7/10, with the potential to be a 9/10 once Apple actually finishes it. There are some glaring omissions:
- The iPhone/Watch remote app not working.
- The way Photos works. Why can’t I share use my Favorites as a screensaver?! It seems like the most obvious thing.
- The fact the Universal Search API isn’t ready for third-parties.
- Random bugs. I somehow reached a point where none of the buttons on the remote other than Siri would do anything, so I had to unplug it and plug it back in. ¯\(ツ)/¯
It’ll still be my default way of watching stuff, though, because the core functionality is pretty great. Not having to dig around Hulu’s shitty UI to find the next episode of something is glorious, as is using voice to jump around a YouTube video. “What did he say?” even works on YouTube, though I don’t think it turns on subtitles yet.
Biggest surprise: holy shit, Alto’s Adventure on the Apple TV is actually really fun. The graphics and sound are pretty great on a home media setup, and there’s something relaxing/meditative about that game in particular – likely a combination of the game’s fantastic art direction and the simplicity of the controls.
Most of the games I downloaded to play around with I’ve already deleted, but this one is definitely sticking around, and as a result I’m slightly more bullish on the Apple TV as a gaming thing than I was a day ago. I don’t see it as a hardcore gamer’s paradise, but for “sit back and relax” stuff with simple controls? This thing has definite potential.
I could see it being especially great with stuff like Telltale’s games. Heck, it’s not hard to imagine a future where you’re watching Game of Thrones and a recommendation engine suggests you download the games – it could be great for discovery if Apple allows third-parties to glue pieces like that together.
Current recommendation: if you want a new streaming box, and live in Apple’s ecosystem already, get the $150 model – but maybe wait a few weeks/months unless you’ve had it with your current setup.