At a press event Wednesday, Apple unveiled its newest line of products, which includes a smaller, updated version of the Apple TV device. This $99 second-generation model — unlike the bulkier 2007 one, a flop which offered limited viewing options for download — this incarnation lets users stream high-definition movies for $4.99 and television shows from Fox and ABC for 99 cents for a 48-hour rental. The video-on-demand device can also connect to services like Netflix, YouTube, and the photo-sharing site Flickr. Will the new Apple TV succeed where its predecessor failed? (Watch Steve Jobs unveil Apple TV)
Just right: This is "a major improvement over the previous version," says Pablo Valerio in Technorati. Obviously, Apple "listened to the customers" this time around, and delivered a "simple device" that offers users all the features they want. Though people who prefer to "shuffle around 200+ channels" may find it wanting, those happy to "watch your favorite show, a recent movie or a good documentary" should be fully satisfied.
"Simple is better: The new Apple TV is here"
Apple TV won't fly: Sorry, says Larry Dignan in ZDNet, but Apple TV still "doesn’t stand a chance." Why? Because it simply "lacks the content" to compete. So far, only Fox and ABC have agreed to distribute their shows through Apple. And I suspect most other networks "aren't going to trust Jobs as the gatekeeper" to their programs. If Apple wants to dominate the television market, it'll have to do better than this.
"Ranking the digital living room barbarians: Netflix rules; Apple Google, others likely to struggle"
Never discount Apple: Apple TV's greatest challenge, says Linda Holmes in NPR, is that there's "absolutely no history of people paying to rent television episodes on a per-episode basis." They either watch them on television, or purchase the DVD box set. That said, "the company is pretty good at getting its customers on board," so never count Apple out.
"Apple gambles on TV episode rentals: Does this change the game?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- How to make corn dogs
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
Subscribe to the Week