Apple TV 4 Reviews: Siri is Helpful and There's Loads of Potential

With the launch of the new fourth-generation Apple TV just a couple days away on Friday, October 30, the first batch of reviews for the new set-top box have arrived online. Most sites have come away with positive impressions of the new Apple TV, noting that Siri is extraordinary helpful and the inclusion of tvOS and apps give the device a lot of potential for the future.


BuzzFeed says that the biggest new feature on the Apple TV, the new Siri Remote, is a "drastic" improvement over the remote included with previous Apple TV remotes. The touchpad is "surprisingly accurate and easy" to use for pinpointing certain moments during a film or TV show. The universal search via Siri, however, will have longtime Apple TV users "resenting Apple for not enabling it sooner." Siri, according to BuzzFeed, is both useful and clever.

“Rewind 30 seconds,” “Show me Anchorman,” and “Who directed this?” all work well. And thanks to “What did he say?” — which skips back to replay a character’s comment with closed captioning, I finally know what Benicio Del Toro’s character was mumbling in The Usual Suspects. (“I said he’ll flip you. …Flip you. Flip ya for real.” Kind of a letdown. Don’t even get me started on Lost in Translation.) Also: For a few glorious moments last night I was able to taunt my wife by repeatedly what-did-he-saying a favorite moment in Blue Velvet.

While The Verge also enjoyed Siri on the Apple TV, saying that the execution is "among the best in the game," they noted that there are several limitations in place. Siri only works with a handful of apps at the moment, including Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, HBO and Showtime. However, The Verge does mention that a Siri search API is on the way.

On apps, The Verge says that most tvOS apps are currently just very large iPhone apps. There are few apps that take advantage of TV, though they do note that apps like the QVC app show the potential of the new Apple TV and tvOS.

The QVC app is the only app that really and truly blends television with interactivity: it shows you a live feed of QVC, and it overlays the familiar information box on the left side of the screen with a buy button. So you’re watching the regular QVC TV channel, and you can just click to buy, or swipe down to see more photos of the item and related items while the video keeps playing.

Mashable notes that setting up the Apple TV is extremely simple and easy if the user has an iPhone with iOS 9.1 installed.

Simply plug the Apple TV into HDMI and power and then use the Bluetooth connection from your iPhone or iPad to share information such as iCloud and iTunes Account preferences and your WiFi password.

However, Yahoo Tech says that while Siri and the new setup process make things simpler, users will still have plenty of text entry to do on the new device. Users still have to enter their user information in certain apps that require authentication, like Hulu or HBO Go. Unfortunately, Yahoo Tech's David Pogue says that the new on-screen keyboard is far more difficult and "excruciating" to use than the previous on-screen keyboard.

Finally, BuzzFeed mentions that the new Apple TV accessory, the Remote Loop, which is intended to keep the new remote from flying out of the hands of new Apple TV users who want to play games, is better used in another way.

But frankly, the loop is better used as a means of locating and rescuing the diminutive remote after it’s gone missing between couch cushions. I’ve used it for this purpose at least three times so far, and given the loop’s utility for this sort of thing, it’s puzzling that Apple doesn’t view it as a crucial part of the remote, instead selling it as a silly $13 accessory.

The new fourth-generation Apple TV is available for pre-order now and will be available in Apple Stores this Friday. It's available for $149 for a 32 GB version and $199 for a 64 GB version.

Other reviews: CNET, USA Today, Re/code, The Wall Street Journal.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Tag: reviews
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

Deelron Avatar
68 months ago

My current Apple TV mostly collects dust - too many 'apps' that require a cable subscription to see useful content, and mostly because there is no Amazon video. Naturally, Apple doesn't want to support a competitor such as Amazon - but that'll keep me from buying a new model Apple TV as I prefer to use my Tivo OTA or Roku which DO support Amazon (and have global search).

Since Amazon was the one who banned AppleTV and Chromecast from their web store (including 3rd party resellers), and are giving the blank stare to media when they ask if they are planning to release an app, I think it's just as likely Amazon doesn't want to support a competitor such as Apple, despite Amazon's mission statement.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nepalisherpa Avatar
68 months ago
I'm surprised that Buzzfeed didn't write the review in bullet points: "10 features of the new Apple TV"
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RockSpider Avatar
68 months ago
"and given the loop’s utility for this sort of thing, it’s puzzling that Apple doesn’t view it as a crucial part of the remote, instead selling it as a silly $13"
They can't know Apple too well, just another money grab.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mellomike Avatar
68 months ago
I've been playing with the dev kit for some time now and I'm loving the Apple TV.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appledefenceforce Avatar
68 months ago
" instead selling it as a silly $13 accessory."

Jeez Apple, gouging much?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
usarioclave Avatar
68 months ago

So basically Apple needs a reason for you to buy a new one in two years.

Of course. You bought a new receiver, a new TV, and new hdmi cables. Why not a new 4K ATV?

If you don't like it, buy a roku or fire tv. Nobody's forcing you to buy something that doesn't do what you want.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
macbook pro screensaver table

Some M1 Macs Affected By Fast User Switching Screensaver Bug

Monday January 18, 2021 1:57 am PST by
A growing number of user reports online suggest some of Apple's M1 Mac models are susceptible to a Fast User Switching bug that spontaneously activates the screensaver and leaves the user unable to dismiss it. In macOS Big Sur, Fast User Switching allows users to quickly switch between user accounts without having to completely log out. Based on posts in the MacRumors forums, Apple...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...