Apple TV (2015): Siri is invited in the lounge

The Apple TV finally changing. Three years after the latest version, which was itself only a minor update to the Apple TV second name, multimedia box, gateway to Apple in the living room becomes a real platform . The new Apple TV sees its specifications largely revised upwards, includes an app store, and remote control adopts a glass trackpad and microphone to control the system’s voice. What finally do more than a “hobby”? The potential is there, but the price is quite high, and the mistakes of youth still fresh.

Design and ergonomics: Apple TV, Apple TV and a half

The new Apple TV looks like an Apple TV that would have eaten a mushroom Super Mario. Its dimensions are changing only in height, as if someone had stacked a half on the existing Apple TV box.

While Apple tends to refine its products to thicken, which can be seen as a regression simply meets a requirement of heat dissipation. The dismantling of the box by the site iFixit has revealed, unsurprisingly, a large radiator, which allows the new Apple TV to remain completely silent.

Those hoping an evolution of materials will be disappointed: it is always black plastic, glossy and matte on the slice on top, except the logo. Not original for a penny, but a mat in a room where most devices reproduce this finish. Still, like the previous one, it scratches very easily.

The connection of the case evolves, but in the other direction: there is more space, but fewer ports! Specifically, it is the optical output that pays the price. Bad news for owners (disclaimer: as your servant) of an amp that broadcasts sound only in this format.

The rest has not moved, or almost: the Micro-USB port, in particular for the restoration through a computer is replaced by a C-USB connector. For those who confuse it with the Lightning that powers the remote, useless to try to recharge: it is not made for that!

Siri Remote: remote control responds to the finger and voice

If Apple TV does not move much physically, it is different from the remote control, cross journal fills. And it was time: the Apple Remote, which had still received a redesign of aluminum, had not really evolved in its functionality, since its introduction in 2005. It was, against all odds, a four-way pad complete with a central button, and one or two annexes buttons, all communicating via infrared. Not very modern, it all!

The new Siri Remote adopts a design slightly larger, but mostly devoid of directional pad, replaced by a glass trackpad, offering comparable slides that of a MacBook. On top of it we discover a microphone, the other means for interaction with the Apple TV.

Annexes buttons are a bit more. In addition to the menu keys and reading already present, it has a back button to the general reception, the essential Siri button associated with the aforementioned microphone, and two volume keys. Has it finally a sound control Apple TV?

Lost: these two buttons adjust it the volume of your TV (default) or any other device you will associate the remote. If she now communicates by Bluetooth, an infrared port and is always intended for this purpose, and also allows to use Apple Remote “classic” or a universal remote control to navigate the menus.

The finish of the remote is always successful. The aluminum back recalls the iPod Touch and larger than the Apple Remote, its handling is better. The bar was not set very high, but the accessory is neat. Maybe even too: the glass surface is nice, but some users seem to have already paid the price of a fatal fall. And if it breaks, we go to the fund: a Remote Siri additional costs 89 euros!