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With Apple TV Are Apps The Future Of Television?

Apple’s 4th-gen Apple TV is on its’ way in October with the idea that apps are the future of television as a core push as to why you will want it. The concept is based on how many users already utilize mobile devices and apps for things like Netflix, Hulu and iTunes to watch shows.

But does that mean there are also going to be opportunities to create apps for Apple TV that go beyond streaming shows?

What about specific apps for a console-type game experience? Or those geared towards kids and learning like in a classroom? Or how about fitness options that provide a mix of what you experience currently in an app and what you get from watching an instructional video?

From Apple’s perspective, the door is wide open for developers to harness an opportunity to revolutionize how apps and a TV can work together.

How does the 4th-gen stack up?

The first hurdle Apple faces is competition for the existing TV market with other streaming options like Google, Amazon, and even their own third generation product on the market.

Apple is going strong against the completion with an A8 processor and either 32 or 64 gigabytes of storage. It also has Siri support and the App Store. Similar to Roku, Apple TV will offer search results that goes beyond using their native iTunes and will look at any service.

There is the Siri Remote, which has motion sensors which is perfect for games or other sensory input options apps might need. Of course, it is also the only option that is Apple Music compatible.

The bottom line is that while currently other devices are still very compatible, Apple appears to have the leg up, much like it did when it entered the smart phone market, because of the idea of apps being added to the mix. However, how far Apple TV will go from here seems highly dependent on how well developers are able to create apps people will want or need to include into their living room.

What types of apps should we expect to see?

Unlike current mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, Apple TV apps should primarily be focused around fun and improving quality of life. The need for productivity apps and business style apps will probably be limited because the last thing anyone wants to do when they sit down in the living room is be reminded of work.

With that being said what types of apps do we want to see?

  • Games – This should be a huge market. Taking any existing popular game and expanding it to the big screen is a must. Candy Crush for multiple players, internet poker, Clash of Clans and more are just the tip of the iceberg. On top of that family games can make a resurgence, even adding in games that families can play together in multiple houses at the same time to bring people farther apart closer together. On top of that Apple TV should compete in the normal console market as both Disney Infinity and Guitar Hero will be available.
  • Education – Parents already have problems with kids spending too much time playing games and watching TV, but if you can find a way to combine those two things then it will become a very hot commodity. Learning games that can be played in a central location, which allows parental supervision, could be a huge market. Language programs for anyone could easily be added in here.
  • Fitness – People like to workout in the privacy of their own home. Console games have tried to tap into this with various fitness options, but apps could go even further. You could have an instructional kickboxing video playing while and app tracks your heart rate and other statistics. Combine this app with a mobile app to better track people who also bike or run to provide a total fitness tracking option. There are a lot of possibilities especially with the increase in sensor devices.
  • Cooking – Why only focus on the living room? Plenty of people used to have a TV in the kitchen to watch a cooking show while they followed the steps in their own home. Apps that provide a range of recipes accompanied by lists of ingredients that can be sent to a phone and YouTube videos you can watch as you prepare could make anyone into an instant gourmet.
  • Social – Social networks could find an outlet on Apple TV. Plenty of people currently use their mobile devices to access social networks while sitting on the couch so why not just use the TV?
  • News – One of the primary aspects people utilize a TV for is news. News apps and sports apps (which is a specific aspect of news) should have a very big market open to them especially those that can find the proper mix of content their users’ desire.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that Apple TV has created something special with this fourth generation device. With the addition of an app store, Apple TV with apps is the future of television as long as the developers out there can take the ideas that have spawned so many mobile juggernauts and translate that success to people’s living rooms.



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