The difficulty for Sky in updating the AppleTV is that of commerciality. I believe Sky's thinking is this… If we update the AppleTV with all these features, it gives Apple more domination in another media industry, encroaching directly in their domain (the living room) something I truly believe Sky is afraid of. However, there's another point of view Sky should consider…
Apple is truly great at integration: Integrating hardware & software and integrating services that make a difference to people. The latest TVOS update realeased in the USA shows what is to come in the UK. Not only universal siri integration but the TV app which monitors what you watch from numerous sources, making cross-provider recommendations… "enjoy Taboo on BBC iPlayer? Why not try Boardwalk on Netflix". Interestingly, this cross functionality unifies many different sources of entertainment into an easy to digest experience and best of all it keeps track of where you're up to in these programs. It even integrates live programming from those sources and no doubt will soon notify you on your iOS device to tune in right before your program starts.
So, what happens if NowTV doesn't update? They get left behind. Other services will update to use these unique features, customer's will buy more AppleTVs and the terrible user experience of their app puts off customers from subscribing to their programming.
I can tell you it's definitely not how difficult it is to develop for AppleTV or how expensive it is... a 12 year old could create an incredible app for AppleTV (and many do). Coding for Apple devices is easy and provided you have a Mac, it's free too. Apple even halved the cost of the fees for video subscription services sold through an AppleID which is now incredibly competetive considering Apple is doing all the distribution, so we know it's nothing to do with the costs involved in offering the service.
Sky is being short-sighted and only time will show them how their reluctance to use the latest software technology in tvOS will cost them dearly. Wait until there are dozens of providers with incredible TV content who support the unique advanced features of tvOS… NowTV will fade into obsolescence.
Apple are doing some interesting things with the Apple TV in the states (except for the inexcusable lack of Amazon Prime of course). Elsewhere though, things are incredibly different. Looking at the situation in the UK (it's much the same elsewhere) there is a near total lack of local content, and little to no interest from the few local providers which bothered to show up at all.
What do we have in the UK? A really poor bare bones version of iPlayer and... that's pretty much it. No Amazon Prime, no ITV, Channel 4, or Channel 5. It's a wasteland. Buy pretty much any smart TV and you'll get all of those services. They're the bedrock of any streaming platform. Fail to have Netflix, Amazon, and the UK catchup services and it's game over, you've lost.
Some of the blame for the failure of the Apple TV lies with Sky. Had Now TV been a real showcase for the platform then it would have been a strong point for the Apple TV. As it stands the best app on the Apple TV is Netflix, and even that is behind Netflix on other platforms.
It's a shame, but the Apple TV is dead. It's over, at least outside of America. Now TV played their part in its demise for sure, and you can bet your house that Sky will never, ever update it. I now suffer through Now TV on the PS4. The picture and audio quality is utter garbage of course, but at the least the app just about manages to be mediocre.
Hi @Eddie-M, did you seem my comment about difference between Apple TV 2 and 3 and the new Apple TV 4 which has an app store? Apple TV 4 is a Now TV app that sits on the App Store and any updates (or lack thereof) are down to Now TV and not Apple. Is there an update to the app for Apple TV 4 coming? Hasn't been any updates for well over a year.
So the app on the AppleTV4 is built by Apple yet published by Sky(NowTV).Correct? Is there a legal or contractual reason for Sky/Nowtv to keep with this arrangement or can you use another developer (say your iOS ones) to make a app suitable for the tvOS platform? If the latter, is it a cost or strategic issue for Sky? Why develop for any set top box other than your own if it's a policy thing?
I understand bulding and maintinaing apps costs money, however EVERY other platfrom Now TV is availbe on has had an update since the AppleTV app was ported over from the AppleTV2&3 and realesed in the App Store. If it's just a decision for Sky to ignore the platfrom and hope it dies, at least let us paying customers know. If there is no roadmap for impleneting an update or one being considered beause of contractual issues, again please let us know.
Also, you state updates are "based on feedback from the forum", yet NONE of the universally requested features found in 'feeback from the forum' has found its way to the app (from basic things found in your apps on all other platforms, to more complex AppleTV stuff like system wide Siri integration).
Seperatly I find it hard to believe that an app that is solely the responabilty of Apple would not even have had a bug fix since launch given how many techincal issues it has (constantly crashing the hardware for example).
If the app isn't going to be updated, please just let us know and stop giving us false hope.
Right, so there are a lot of posts on this forum about how bad the Apple TV 4th Gen app is, in terms of technical problems (like the constant crashing or lack of sound) to feature problems (no watchlist, now/next etc) to UI/UX (it's a port of an old legacy hardware app). Now TV has appered to have washed their hands of it and on many occasions told subscribers to 'contact Apple' (even though Sky are listed as the app's developer!!!).
So, I figured I would give a few handy links for AppleTV subscribers to make a complaint to Apple about Now TV. If enough of us make enough noise directly to Apple (who do actaully read feedback messages), they'll do something kick Sky into gear to sort out the mess on their end.
General feeback link: http://www.apple.com/feedback/appletv.html
(I suggest anyone with an issue or concern send a feeback report to Apple. Don't ask for them to fix the problems, tell it like it is and say how the developer isn't choosing to resolve the issue)
If you have downloaded the app or subscribed in app in the last 90days: https://reportaproblem.apple.com
(I would ask for a refund if you used an in app purchase)
To cancel a subscription: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202039
Apple don't like badly put together or shoddy legacy ports of apps on new devices (which the NowTV app is). Hopefully by putting pressure on Apple they'll give Sky the kick up the backside to do something with their app. Apple has the power to suspend developers (not just apps) remember.
If anyone has anyother useful links or email address please do share them.
....even though Sky are listed as the app's developer!!!
In the case of all Apple playback devices, the NOW TV 'app' unlocks the 'front door'. Which unlocks the front door just fine!
What goes on behind the front door (ie: the look of the UI, the links to the content and even some of the purchasing systems) is designed and controlled by Apple. Not NOW TV...
sorry @SeeMoreDigital this isn't about front doors, UI or even who has physical control over the app. The point of the post was to give links to fellow subscribers to report problems to Apple . I thought you might be happy with that!?!?
If you look at a couple threads, NowTV are suggesting they have no real control over the App, yet every avenue suggested to make contact with whoever does leads you to NowTV's site! That's a fact. If you follow the links sent to me by NowTV staff in this forum it eventually tells goes in a circle and tells you to contact NowTV, later in the same thread NowTV staff explicity state to contact NowTV who will resolve (as escalte to Apple where necessary). However things aren't being done, so I decided to post links to where subscribers can send their conerns too.
Also (separately), with regards to you quoting my sentence stating Sky being the app's developer, whoever actaully makes it and why its not working are irrelevent for the customer. Whatever you may be personally deducing about who controls, develops or desings the app by looking at, using, or evern tearing apart the source code, the simple fact is SKY/NowTV are legally listed as the develop and therfore are responisble for resovling issues, not necessarily fixing the problems themselves. I'm not the first person to post this link but it clearly states Sky being the developer. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/now-tv-watch-latest-movies-must-see-shows-biggest-games/id734383600?...
well put @benwakefield
You hit the nail on ther head with one word, integration, the one thing Sky doesn't want. Sky doesn't want integrated services across hardware or content providers. They want us to subscibe to their phone/interent/tv plans, use their hardware and purchase from their 'Sky Store'. The people higher up at Sky clearly think Apple TV (and cord cutting) is a threat to these and don;t want to play ball.
Sky could have won the cord cutting battle and have been the cornerstone of streaming content for decades by embracing the platfrom and developing a good app, instead of trying to destory it. I just don't think they're innovative enough or understand the way the market is changing (highlighted by the recent changes to NowTV - TV tuner box, tradional 12 month internet & TV packages etc). The 20 somethings of today aren't getting Sky dishes, and won't be when they're 40 somethings either, if Sky don't embrace new platorms they'll simply get left behind by companies who do.
@moroboshi The content for AppleTV sadly isn't controlled by Apple. If the rumor mill is anything to go by, Apple has been trying to get quality content into their ecosystem for years. No doubt providers like Sky, ITV, Channel 4, etc don't want to hand control over to Apple. Naturally, Apple saw a way of making the living room experience better, so one of the few routes they had control over was open the platform up to developers (and more importantly content providers) and let them choose. It's really their choice to include their content on the platform. Apple can't make them share their content.
The BBC have an obligation to provide their content on the widest selection of platforms as possible since if you watch live TV, you're legally required to pay a license fee. Netflix has no interest in living room technology, they have always invested their efforts into great programming and getting their content to the widest audience possible, however other providers including Amazon Prime, ITV, Channel 4, etc don't have the same obligations or foresight. Amazon have made a clear statement that they are totally anti-AppleTV since they refuse to even stock it (they once did). Naturally, they have their own technology that's in direct competition with Apple's set top box... They've even included the same voice recognition into their latest offering using Alexa.
In some ways we should count ourselves lucky that Sky have even allowed their content on the AppleTV as others refuse to. It's just a shame they're not prepared to see past their control of living room technology and do what they do best... offer excellent programming. I'm quite happy to invest in Apple... they know technology and they know user interfaces like no-one else. I genuinely believe that the AppleTV is and will evolve to be the best, most intuitive living room experience, it's disappointing that content providers like Sky and Amazon think they know the user experience better through their own technology and therefore exclude features or content from AppleTV.
By the way @moroboshi in case you weren't aware, it is actually possible to view all free to air programmes live on AppleTV and pay a small fee (£5.99 a month I believe) to have premium live channels and some catch up TV because a thoughtful developer created software for the AppleTV called 'TV Player'. It's definitely worth a look and is completely above board.