Way back in 2007, Apple launched a little box it said would change how people watched TV. Called the Apple TV, it brought movies and TV shows from the iTunes store right to your television. While there wasn't much content there, a number of people still bought it.
Fast forward to 2015 and the entire entertainment landscape has changed. Cable and satellite services are losing customers monthly to online streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes and others. There are also plenty of streaming gadgets on the market, from boxes like Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and others, to smart TVs and video game consoles. Despite a few updates along the way, the Apple TV was sadly behind the times. That's why Apple recently announced a brand new model.
The fourth-generation Apple TV has a number of upgrades, from a faster processor and 32 or 64 gigabytes of storage to a remote that includes a touch pad and an upgraded operating system. The hardware nice, but it's the operating system that Apple seems really proud of.
To start, Apple TV now includes Siri, Apple's personal digital assistant found on iPhone and iPad. Instead of going to the Netflix or iTunes apps and browsing endlessly to find something to watch, just tell Siri what you want. For example, you can say, "Find me a funny comedy" or "'80s action movies with Sylvester Stallone," and it will pull up matching options from every service.
In addition, the Apple TV can also download and run your favorite apps from iTunes, including game apps. Even better, turning the Apple TV's remote sideways turns it into a game controller.
When Apple announced the new Apple TV, there was a lot of buzz, but it wasn't available for order. Now you can order it, and it will ship as early as October 30. You can buy a 32GB model for $149 or the 64GB model for $169.
Sound a little steep? See how it stacks up to the cheaper Amazon Fire TV, or any of the other streaming boxes on the market.