When Apple debuted the Apple TV in 2007, it was meant to allow the user to access their iTunes content in their home media center to get the best possible experience. Later, users were able to directly download content on their Apple TV but, it never was that popular of a product. If Apple wants to make the Apple TV a successful product, then they need to make major changes to the Apple TV and take some ideas from the other set top boxes like Roku and Boxee.
The app store on the iPhone, iPod touch and now the iPad allows users to browse and download applications they want to expand the feature set of the device. On the Apple TV there doesn’t have to be the over 50,000 apps there are available in the iPhone app store but, apps for extra media and accessing social networks like Facebook and Twitter would be great to have on the big screen TVS.
Going with the applications the app store could also open up the Apple TV as a gaming console and would be able to get more great entertainment on their Apple TV. They could target both the casual games that make the iPhone a great gaming platform as well as more serious games appealing to all gamers. The one advantage Apple has in this market is that they have mastered digital downloads through the app store and could use downloads as a cheaper alternative to optical disks.
3. Streaming Web Content
Both the Roku and Boxee box have the ability to stream content from the Internet both live and prerecorded. On Roku you can watch shows from Revision3, TWIT and other content providers. You can also watch the TWIT Live Stream as Leo broadcasts live everyday. This would add another dimension to the Apple TV and make it have the capabilities to replace your cable or satellite subscription.
Apple has done a great job designing the Apple TV’s user interface by making it slick and easy to use. However, they now need to step it up another notch and make it a full entertainment device.