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Upon its launch the 4th Gen Apple TV received mixed reviews from tech experts who praised the Siri remote and tvOS software but felt the gadget was underdeveloped. When it comes to hardware, Apple rivals (including Roku and Android-powered Nvidia Shield) might be winning the game. It is the TV apps that make Apple stand out from the competition. We have to agree with Tim Cook: the future of TV is apps. And here’s why.
5 reasons to develop an app for Apple TV
- Apps are interactive. According to the survey conducted by Sorenson Media in 2015, TV viewers want more personalization and interactivity from broadcast corporations – in fact, they even don’t mind sharing personal data with content providers. Another study revealed 52% of American households already have a connected TV set, game console, Blue-ray or streaming media player; the number is expected to grow throughout 2016. Streaming services cannot compete with mobile applications in terms of interactivity, and that’s why Apple (once again!) has officially started the digital revolution. Early Apple TV apps indeed offered little to no interaction – remember the Airbnb app? Looking through high-quality pics on a big screen is certainly fun, but what’s the point of buying a TV app if you still book lodgings on mobile? However, the tvOS ecosystem is evolving pretty fast. In less than 8 months after the 4th Gen Apple TV release we get high-quality apps like AccuWeather and Yummly. The former, for example, allows viewers to choose a particular region, zoom in & out on radar conditions and get accurate (minute by minute) weather forecasts. And more is to come – after all, Apple TV apps get better with every OS update;
- Apple TV is pure IoT. By 2020, the number of IoT devices will reach 20.8 billion units worldwide – and Smart TV sets perfectly fit in the world of self-driving cars, wearables and connected home appliances. Today the Internet of Things is often labelled as insecure. Most smart devices are equipped with slow processors; they fail to support encrypted communications and proper authentication. There’s a lack of universally approved IoT security standards, too (although Google, AllSeen Alliance, IBM and other IoT vendors now accumulate forces to create a better – and safer – global connected environment). Also, smart gadgets produce too much data that is potentially valuable for businesses but usually goes nowhere since few companies possess the necessary tools and expertise to analyze it. Do we really need another vulnerable appliance in our house? Don’t forget we’re talking about the Apple IoT, though. The iOS and Mac platforms are still way more secure than Android and Windows. And the company is no stranger to Artificial Intelligence – the technology that enables machines and software to collect and process IoT-generated data faster. Siri is easily the best smart voice assistant out there. In 2015, Apple also acquired VocalIQ – a UK-based startup AI startup that previously worked with General Motors. Provided the company brings Siri to non-iOS gadgets (like Amazon did with Alexa), Apple will shape the future of the Internet of Things – and television, of course;
- TV apps are cost-effective. Recent studies show Americans do watch less TV. Between 2013 and 2014, for example, the number of broadband-only US households grew from 1.1% to 2.7% - and that translates into 10 million homes. TV usage stats are even more staggering among millennials: 25% of millennial households with no children have already cut the cord. These guys see no point in paying $ 100 a month to cable TV providers when 90% of the movies and TV shows they watch can be found on the Internet; what about you? 85% of tvOS apps are available for only $ 0.99-2.99 (and there’s a bunch of free apps, too). Also, Apple may soon release an over-the-top TV streaming service similar to Apple Music. The rumored monthly subscription fee might range from $ 30 to $40 – and that’s a lot cheaper than cable TV bundles. If you already have an application for iPhone or iPad, you can get a tvOS version for free. With Apple TV, users can select the programs they’d like to watch and finally get rid of commercials;
- There’s more to tvOS apps than simply watching TV. Basically, there’s nothing you cannot get on the tvOS app store. Looking for a new apartment to rent? Download Zillow and view photos of the available accommodations on a big screen while having breakfast! Want to play your favorite Crossy Roads game with friends? Simply connect several iPhones to your media streamer and get the famous “multi-user experience” Tim Cook is boasting about. Apple lovers can even shop for clothes: every item on the Gilt catalogue has a “buy now” button. With high-profile companies turning to Apple TV business app development, the platform may soon become the next mobile. Your company surely doesn’t want to miss the opportunity, right?
- Apple TV is getting better. When the 4th Gen TV was launched, Apple faced heavy criticism for leaving out the 4K resolution support, complicated data input process and lackluster gaming experience. The company has gone a long way to improve the gadget performance and rolled out several software updates. You can now search for apps by developer, title and category with the help of a Siri remote, watch iCloud Photo content on a big screen, record live shows using the Tablo DVR app, create folders to arrange your tvOS apps, enter text via an iOS device and do a lot of other cool things. That’s right, there’s still no 4K resolution on Apple TV, but do we really need it? 95% of video content is produced in HD anyway. And yes, Apple TV is not really suitable for console-quality games – but it wasn’t designed to compete with Xbox in the first place! By the end of 2016, the device is expected to ship 24 million units worldwide (and there will be at least 10 thousand applications on the TV app store). Both consumers and businesses see the gadget’s potential – and Apple won’t let them down.
Back in 2008 no one could imagine iTunes singles would soon kill the traditional music industry. The App Store was once stuffed with low-quality Days to Christmas & fart apps. Broadcast TV is (and has always been!) a powerful channel for customer acquisition. However, it no longer meets the high standards of the digital age. Apple has money and expertise to re-invent television – and it certainly will. Today an enterprise may develop app for Apple TV to expand market presence and increase customer loyalty. Tomorrow the clever businessman will start getting revenues from in-app purchases and subscription fees.
Apple TV app development is all about UX. Provided you address an experienced vendor who previously delivered successful tvOS projects and focus on software quality, your app will be a hit.