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Why has Apple made the Apple TV experience more confusing with the TV app?

over 3 years ago from , Associate UX Director

The December Apple TV software update, 10.1 introduced the "TV" app, which Apple describes as: Discover new content or pick up where you left off in a current show or movie—all in one unified place. The TV app brings together all your shows and movies from services that you subscribe to, plus your purchases from iTunes. This feature is available only in the United States for Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

This week I browsed a number of movies using the Siri feature, which, if you're familiar with Apple TV, returns the results on a search results screen of sorts. Typically, when I find a movie I want to watch, I'll add it to my wish list using the "+ Wish List" button. Something was different this time; that button said "+ Up Next" and I figured it was just an unnecessary change to button language.

It was actually adding movies to a queue within the TV app, as I discovered when I went to itunes>movies thinking they were in my wish list, and they weren't there. It took a while or perhaps dumb luck to discover they were saved in the TV app. Now, if you add movies from anywhere but within the Movies app, they get added to the TV app, and not the location you are used to.

Does this kind of disparity bother anyone else? It's another baffling decision by Apple that introduces confusion in an otherwise very tight and streamlined experience. I get the essence of the TV app, any maybe I just need to get used to it, but wanted to see if others had the same impression.

7 comments

  • Luca Candela, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c

    I actually have no strong opinion either way about the change but I was itching to use that video and you gave me the perfect opportunity.

    Have a great new year.

    3 points
  • Account deleted over 3 years ago

    If you ask me, the newest ATV has been a pretty huge disappointment. I got one pretty much as soon as they came out - based on their hype for television integration, amazing voice search, etc... and it's an awful execution (especially for the increased pricing they jumped to).

    The core product itself it great, but in the end, I simply paid more for cool flyover screen savers. Heck, some apps -like Netflix - are better on the older ATV's than the new versions for the current ATV.

    I guess if you wanted it for games for some reason, it's cool... but them trying to make this a home game console was pretty weird IMHO.

    2 points
  • Thomas Edwards, over 3 years ago

    I guess they mean "TV" as in "Apple TV" rather than "TV programmes"?

    1 point
  • Mario MontoyaMario Montoya, over 3 years ago

    God dammit, I just ordered one a day ago

    0 points
  • Jon MyersJon Myers, over 3 years ago

    I have been silently wrestling with the same thoughts.

    I really love(ish) the AppleTV 4.

    It’s especially useful (in most cases) as an expat living in Vietnam.

    The feature has shown up on my AppleTV here. I’m assuming it’s because I have a U.S. based iTunes account.

    The move by Apple is boneheaded and ham-fisted.

    Aside from the wonky AF user experience they’ve jammed in, the visual language of the TV app is ill-fitting. It looks like a black hole. The typography in the TV app got crunky and all big print Reader's Digest.

    My guess, there are a flood of live streaming, TV publishers hitting the tvOS app store. One example, the Directv Now (not available abroad, ohh well, guess I have to steal their shit

    0 points
    • , over 3 years ago

      I looked up the tvOS guidelines yesterday to see what they had to say about onscreen typography, particularly because I can't stand the lightweight fonts used by HBO Go. Funny enough... Apple explicitly describe how fonts need to be large enough and readable, and that thin fonts should be avoided. At even an average distance, the HBO typography (which doesn't follow suggestions from Apple) is challenging to read.

      I can understand giving app developers the flexibility to integrate branding and typography into their apps, but it's a shame to see them not find a happy medium between the guidelines and their stylistic approaches, or, to not offer users some ability to customize it to their liking (ex: font weight, background color, etc.). I would love to see those capabilities in a future version.

      0 points