The Verge’s Nilay Patel says that the new Apple TV is “very much the best version of television’s present” but adds “Apple has a lot more work to do before the future actually arrives”:
If it sounds like I’m holding the Apple TV to a higher standard than every other product, it’s because I am. Once you really start thinking about the Apple TV and what it is today, it becomes very clear that while Apple was able to significantly improve the parts of the streaming media experience that it can directly control, it wasn’t able to use its leverage to really fix the little annoyances and disconnects littered throughout the TV landscape that it can’t control.
It sounds like the biggest disappointments to me are all the things that didn’t change in this incarnation. For example, no single sign-on to authenticate with TV networks. (Seriously, Apple: find a way to let people authenticate just by signing into their iCloud accounts, and we will all be happy campers.)
I’m still looking forward to my Apple TV arriving—hopefully tomorrow some time—but I admit that this review has tempered my enthusiasm a bit. (Patel’s colleague, venerable tech writer Walt Mossberg, seems to share his mixed impressions of the device.)