Apple recently unveiled a radically improved version of its media streaming device called Apple TV. The latest model is loaded with cool features like Siri Remote, dedicated App Store and much more. Like many others, we were super excited and lining up to buy this new model. However, we have discovered some major problems, specifically with Apple TV India, that forced us to change our decision.
What is Apple TV, you ask?
Apple TV is essentially a media streaming set-top box for television. It offers you the latest movies, TV shows, and music that can be purchased or rented using your iTunes account. You can also play games on it (only through the latest model). Most significantly, though, Apple TV transforms your TV into a mirror display for your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook.
So, What made us discard our plans of buying the new Apple TV? These things —
Firstly, No Siri on Siri Remote
To be clear, you will be getting a remote bundled with the TV box. But its most wonderful feature – launching Siri with a touch and using voice commands – will not be available in India. In fact, the voice-controlled Siri will be available only in 8 countries at launch. The rest of the world, India included, will have to rely on text search. There’s no saying when, or if at all, the Siri function will come to India.
Bummer! We were so looking forward to controlling our TVs with voice. #hopesdashed
Secondly, Gaming will be a pain
After Siri, our other favourite Apple TV feature is gaming. The new App Store promises to bring the awesome iOS games like Infinity Blade to TV screens. We had already started to look for buyers for our PS3, and then we were hit by reality. Apple has imposed a 200 MB upper limit on App manufacturers. This means that high-end games (that take up 2GB on iPhones itself) will have to stream data while playing. And we all know how well streaming works India! Sigh!!
To be fair to Apple, this is our problem rather than theirs. High speed, unlimited, broadband wifi is not exactly a household feature. Apple only has our best interests at heart, as this restriction is to save space on Apple TV’s onboard hard disk. But the end result is that our PS3 isn’t going anywhere. #loadingloadingloading
Thirdly, Lack of Content
Unlike the West, the web content available for streaming in India is very less. And whatever is available readily is way too expensive to make any economic sense. Although the scenario is changing when you look at music, there is a serious dearth of content in the movies and TV shows department for Apple TV India. All in all, it’s quite a dismal picture we’ve painted for ourselves content-wise. #contentkikangali
Fourthly, the Storage Space
With an onboard memory of only 32 GB or 64 GB, Apple TV will hardly appeal to a hardcore movie buff. The high-def movies we all like to save on our hard disks will gobble up this space in a matter of weeks, if not days. #dilmaangemore
Finally, The Price
After the recent reduction in prices by 25%, the current gen Apple TV India is available for INR 5,999. The new one is going to be at least twice the cost! Google Chromecast, on the other hand, is available for less than INR 3,000. And given that most of the functions on Apple TV are not available in our country, the odds get tilted in the favour of Chromecast. #sorryapple
Apple had been calling Apple TV a ‘hobby’ for many years (although their revenue from its sale was 2 billion dollars!). They have finally acknowledged it as the main product, and the new version has enough features to make it a serious contender in media streaming devices space.
For us, though, Apple TV India is still a largely limited experience. Hopefully, there will come a day when Apple will sort these quirks out for India. “But it is not this day!” – Aragorn
Update (22nd December’15): The new Apple TV has now been launched in India at Rs. 13,500 for the 32GB model and Rs. 17,900 for 64GB.