WSJ: Apple TV is ‘a bunch of good ideas that never had a chance’

Print Email

Personal Technology columnist David Pierce has seen the future of television and it doesn’t work.


From “Not Even Apple Can Clean Up the Mess of Streaming TV” ($) in Monday’s Wall Street Journal:

After a week of testing, I’ve settled into using the TV app as a sort of backup plan. If I know what I want to watch, I just go to the content provider’s own app and watch it there. When I’m looking for something new or searching for a movie I know is streaming but don’t know where, I open the TV app and start there. If you have kids, the human-curated Kids section will be especially useful. But in general, my TV-watching experience is no less messy with Apple’s addition.

We need a universal guide for streaming TV, a new way of browsing and searching and finding stuff to watch, and an easier way to find stuff to watch than endlessly scrolling through rows of tiles in dozens of apps. But not even Apple can wrangle all the streaming platforms, cable operators and set-top box makers to create a system that actually works. Without all that help, Apple TV will continue to be what it is now: a bunch of good ideas that never had a chance.

My take: Despite the snarky framework—which sticks a fork in Apple TV before it’s done—Pierce does a pretty good job describing the product’s pain points. There’s none of them, as far as I can see, that can’t be solved with patience, negotiations and cash.