Why Apple TV

Was having a discussion today about what apps are suitable for Apple TV and I thought I’d share some thoughts.

  • Expect lower discoverability. I can’t imagine people will have as much tolerance for browsing on TV as they will on a desktop or phone/tablet.
  • Think living room. Focus on entertainment and information. I don’t think there’s going to be a huge demand for, for example, live earthquake listings or budget calculators versus games and traffic reports.
  • Consider motion. The remote has some accelerometer functionality built in. Think how your apps can engage customers in motion, the way that Wii was designed to get users up off the couch.
  • Design for the limits of the remote but don’t be boring. Frogger apps and sidescrollers take you only so far. Trivia challenges will work a lot better than pictionary ones with these limited input devices.
  • Supplement what people are already doing on Apple TV, which is primarily entertainment delivery. How about an app that makes rental suggestions?
  • Target kids. Being able to engage the family while parents read or prepare dinner is a really big opportunity for this new market.
  • Don’t try to out-siri Siri. Apple’s already building in features to answer questions, perform personal assistant tasks. This is not an area that’s going to be easy to compete in. Ditto for any kind of experiential screensaver stuff. Don’t take Apple on head first. You won’t win.
  • Simplify UIs. If you are going to build for the non-game market, limit the heck out of your interfaces. Avoid text and focus on a few well-chosen buttons.

One Comment

  • To elaborate on “think living room”, information is important. I think signage will be interesting. Perhaps a dashboard that displays the people in a waiting room (along with arrival times and others details from a personal profile) using geofencing and a web service? This could be good for situations that deliver personalized services like a doctors office, spa or gym. Maybe it could provide updates to people in a waiting room waiting for an order to be picked up.