the home screen.

Not only that, but I don't *WANT* to navigate an app grid on my TV. The app grid works OK on the iPhone since it's a touchscreen and I can instantly touch whatever icon I want, but on my TV with a remote, I've got to tap right-right-right-down-down to get to something. Meh.

All that said, if the jailbreakers and XBMC devs can get XBMC running well and give me 1080p output, I may still pick up a couple for the rooms in my house with 1080p displays.
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

I'm shocked that there's still no app store for AppleTV

I'm not. With AirPlay mirroring I get all my apps on my TV right now. Creating another class of apps with new UI requirements is redundant and backwards.

With video mirroring coming to mountain lion, and with it hopefully developer access, I think ATV use is poised to explode.

Especially with nintendo pushing as the new Wii what I can already do today...
post #30 of 59
OK this UI is really bad. I can't believe Steve would approve of it. Apple needs to get some of the ID team magic over to the software side of the house.
post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

OK this UI is really bad. I can't believe Steve would approve of it. Apple needs to get some of the ID team magic over to the software side of the house.

Steve was working on iTV.

Safari on iOS 5.1 and the new keyboard is awesome (keys are subtly different).
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #32 of 59
Hideous, but functionally much better than the columns of the old interface. Why not use the iOS icons instead of these gaudy colored rectangles?

Only 10 of my 23 digital copies show up in "purchased". Looks like all movies from Fox and Universal are missing. And I must have misunderstood because I thought I heard my videos would be upgraded to 1080p? They're all still standard definition.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post

I"m in Canada and I have the Rent Movies and Buy TV shows options available to me. I have seen Buy movies before, but the ones I just checked were all Rentals.

As far as I am aware the Apple TV (2.0 version) doesn't allow you to buy movies or TV shows, just rent them. The original version allowed both.

You *can* buy movies and TV shows in iTunes on your computer (at outrageously high prices), and then stream them to the AppleTV, but that's not the same thing.

If you are not interested in renting (I am not, I consider it foolish at best), the entire top row of icons is useless to an AppleTV viewer (like me), with the exception of the "computers" button.

Other than that one button, the entire UI is useless to me until I start to scroll.

- next row, again only one button of use to me (Netflix)
- next row, only one button useful to me (Vimeo)

I actually like the move to a sort of app button interface, but without the ability to re-order the buttons and delete the ones we don't want, this UI means we will all be scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Those of us with less than typical tastes like myself will have to scroll just to get to the *first* item of any use.
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

As far as I am aware the Apple TV (2.0 version) doesn't allow you to buy movies or TV shows, just rent them. The original version allowed both.

You *can* buy movies and TV shows in iTunes on your computer (at outrageously high prices), and then stream them to the AppleTV, but that's not the same thing.

If you are not interested in renting (I am not, I consider it foolish at best), the entire top row of icons is useless to an AppleTV viewer (like me), with the exception of the "computers" button.

Other than that one button, the entire UI is useless to me until I start to scroll.

- next row, again only one button of use to me (Netflix)
- next row, only one button useful to me (Vimeo)

I actually like the move to a sort of app button interface, but without the ability to re-order the buttons and delete the ones we don't want, this UI means we will all be scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Those of us with less than typical tastes like myself will have to scroll just to get to the *first* item of any use.

You probably spent more time typing that post than you'll waste in scrolling over the course of an entire year. Seriously, think about how frequently you scroll in every day usage of pretty much every software you've ever used. Now think about how often you'll need to use the main menu of an apple TV. You likely spent more time scrolling this page then you'll spend in months of usage with the apple TV.

Also note that a consistent UI is easier to support and is excellent at promoting a familiar platform for use by the masses. The road to interface hell is paved with customization.

This isn't to say that the new or old UI is great or even perfect. But the flaws aren't terribly cumbersome or time consuming when compared to the vast array of UIs out there today. In fact, despite the shortcomings, it is one of the best UIs available.

In other words, this arguably valid criticism should be tempered with a wider perspective of just how bad the flaws are. Supermodels get pimples all the time, but is that what we fixate on?
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Hideous, but functionally much better than the columns of the old interface. Why not use the iOS icons instead of these gaudy colored rectangles?

Oh the horror. Rectangles are so hideous compared to squares.

Has everyone lost their minds? Oh wait, this is the internet. Carry on.
post #36 of 59
I don't really care for the new interface. Irritating. I'll probably buy the new ATV just for the 1080p though.

15" MB Pro Early 2011 (2.0 i7 8GB RAM 240 SSD); ATV 3; iPad 3 (32GB, VZW Black); iPhone 4S (16GB AT&T Black); Airport Extreme (2011)

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15" MB Pro Early 2011 (2.0 i7 8GB RAM 240 SSD); ATV 3; iPad 3 (32GB, VZW Black); iPhone 4S (16GB AT&T Black); Airport Extreme (2011)

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post #37 of 59
I like the new interface. It's all just a matter of getting used to something different and new. I know a lot of people don't like change of any sort but this seems easier to get around to me. Wife and kids like it and have no problem getting around on it either.
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Steve was working on iTV.

Safari on iOS 5.1 and the new keyboard is awesome (keys are subtly different).

good god I hope this UI is not part of an Apple TV. The only thing that might save us there is a Jony Ive designed TV. It just amazes me how Apple makes drop dead gorgeous drool worthy hardware, yet the software UI is so 'meh'. I hope iOS 6 is a complete redesign. It's about time.
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

As far as I am aware the Apple TV (2.0 version) doesn't allow you to buy movies or TV shows, just rent them. The original version allowed both.

You *can* buy movies and TV shows in iTunes on your computer (at outrageously high prices), and then stream them to the AppleTV, but that's not the same thing.

If you are not interested in renting (I am not, I consider it foolish at best), the entire top row of icons is useless to an AppleTV viewer (like me), with the exception of the "computers" button.

Other than that one button, the entire UI is useless to me until I start to scroll.

- next row, again only one button of use to me (Netflix)
- next row, only one button useful to me (Vimeo)

I actually like the move to a sort of app button interface, but without the ability to re-order the buttons and delete the ones we don't want, this UI means we will all be scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Those of us with less than typical tastes like myself will have to scroll just to get to the *first* item of any use.

In Canada, on an aTV 2, you can buy TV shows, TV season passes, and rent movies. I've purchased TV shows before on the aTV and just verified that you can still do so.

I did not see any way to buy movies though, only rent them.

Perhaps you don't have your iTunes details filled in, causing that options to not appear for you?
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott R View Post

Something tells me this whole redesign was done for the sole purpose of fooling new buyers into thinking the ATV has "apps".

Actually, no, but you're close. Something tells me this whole redesign was done for the sole purpose of designing a UI that will easily work with apps. I'm more convinced than ever that apps are coming... eventually. I sure wish they could get past whatever the holdup is though.
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