Every time Apple TV gets an update, I can’t help but think that Apple (or a competitor) is missing an opportunity.
Check out this quick video from The Verge:
See how you have to move what is essentially a cursor around the screen, using Apple TV’s tiny remote with its arrow and select buttons, to highlight the choice you want? Come on. For as pretty a UI as the Apple TV presents you with, navigating around like that feels so antiquated in this “Post-PC” era that Apple champions.
This is where a tablet comes in. So while mirroring and AirPlay options exist already, they’re awkward features, and it doesn’t make sense for the tablet to do the heavy lifting of data transfer and streaming that both of those options imply. The Apple TV doesn’t have to worry about battery life, so make it do all the work. But what a tablet is really good at is presenting me with choices, and allowing me make my selection using a pretty and responsive interface.
And that’s exactly how a tablet can be used here. See all those menu items at the top of the Apple TV UI? Present me with those choices in a tablet-oriented UI on my tablet. I make my selection, and both my tablet and the TV respond with the next screen of choices. I tap a movie to see its details on both my tablet and the TV. I hit play, the movie starts playing on the TV, and the tablet shows a progress bar and pause/play/etc. buttons along the bottom of its screen. At which point I can navigate away, use a different app, lock my tablet, or turn it all the way off, and the TV keeps showing the content from the Apple TV until told to do otherwise.
This could also be the start to an API that apps could make use of, to essentially have two screens at their disposal. This could be great for both media consumption scenarios, and for the displaying of content with a group of people.
Why can’t my tablet be the best remote control ever?