Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell


Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday party1, and there’s nothing like having a dozen 14-year-old girls in your (very small) house. At some point my daughter wanted to AirPlay something to the TV to show her friends, so I turned on the new Apple TV.

Once the AirPlay session was done, I decided to try and find some music to play in the background during the rest of the party. The girls all immediately became enthralled by the list of Apple Music playlists, and demanded that I navigate to just the right one (“down! left! no, back up! all the way left!”) so they could play the latest by Adele and Drake.

I handed the new Apple TV remote to my daughter, figuring (rightly) that she could make better musical judgments about what her friends wanted to hear than I could. I didn’t tell her anything about how to use the remote, because I was curious what would happen. She navigated with the trackpad like a pro, but didn’t realize you could click on the remote’s trackpad to select something. She kept trying to press the Menu button or the Play/Pause button instead.

Once I told her she could physically click the remote, that was it. The rest of the party was about the girls picking songs and singing along, loudly. (My apologies to the neighbors.) And at the very end, we set up a photo booth in my office, took about 50 pictures, shared them all via iCloud Photo Sharing, and played them back on the Apple TV to much laughter as they said their goodbyes and were picked up by their parents.

I don’t have a big-picture takeaway from this experience, other than the obvious: humans born in the 21st century are pretty comfortable navigating digital media tech without much help. Playing music and showing photos on a big TV screen still have their place. And maybe the click feature on the Apple TV’s trackpad is a little less obvious than I thought.

  1. She was born in the space between the announcement and release of the original iPod. Now how old do you feel? 

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