Louis Gray (@louisgray) mentions an interesting point about the new Apple TV, i.e. it increases the fragmentation between Apple devices and not just the inherent differences between Apple’s two OS families, iOS and OS X.
I’m a bit shocked actually. Louis speaks from experience with several devices, including iOS devices like the new Apple TV, iPad and iPod Touch and OS X devices like Macbook and the original Apple TV.
The fragmentation Louis describes goes beyond the obvious “cottage industry” for iPad apps to content available via iTunes to each device. This problem won’t go away because the new Apple TV introduces yet another segment for iOS apps.
Within the iOS family of devices, there are now three disparate categories for apps: iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. From what I’ve read and heard, apps built to run on both iPhone and iPad lack design nuances that make singularly targeted apps shine.
Big surprise there.
Even more interesting, Louis points out that his second gen Apple TV does not have the same content licensed for it as his first gen Apple TV, specifically he cannot get “Dexter” on his new Apple TV, even though the show is available generally through iTunes.
This is a major fail.
Sidebar: how excited must media content providers like recording and television/movies studios be about new devices like Apple TV and Google TV? Essentially, these devices provide a reset button for intertubes, allowing the studios to craft licensing agreements to their liking for content that they’ve lost control of to pirates. So, any gains provided by the openness of the new distribution medium (internets) have been lost to sanitized user experiences.
I’m glad I read this before satisfying my desire for a new Apple TV. Initially, I had planned to get a new Mini and use it as a streaming appliance with my TV, but the Apple TV offered a cheaper (and ideally, more targeted) experience.
Not so much apparently.
Anyway, this fragmentation is surprising from Apple, a company renowned and beloved for its uncompromising emphasis on user experience.
The fragmentation Louis describes is decidedly unfriendly for users.
So, has Apple lost sight of a core value here, or is this just par for the course as the product line expands?
Find the comments here or over on Louis’ post.