So I have been using the Apple TV 4K every single day for 2 months, and I have to say it’s probably one of the best yet underrated purchases that I’ve done last year. Why? Well, I present to you my top 8 reasons why.
#1 – Interface/App
Do you know what the main problem with an Android TV is? Well even though it’s the “way to go” for most people since it has access to the entire Google Play Store, but it is not really optimized for TV usage.
It can get really clunky when you, for example, want to change a certain setting using a remote, and some of the apps are not properly optimized to have a full screen experience as well.
Now I have used Android TVs, Hisense’s VIDAA OS, and even LG’s webOS, which, to some, is the golden standard for TVs. All of them are good for the most part, but I felt that it was a little cumbersome and somewhat quite messy to use, especially for the overall interface.
But on the Apple TV 4K, it is clean as hell! Is Hell clean? OK nevermind, but yes, the interface was super clean!
The Apple TV 4K runs on Apple’s tvOS 16 and it runs as it should, with no sudden playback or freezes.
And with the improvements of 50% better CPU performance and apps launching 20% faster than the previous Apple TV, the experience was super enjoyable and smooth. It works right the first time around, and everything was really very well tailor-made for the Apple TV experience.
One of my definite favorites is Apple Fitness+ on the TV because it feels like a dream when used with the Apple TV since it does show my Activity Ring during my morning yoga workouts and my meditation completion at night as well.
#2 – Apple TV Remote
For the next reason, it may seem minor but for me it is definitely not, because the Apple TV Remote now comes with USB-C compared to Lightning on the previous version.
And by the way, thank you Apple, for the swipe-like iPod Shuffle gestures which I love and really appreciated, because it is so much nicer than LG’s Magic Remote, which, to LG’s credit, it is good, and I really like it, but it does make me feel like Harry Potter sometimes with all the hand waving.
Then by using the Siri button at the side to command app launches and playback control was way more intuitive and quite magic for me as well, as it responded very quickly too.
#3 – Control Using iPhone or Apple Watch
Now, having remotes are great right? But sometimes remotes have the habit of getting lost somewhere in your living room, or for me, in the fridge… from time to time. Don’t ask me why; but maybe it’s my habit of keeping a half-eaten chocolate bar and keeping the remote back in the fridge instead.
So yes, now with that, you can also control the Apple TV not only with your remote but also through your iPhone too, and right now with the latest update, through your Apple Watch as well. Yeap, but make sure that you’re on the same WiFi network as your Apple TV in order for it to work.
#4 – Picture Quality
Now as for the picture quality, since picture quality is essential for you if you want to watch content on TV, it should be good right? Well the good news is that based on my usage, things like YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar are always sharp and crispy with good contrast and shadows.
Why? Because if you don’t have Dolby Vision the built-in Color Balance feature will properly color calibrate your TV where after the calibration, it’ll show you the difference before and after as well, which is another lovely feature which no other TV boxes can do. And this would come in handy especially if your TV does not have Dolby Vision support since you don’t need to calibrate a Dolby Vision TV.
Now if you don’t like to watch TV alone Apple has this feature called SharePlay in case you all did not know where you can watch something together with your friend, your loved one, or anyone at all, through FaceTime call and yes make sure that they have the same Apple TV subscription too and have to be within the same region as well.
#5 – Apple Music Sing
Now for the next reason, whether or not you’re a pro or an expert bathroom singer, you will love the new Apple Music Sing feature. Now like the iPhone it is now available with the tvOS version 16.2 and you can sing your heart out on TV just like in a karaoke box without any typical hourly charges in a karaoke center, which is included in your Apple Music subscription.
Now this feature is only supported in the latest Apple TV 4K and what you need to do is to go to the Apple Music app, select the music and after selecting the music, select the lyrics button at the bottom and select the mic button and here’s where you can use the remote to lower or increase the vocals of the singer.
Now for you tech nerds out there, it is doing a real-time processing, which is not supported for the older Apple TV devices because it does need the processing power of the A15 processor inside of this particular version.
However, one common question that I get is that if it can connect to a microphone or not within the app itself and the answer is no. As there’s no native way of connecting a microphone to the Apple TV itself for now. So you are left with being creative with an external microphone solution or using your natural microphone, you know your throat. But who knows? Apple may come out with an Apple Mic the next time, so I guess we all have to wait and see.
#6 – Gaming
Now, I don’t game a lot with my limited time but if you do, the good news is that this Apple TV can actually be a mini console or a game streaming hub where you can play games from Apple Arcade. And some really good ones that I recommend are the latest NBA 2K and Gear Club as well.
And also worth mentioning and in case you all did not know that PS5 controllers works well connected to the Apple TV 4K and even MFi controllers as well.
#7 – Audio Ecosystem
Now the second last reason would be in regards to my “me time” which is an important time, but the problem is that this usually happens way late at night when I don’t really want my speakers blasting and waking up everyone in the house, so what do I do? I have the AirPods Pro or my AirPods Max because through the Apple TV 4K I can send the audio directly to either the AirPods Pro or my AirPods Max, so I can enjoy the content directly to my ears where you can even share the audio to another Apple audio device with someone else if you want to.
So yes, this means that watching YouTube at odd hours at night or even movies are super enjoyable indeed, especially with trying out Spatial Audio with this AirPods Max was simply *mind blown*
#8 – Smart Home
Then as for the final reason, if you guys are subscribed to my channel, you may have stumbled upon my smart bedroom video recently posted, but if you haven’t, do check it out here because in that video, I mentioned about the HomeKit ecosystem on the Apple TV.
And that is exactly what I use to monitor my whole entire house. And the great thing is that if I’m connected to my headphones or I’m fully submerge myself in a video, I will get an alert on the screen when the door is open or closed. And if you have a HomeKit doorbell with a built-in camera, it will also alert you who is at the door, which was really cool as I’m planning to get the Aqara doorbell since its announcement on CES this year as soon as it’s out, since it is HomeKit compatible as well.
And also knowing that the Apple TV 4K is Thread and Matter compatible, it is just a matter of time, pun intended, till Matter compatible smart home devices will come, so I’m definitely looking forward to that as well.
So what is the takeaway from all of these? Well the Apple TV 4K is an excellent multimedia home device, especially if you are really well into the Apple ecosystem – if you have an iPhone, an Apple Watch, an Apple subscription service and most importantly, a TV of course to hook it up, then this is a no-brainer.
The joy of exercising in the morning with your activity link being shown up in front of the TV, singing with friends and even kicking back for some alone time on a big screen, is a whole other level and definitely something that I keep looking forward to every single day with the Apple TV 4K.