Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Apple TV, Apple TV, Apple TV, and Apple TV+ (dcurt.is)
491 points by uptown on Nov 4, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 194 comments

Okay, I think I've got this figured out. Can someone check my working?


Color key:

    Green: Apple set-top box
    Yellow: App for Apple set-top box
    Orange: App for other Apple devices
    Red: App for third-party devices
    Yellow/Orange/Red stripe: App generally across all platforms
    Violet: Integrated external subscription content
    Blue: Apple subscription content
    Violet/Blue stripe: Content generally
    Rainbow stripe: Apple TV

See also:

Apple TV (disambiguation) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_TV_(disambiguation)

Original programming for Apple TV+ seems to be very good.

First three episodes for the "For All Mankind" (scifi) are good so are the three episodes for "See". The "The Morning Show" seems to be very good although I'm not in the target audience.

> First three episodes for the "For All Mankind" (scifi) are good so are the three episodes for "See". The "The Morning Show" seems to be very good although I'm not in the target audience.

Which is funny because many critics/reviewers have panned all the new shows. I've only watched TMS so far and found it intriguing.

It's funny, but I get a feeling that the shows are seamless match for Apple products (not in the bad way). It seems like like they are targeting premium users with their programming.

Critics/reviewers never have the same opinion I do. Not even close. I've learned to ignore them completely.

Reviews were so terrible, the shows themselves “subverted expectations”.

Watched 2 - 3 episodes of each this weekend to judge, and while there’s a lot of quality TV competing across pay channels lately, seems to me that Apple has nothing to be embarrassed about.

See is the only one that piques my interest. How would you rate it as a sci-fi on its own merit? (without bringing Apple vs. The World into it or giving away any spoilers)

It's quite decent. B+

What is the point of separating the macOS, iOS and tvOS apps into three? I think it unnecessarily complicates the thing. They are all mostly the same and only differ by the content they can play, which depends on third party support.

Case in point: once you have defined the three terms, you only use the striped one except at the very end to highlight one difference, which only depends on hardware.

> They are all mostly the same and only differ by the content they can play..

But content is a main idea of Apple TV?

It is, but if you define the Apple TV app as a sink that aggregates all content available on your platform, then it makes sense that it is different on each one. Since the way the app works is that it bounces you to the source.

To me there is the device, the app and the streaming service. The Channels is just a feature of the app. I agree that the naming is not ideal, but that is on par for course with Apple nowadays.

DRM levels?

This is actually the most plausible reason. Macs for example got the ability to play your purchased 4K content long after tvOS.

Did you not understand the article at all. It's satire.

Brilliantly done

nailed it.

Remember when .NET came out? Everything was .NET. As a result, no-one really had any idea what .NET actually was. Eventually we figured out it was "Microsoft's Java".

Windows also went through a phase in which seemingly everything was Windows.

Microsoft has gone through some pretty dark times w.r.t. naming stuff. Up there with "Windows" everything and absurdities like ".net Passport" was their unslakable thirst for "Active." ActiveX, Active Server Pages, Active Data Objects.

However, none of it holds a candle to IBM's mania for making everything "Websphere."

Dark times are still happening. Right now they're renaming everything Azure regardless of whether it's part of their cloud offerings.

Also, Live was another Microsoft naming phase.

For me, the canary in the coal mine of ms naming is their messenger. Msn messenger, live messenger, Skype, Skype for business, Teams... I assume the next iteration will be named Azure Teams.

Followed by Azure Teams for Office 365.

The messenger naming example is also apropos because each successive generation of bad naming is also a generation of product that is measurably worse in some way. It goes to demonstrate the durability of software canaries!

I give you msn and live messenger.

All the other ones are literally different products each. I expect different products to have different names.

Why there were so many messenger products is a different question. Anyone from Google wanna jump in and explain this one? ;)

My best guess is Skype was much more profitable than MSN. But Microsoft took the best features of Skype and removed them and the quality got diminished probably in order to monkeypatch Lync into Skype as well as MSN at the time.

After like 2013 I never used Skype again. Now everyone I know either uses Discord or Slack. Teams was at least the right direction for business focus but it seems they shoulda QAd it much more. I dont hear much positive about Teams.

Skype had its guts ripped out and replaced with MSN shortly after the purchase.

> Msn messenger, live messenger, Skype, Skype for business, Teams... I assume the next iteration will be named Azure Teams.

We have a similar issue in education. First it was MSDN-AA, then DreamSpark, then briefly Microsoft Imagine. Now it's called Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching.

That last names awful. I remember DreamSpark. I liked the name DreamSpark the most. Azure DreamSpark wouldnt sound as awful.

Microsoft's email services are still a naming mess. Live, Outlook and Hotmail all seem to be interconnected, and I don't really know what differentiates them anymore.

Hotmail is the spammy one.

Live is the one for gaming.

Outlook is the business one.

Except outlook is the app you install on android or iOS to access your Outlook.com personal email, which is really hotmail, but not to be confused with outlook web access, which is the web interface to exchange’s mail. There’s also the outlook that’s part of office 365 for windows, which is “the business one”, except it is also in the office 365 personal edition, which you are not allowed to use for business, and that outlook is a completely different app from the outlook in office 365 for mac.

But the mail client on windows is not outlook, that’s just windows mail.

The Windows mail client was called Windows Live Mail for a while, and the mail service was called Windows Live Hotmail. The gaming platform, video editor and photo viewer were also all inexplicably Windows Live.

It surprises me that they didn't release 'Windows Live Office' in that era.

I thought Hotmail and Live were dead, replaced by Outlook.com?

Here's the fun part: if I type in Hotmail.com into my browser, I'm redirected to a page titled 'Outlook' that's on a subdomain of Live.com (outlook.live.com)

But if I type in Live.com, I'm redirected to the same page that says 'Outlook' but is actually outlook.live.com

So Hotmail is Outlook but Outlook is Live.com but Live.com itself is Outlook

yeah, but I'm pretty sure that mess is all Outlook.com underneath. I use gmail but also have an outlook account under the new service.

The branding is Outlook.com, but I think it's still the old Hotmail/Live infrastructure underneath.

I mean that would make sense and I don't really care what's under it, the fact of the matter is it does have a unified brand these days.

Don't forget about everything being "visual".

I learned just recently that Microsoft Visual Studio is completely different from Visual Studio Code.

Microsoft Visual Studio for Mac, meanwhile is actually based on what used to be MonoDevelop.

Actually Skype for Business was called Lync and before that Office Communicator. And has nothing at all to do with Skype, or any of their other messaging products!

But yes, dark times indeed.

Like Azure DevOps, hostable on-premises.

That and Azure data studio were what I was thinking of.

> Up there with "Windows" everything and absurdities like ".net Passport"

.NET Passport went thru series of rebranding: Microsoft Passport, Windows Live ID and of course the current Microsoft Account. In some places they also tried to roll everything under MSN brand which later was replaced partially by Windows Live and then again, once they managed to combine their services, MSN applications were bundled with Windows 8 and 10 (News, Weather, Sports etc.). Not mention all GUI changes across the years...

Microsoft trying to figure out what's its brand identity it's like a kid who tries to combine a single image of various jigsaw puzzles sets, periodically smashing pieces together to fit

naming things definitely isn't there strong point

having to click the "start" button to shut down your computer is probably the most illogical one. and somehow it managed to stay that way for 15 years until someone got the bright idea to just but an icon there instead

"microsoft windows phone 7 series" was a mouth full compared to "apple iphone". luckily they changed that soon after but its crazy to think of the amount of people that were involved in that project and none of them spoke up about how stupid the name sounded

a recent one is the app "your phone". it just doesn't sound right. i imagine it would be even more awkward when someone has to search the term. "hey google, my your phone isnt working"

windows security centre changes its name every year. I could go on

As I like to point out, on macOS you click on an icon of literal fruit to shutdown the computer.

The first time Win95 was started, a giant arrow pointed to the start button. It was rather discoverable.

Now Win8, I had to look up how to shut it down, the rtm version was a UX disaster.

Don't forget Active Directory, the only Active-branded product that is still, er, active.

Or Watson

For sure, although whereas the Websphere-ing of the product line seemed like a plausible effort at consistent branding, Watson feels more like a cynical measure to appear relevant, but nobody's buying it.

On the "active" bandwagon, I forgot to mention Active Directory, which is kind of funny given that I spent the better part of a decade specializing in development and projects largely oriented around AD and ADFS, and which is maybe the only Active-branded thing still going strong.

I have a feeling business people eat up Watson. Nobody got fired for buying IBM as they say. I was at a telecoms conference and they did a demo and mentioned the systems could use Watson for speech to text functionality. Someone somewhere is buying into it whether directly or indirectly.

I don't think anyone refers to it as Active Server Pages .NET Core but the abbreviation still carries it.

are you saying websphere is not rational ?

Needs more Tivoli.

Actually, Microsoft's Java existed. Microsoft built their own JVM ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Java_Virtual_Machine ) and Java was supported as a language in Visual Studio in the past. It was the fastest Windows-based implementation of a Java virtual machine when it came out.

But Microsoft being itself added some custom features on top of JVM ( like IE ) and Sun sued them. In retaliation, Microsoft removed JVM from Windows and built C#. Everybody at that time knew C# was Java, though C# has evolved to be a much better language to code in than Java.

They even had a version of Java for .Net called J# (J-Sharp). That didn't last long.

It was for migration purposes if I remember correctly.

Even Sun Microsystems had a phase where they made thought-terminating illogical statements. My 2 favorites: "The network is the computer" - No, it's not, and Sun's tech at the time, just Unix servers, definitely did not have any enlightened concept of networking that others lacked. It had Berkeley sockets and NFS. Such a statement makes me think of single-system image cluster computing, or other cool stuff, but they didn't have it! Lame.

"We put the dot in dot-com" - ??? - I think they got scared that they were starting to lose relevancy in the internet age. It turned out that Sun hardware was a poor choice if you really wanted to scale.

Sun: "We put the dot into dot-com!"

Microsoft: "Oh yeah? Well we put the COM into dot-com. Pthththth!"


IBM: ”When they put the dot into dot-com, they forgot how they were going to connect the dots. Badoom psssh!”


> "We put the dot in dot-com" - ???

Yes, it's marketing fluff (as with any marketing), but I liked that one.

For all you tech people like me that have problems answering to non-techie family members what you do, I thought that was an example of a beautiful succinct answer that still conveyed enough of an idea to be satisfying to laymen.

As for one I really hated from Sun: "Java Desktop System", which was just a distro with GNOME, and had nothing to do with Java.

Wasn’t that implying their infra running the implicit “.” at the end of “.com” (I know, it’s literally not what the copy says)? I.e. the internet .com resolving depended on Sun.[0][1]

[0] https://serverfault.com/questions/134611/why-no-final-dot-fo...

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_name_server

I like the idea that their slogan was really "we put the second dot in dot-com-dot".

"You know, the one you've never heard of."

Yesss... The name Java Desktop System made my soul hurt. The funny thing though is it was an okay GUI environment. Conservative and thoughtful. It was 10 years late to the GUI party though :)

“The network is the computer” is truer today than it’s ever been though.

It's as gibberish today as it's always been.

I remember the dot in dot-com ads. I was thinking of starting a blog titled: "I put the dot in dotnet"

Seems like Apple is going through Xerox phases..Very soon they will have to explain everything.

There was a time when Xerox had to explain what their products were for. In one of the computer ads the headline said "This Xerox machine can't make a copy"


Not even Xerox can Xerox. [1] [2]

Not even Lego has Legos. [3]

But even Google can Google. [4]

[1] https://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/collection/data/880574...

>Just a little reminder from Xerox / prepared by Needham, Harper & Steers Advertising, Inc. -- Not even Xerox can Xerox / prepared by Needham Harper Worldwide, Inc. (March 1985) -- Once a trademark, not always a trademark / [Xerox Corporation].

[2] https://trademarkmusings.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/not-even-x...

>Though it was a long time ago, I recall that my law school Business Torts casebook contained a copy of Xerox’s old ad, “Not Even Xerox Can Xerox”, which Xerox used to promote proper use of its trademark and fight genericide. Back in the day, Xerox was by far the most well-know copier brand, leased by offices all over. In this day and age, now that most people have a copier at home (as part of a multifunction printer) and it could be a Canon, HP, Brother, Epson or other brand, I think the younger folk are not so likely to refer to copying as “Xeroxing”. It poses an interesting quandary: Xerox may be winning the genericide war but they are no longer dominating the competition. Which is preferable?

[3] http://www.lego.com/en-us/legal/legal-notice/fair-play

>Proper Use of the LEGO Trademark on a Web Site

>If the LEGO trademark is used at all, it should always be used as an adjective, not as a noun. For example, say "MODELS BUILT OF LEGO BRICKS". Never say "MODELS BUILT OF LEGOs". Also, the trademark should appear in the same typeface as the surrounding text and should not be isolated or set apart from the surrounding text. In other words, the trademarks should not be emphasized or highlighted. Finally, the LEGO trademark should always appear with a ® symbol each time it is used.

[4] https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=65cb8ea7-6425...

>In a well-reasoned opinion, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the GOOGLE trademark has not suffered death by genericide – even if the public uses it as a verb for searching the Internet.

>The case before the court sprang from the registration of 763 domain names that incorporated the term GOOGLE. After losing a domain name dispute arbitration, the domain name owners sued to have various trademark registrations for GOOGLE cancelled, claiming that the mark had become generic for the act of searching the Internet. The court rightly observed that a claim of genericide must always relate to specific goods or services, and that use of “google” as a verb for searching the Internet was not sufficient evidence that GOOGLE had become generic for “search engine services” or any other goods or services.

>The general rule of thumb is that trademarks are best thought of as “adjectives” that modify a generic noun. But this “part of speech” approach is not determinative to whether a mark has become generic. And while for years Xerox sought to instill in the public’s mind the trademark significance of XEROX by stating that “not even Xerox can xerox,” evidently Google can google without destroying the mark.

For me it was interesting to notice how my gf uses "googling" for all search actions. Not only in the Internet, but also for all in-app search and filtering functions.

That's not even the best example. .NET Core vs. .NET Standard was a wtf?

> .NET Core vs. .NET Standard was a wtf?

At least they named it core and standard so you know which mess you're referring to.

With Apple TV you have to make up your own qualifiers.

Apple's marketing team seems to failing at their jobs right now. They had iPhone had X/Xr/Xs/Xs Max at some point, and I never figure out which was which. The most recent 11/11 pro/11 pro max makes a lot more sense, but it sounds dated.

Just because you don't understand it doesn't make it a "mess"

.Net Core and Standard are two of the best things Microsoft has done in the past 5 years and part of the reason why .Net is doing so well and is super popular.

To be fair just before .NET Standard it was much more confusing. Then by .NET Core 3 (which I kept telling people wait till .NET Core 3 for things to get better since it wasnt till .NET Framework 3 that I saw huge adoption of .NET) it got way better. Also now we are seeing cross platform UI frameworks for .NET as well. I have been wanting to experiment with some of them but I am letting the ecosystem grow and mature a bit more.

.NET Core is the best thing Microsoft did even if it sucks they basically redid .NET Framework. It sucks when companies do that kind of thing but the end result is a much more powerful .NET ecosystem. The confusing bit is old .NET Framework libraries that may or may not work at all with .NET Core.

That's not really an example of what they're bringing up.

Microsoft has the .Net ecosystem (as the above poster described it "Microsoft's Java," which it largely is). However for a period Microsoft was naming other products and services ".Net" that were completely unrelated. Specifically this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_.NET_strategy

Both .Net Core and .Net Standard are part of the .Net ecosystem for real, making them not an example of the marketing phenomenon being discussed here. Which isn't to say the names aren't confusing, just that it isn't in the same pattern.

PS - .Net Framework: Legacy/Classic .Net. Windows Only. Started in 2002. 4.8 is the final major version.

.Net Core: Light weight/cross platform "reboot" of .Net Framework. Started in 2016.

.Net Standard: Minimum subset of both that allows libraries to be cross-compatible with .Net Framework and .Net Core. Also assures they lack Windows specific dependencies. Allowing a bridge to migrate to .Net Core.

They should have it called [The] .NET Standard [API specification] but that is a bit long, isn't it?

I never found it confusing, but I also remember the hell of PCL’s so .Net Standard was a breath of sanity.

How about the New Nintendo 3DS XL or Xbox One, now with 30% more confusion in conversations.

Xbox One X.

Now with 40% more confusion.

Windows Server 2003 was briefly called Windows .Net Server during its beta phase.

There was a Visual Studio .Net as well, 2002 if I remember correctly.

"There are only two hard problems in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things." (Phil Karlton)

Amusing that along with this, there are two articles about caches on the front page of HN right now.

There's also the unspoken third one which is off by one errors.

Like they said, the two hard problems.


Obiwan errors are greatly reduced in more modern language that have newer mechanisms for looping over data.

And the fourth: scope creep.

This isn't really a naming problem, though, although the naming is poor. Better naming or more clarity isn't going to fix the fundamental problem - Apple TV doesn't deliver on the promise of an (idealized) Apple product/service.

A good Apple product may in some ways be more constrained than similar products but is easy to understand and use and 'just works'. For instance, you bought an iPod and you plugged it into your Mac which popped up a store where you could buy music. You didn't have to know what an 'mp3' is. Or you bought an iPhone, took it home, plugged into your computer and 3 minutes later had a working new phone/pocket web browser. You didn't have to listen to anyone telling you about extended warranty and the web browser actually worked.

Buying an Apple TV or subscribing to the service doesn't solve any of the endless irritations and inconveniences associated with consuming TV or movies online. It just names them all Apple TV but if they fixed that, the irritations and inconveniences would still be there.

But they can both be solved by adding another layer of indirection.

What about Rust? Cant it solve the problem?

You're thinking of Haskell. Apparently it solves all the problems.

Fools, Electron is the One True Messiah.

It solves all problems by leaving no memory and battery for them to happen in.

This article is about the media player. For the streaming service, see Apple TV+. For the media player app from Apple, see Apple TV (software). For other uses, see Apple TV (disambiguation).

What? No mention of the Apple TV remote, the Apple TV Siri remote, the Apple TV remote app, or the iOS Apple TV remote app shortcut feature on iOS?

The physical Apple remotes are so terrible, I've stopped using Apple TV (all of them). The Apple remote app is better, but is useless for when you need to hit pause, as your phone has gone to sleep.

I use the remote control you can add to the Control Center. It can be used without unlocking the phone, and some time ago they finally added a feature that makes the remote controls available immediately (if the phone has gone to sleep while the remote was active) just by raising the phone to wake it. Feels like an actual remote now, to the point that I no longer bother searching for the real remote and just use my phone all the time. The pop up-keyboard and keychain access to automatically input passwords are also nice.

The more recent Apple TV remote with the touch pad rather than the scroll wheel is probably the best remote I've ever used - only problem I've had with it is as it is so small it is easy to lose.

The awful remote is tolerable with one of these cases:


I'm not sure it solves the main problem which is scrolling on the remote is almost unusable.

They would have been better sticking with the remote that came with the early versions.

what do you mean by scrolling being unusable ? it's not a mouse wheel with steady scroll rate but something similar to flicking a finger.

It's not great for long lists but it's far from being terrible, also part of the problem lies on the UI design for example having too long lists

It is terrible, it regularly fails to scroll or scrolls too far.

cannot reproduce on my machine


Without getting into the reductive "Do you work for a competitor to Apple" counter-argument, I also don't have any trouble scrolling with a Apple TV remote.

It's possible for people to have different experiences or standards without being paid trolls, but I guess I'm graciously assuming you're not a paid troll. Which, by the way, is the rule around here: be gracious.

We just use our TVs remote, which passes through to the Apple TV over HDMI-CEC

Assuming you also have any other component besides only an Apple TV, I recommend a Logitech Harmony “Companion”:


The smart home integration buttons are nice, as is not having a screen that changes what buttons do.

Also, the Apple TV Movies app has a wish list which doesn't sync with anything.

And, sometimes when you search for a movie using Siri on Apple TV it opens in Movies where you can add it to your wish list, but sometimes it opens in the TV app where you can't. To avoid this, you have to go into Movies, then use Search, then use your voice to fill in the title, then it will come up in Movies where you can add it to the wish list.

And don't even get me started on having different Apple IDs that you need to use for iCloud and iTunes because btw, you can't merge Apple IDs. And if one of your Apple IDs is from the .mac/.me era, you can't change its primary email address.

But other than that it's great.

Apple needs to have the marketing people who come up with California-based macOS names sort this out. If they solved the cat naming crisis then surely they can clean up this mess.

I have a feeling the same idiots that decided on "XS Max" for the iphone, came up with this naming scheme.

If you are at the point that your company is adding MAX to the end of its product names, your company is about to jump the shark (see Boeing).

The repetition is the marketing.

They solved the cat-naming crisis? I missed that memo!

The first 9 release names of OSX (v10.0 - v10.8) were based on cat names after which they switched to Mavericks for v10.10:

- Cheetah

- Puma

- Jaguar

- Panther

- Tiger

- Leopard

- Snow Leopard

- Lion

- Mountain Lion

- Mavericks

"Solved" by ending it after 9 releases, appropriately

The best is that you can buy the Apple TV in two sizes! 32 GB and 64 GB. Why you ask? Can the bigger one store more stuff? No, everything’s in the cloud! So what’s it for exactly? Who knows! But it’ll cost you an extra $20 and won’t even come in a different color like the “Pro” keyboards and mice. For a fun exercise go ask an Apple store employee this.

Additional app storage and the ability to store/download media in apps that support it.

From my (admittedly now hazy) understanding, everything in Apple TV land is supposed to be purgeable. So nothing should stop working on a 32 GB Apple TV unless it for whatever reason needs 64 GB of data on disk. This will of course mean that the 64 GB model is faster in caching scenarios, but it’s IMO an unnecessarily complex decision for an already expensive product in the space ($179 for 32GB!)

It's for games, apple tv supports a lot of games that are modified for the large form factor and can get quite large(like crossy road)

How many apps will I have to install to run out of space on my 32GB Apple TV? Curious how many people this has actually happened to...

Now, with Apple Arcade, it is very easy to run out of space. It made no sense at the beginning, though.

Maybe it's there in case you run out of swap for Electron apps.

I’m fairly certain that it will hold more of screensavers (at 950MB each), and they are honestly my favorite part of the device. If you don’t have broadband the idea of a bigger cache of content seems worth a nominal fee.

With Apple Arcade and recently added support for Xbox and PS4 controllers, space may become a constraint.

When the Apple TV first launched, you were limited to 200MB of an initial download and 20GB total counting later-downloaded on-demand resources. These on-demand resources in theory automatically get flushed out, so the HD space serves more like a cache. So the 32/64GB has a very tenuous relationship with performance before, and now that it's been raised to 4GB install probably will not be nearly enough space. It's a weird device.

Apps, e.g. games?

Apps and Games, genius.

Oh, because people are regularly installing the 7.8GB Xcode update?

Aside from the fact that I doubt anyone downloads that many apps, from my understanding Apple TV makes you use on-demand resources for anything above 4GB. That means that old resources automatically get flushed out, so the actual benefit of those extra 32GB is more of caching-feeling behavior.

I use Infuse with my NAS and it uses GBs of local storage for caching previews and thumbnails.

There are quite a few storage hungry apps least of all the screen savers.

I'm never one to jump on the new product bandwagon. I think I'll wait until the Apple TV++ comes out.

Plus, it'll probably be object-oriented.

I’m hoping for Objective Apple TV. Apple TV# would be... unexpected.

It's also possible the next models will be Apple TVe, Apple TVc, and Apple TVgs.

Not to be confused with the also upcoming Apple iTV.

I seem to remember it was going to be called this originally but it was a problem because the main commercial broadcaster in the UK is called ITV.

++ is no longer allowed in Swift. It has to be Apple TV+=1

Applet TV-=-1

SwiftTV is next. Or am I the only one who thinks it was stupid that Apple started overloading the name of a programming language.

Apple TV² is when you know they are getting serious.

It'll be protocol-oriented.

What about ++Apple TV?

Nah, I'm waiting for the Apple TV S Max Pro

I prefer ++Apple TV

You’re gonna love the Apple TV#

Netflix refers to a company, an app, a third-party app on some Smart TVs, and a subscription service, but people don’t generally get confused. Consistent branding isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

That said, Apple’s support for third-party Smart TV apps is actually quite unusual IMHO; this really reduces their usual control over quality and experience.

Is it really inconsistent branding, though?

To me, every one of these Netflixes is the same: the Netflix on my phone, tablet, TV, games console, and the website are all the same product.

For Apple TV, however, the exact same name is used to refer to multiple different products and experiences: the device, the app on the device, the app on different devices, and many of these experiences differ significantly.

Ultimately, it seems like there are two different Apple TV products, but not more than that.

There's the device, and there's the app/service. The difference from Netflix is that Netflix doesn't sell hardware also called Netflix.

The author seems to be getting at that point: these two "Apple TV"s are more than two products.

Assuming for a moment that the hardware devices can be a single product, the apps just cannot be: each of them has wildly different behaviour on different apple devices, with different features, and different functionality depending on the presence of 3rd party apps.

As an end user I found this confusing at first, frustrating when I understood what was going on, and now I just don't use the Apple TV apps, even on my Apple TV.

I guess this is subjective, but I don't see the behaviors as "wildly" different.

In all cases, the Apple TV app is where you go to access the Apple TV+ service and as much other available content and video services as can possibly be presented to you on the given platform. The fact that this is different depending on your device and subscriptions is a little bit weird, but it doesn't change that much, at least for me.

Next up is Apple TVX. "It's called 'tee-five-ten'. Yes, that's what it's called. Say it that way. Because we said so."

Here's my take on it: I bought an Apple TV and It Just Works. Movies, subtitle, adding a few key apps like Netflix and Youtube. It's the same name because it's the same whole experience.

Exactly. Now I feel a bit bad because I'm not confused at all - it just all works.

It all works juuuuust until it doesn't and you have to upgrade to the next tier. I assume the experience will be like the one i had with netflix, where once i had a 4k tv i realized i HAD to upgrade my account and internet bandwidth coz otherwise stuff would look blurry and buffer(for kids who can't tell why stuff doesn't look as good as on the neighbors device)

Obviously not a problem for people who can just buy all the extras but if you're budgeting then it does get quite nasty and lead you to the media server route

Bad assumption. Apple TV+ has only one price, no tiers of service like Netflix.


I find naming and details as confusing with Amazon Prime, Amazon Video and FireTV.

Maybe it is not as problematic when you are in the US, but in my country Amazon Prime works in all devices (android, ios, pc, etc) except in the FireTV, other services like netflix, spotify and youtube works very well on FireTV. Note that this is clearly stated in the documentation and faqs, it is a product targeted to a few countries only.

Reminds me of the time I tried to decide which Microsoft Surface I should buy.

Or when you want to buy a used one and want to check the value.

I love the occasional topic like this that makes HN let out its inner Reddit.

Highly recommend MrMC (https://mrmc.tv) for the AppleTV. It is a Kodi port and allows you to mount NFS/SMB again. I switched from a PC w/Kodi to AppleTV on all the TV sets. MrMC for the local music and videos, Amazon Prime, Netflix, SiriusXM, iPlayer. Done. No moving parts, simple. I do not plug in the SmartTVs or use their apps as I do not not need my info shared with the world...

What’s pretty brilliant is that you could remove the word Apple and it would look exactly like what Tv is. Essentially Apple has replaced TV with AppleTV. And with that Apple is trying to become a monopoly on what was formally a relatively distributed system.

The mostly same problems plague Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Prime, Prime Channels, Prime Video for purchase, Prime video included in prime account, Prime App on different platforms, SSO with TV Network Apps. Looks like Apple is trying to catch up with mess.

With Google, I don't even know where to start. Messaging is not the only product line they messed up. Play Movies offering the same thing as Youtube Movies and Google Play Music - Youtube Music (you can buy, you can subscribe). Adding podcasts to Google Play Music, then removing it for a standalone app. However if you download the podcasts from the standalone app, they show up as Albums in Google Play music (on Android)

For a company with a relatively smaller product line, Apple sure is not the best at naming things. How does something like this happen?

Maybe someone at Apple got the Sony WH-1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones instead of the MDR-ZX110NC Noise Cancelling Headphones for Christmas, and this is some kind of a backlash into over-simplification.

What i find confusing... is I use the subscription service from Roku (trial). I kind of like that new Morning Show show, and then I wanted to see what else they had to offer on their streaming service but everything is mixed w/ 3rd party crap that's like $2/episode or something.

I just want free stuff/included stuff. I login to prime/netflix I know where to go to get all the included stuff. on Apple+ via Roku it's confusing as fuck. I think it's meant to be so I dish out cash to watch stuff. But that's not going to happen, instead I'll get pissed off and get rid of the service.

There's literally only four shows included, so it's barely worth having a category.

(There actually is a category, well hidden, on the Mac/Apple TV hardware version of the app, but I'm not familiar with the Roku UI.)

Ahhh Apple iPhoneOS became iOS (Because of the iPad and appleTV 2) iOS for the appleTV became tvOS. OSX became macOS iOS for iPad became iPadOS I wait with glee when they rename iOS back to iPhoneOS.

iPod Touch still runs iOS.

Right. So a rename to iPodOs is due ;)

Missing from this article is "Channels" which is a third-party app that runs on Apple TV that lets you stream and record from a local network tuner.

Maybe it’s still a hobby 10 years later?

One thing to note (not that it necessarily clears things up all that much):

In the March 2019 Apple TV+ announcement event, Apple renamed the non-4K Apple TV hardware from "Apple TV" to "Apple TV HD".

So the hardware options are now "Apple TV HD" and "Apple TV 4K".

Funny, I don't see an "Apple TV" app on my iPhone, I just see "TV".

Same with Wallet, Watch, Maps - they seem to omit the ’Apple’ in app titles used on the devices, and occasionally in marketing copy on a second mention.

At least when Apple TV first came out in 2007 the messaging and branding was very clear. It was just the hardware device. The software that looked like an Apple TV interface on a Mac was called Front Row.

WWDC 2020: "We're excited to announce Apple TVs+"

Soon to be joined by Apple TVs+ Pro! *

* one or more pros not included

Jinx! :)

"and the magical Apple TVs+ Pro"

Followed by the Apple TV SE+

The original Apple TV, circa 1979:


2021: Apple TV+ Pro

2022: Apple TV#

This made my day.

Apple TV: Far Seer's Edition

I thought it was just me :/

Glad he cleared that one up.

Apple seems to have lost their focus, and that is reflecting all over their product line.


Ah of course. Nothing like this happened when Jobs was around ;)

(Apart from the iPod, which probably is still more confusing than the iPad names. At one point it was so messed up that in November 2004 they had to rename the “iPod Photo“ to the “iPod photo”.)

Apple TV is also a dumpster fire.

Apple TV+ has its flaws. So did Netflix on day one.

But this isn't a critique of Apple TV; this is a critique of Apple TV.

Right. Let me see if I got this right- Apple TV is on first, Apple TV is on second, Apple TV is on third, and AppleTV+ is pitching.

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo ...[0]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffal...

Apple TV has its flaws. But so did Apple TV on day one.

I know you’re being downvoted because your comment is based on the content not the name, but on the name thing, Netflix actually tried to spin their DVD business to be called ‘Qwikster’, but I think people got angry for some reason(?) so they kept the Netflix name for both. So that was maybe a bit confusing for a while.

Netflix also existed in a radically different market and set of competitors with wildly different consumer expectations.

This is a weird comparison. Apple TV+ isn't competing with Netflix day one, it's competing with Netflix today.

Please don't mind it but you username kind of matches the original post!

Sounds about par for the course for post-Jobs Apple.

It's been 8 years. People can't honestly still be holding on to this, can they?

Bill gates retired 19 years ago(2000s) and his name is still synonymous with windows due to choices he made.

People still ask Wozniak about his opinions on devices(iphones etc) that he had absolutely no input on and they do tinge people's perceptions of those devices

Jobs penchant for secrecy persists to this day at Apple, the personalities of the people who were in charge/first affect organizations more than you'd think

People love their idols. Elvis is only fading because his base is.

Elvis isn’t really fading; he is the #2 dead artist by annual revenue. Michael Jackson is number 1 — he had about 2 billion streams last year.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact