I’ve loved my Apple TV ever since I got one in 2021. However, even the latest 4K model is in desperate need of improvement in some areas. With news of a new Apple TV on the horizon, here are some ways I think Apple could make the next TV an absolute smash hit.
1. Find My remote
I’m sorry but as good as the new remote is compared to the old one, losing it is still the bane of my existence. It is absolutely high time we got a remote that is compatible with Apple’s Find My technology so that you never have to lose it again. Or perhaps, a more rudimentary solution could work. I have a Sky Q box with a button on the front of it that, when pressed, makes the remote play a sound so you can find it. Even some sort of basic pinging system for the remote would have saved me literal hours of looking down the back of the couch every evening to try and find it. I'm literally begging you, Apple, please!
2. No remote
If finding the remote isn’t an option, why not ditch it all together? Using your iPhone as an Apple TV remote is pretty straightforward and often necessary when you lose your remote as much as I do. Apple has the opportunity to take the remote out of the box and instead let consumers save their money by choosing to just use their phones instead. It has Siri, typing for queries, and all the scrolling and functionality you could possibly need. Give me a new cheaper Apple TV with no remote any day of the week.
3. Better processor
The A12 processor is starting to feel a bit dated, and my TV definitely stutters and stumbles more than it used to, especially when multitasking or playing the best Apple Arcade games. A new processor like the rumored A14 upgrade could give the Apple TV the extra kick it needs to become a more serious home entertainment product, and perhaps open up more possibilities for gaming.
4. Fix eARC
While eARC is one of my favorite features on the most-recent Apple TV, it is also one of the most frustrating. Though I understand the feature is still technically in beta, I don’t think that’s acceptable for a device this old. Our eARC needs to be reset at least two or three times a week in order to work, which is getting very frustrating.
However, if it worked properly all the time it would be phenomenal. eARC lets you send audio from any source on your TV (like a console) wirelessly from your Apple TV to your HomePod speakers, turning your Apple TV into a conduit for all your home entertainment audio. Get this right, and the Apple TV instantly becomes a more important asset in your home entertainment rig.
5. Fast-pairing with AirPods
I’ve started using AirPods with my Apple TV more and more recently, but connecting them isn’t always easy sailing. I’d really like to see a fast-pairing feature that works as smoothly on devices like iPhone and iPad as it does on Apple TV.
6. Catalyst for Apple TV
Apple TV is really limited in some ways because of its lack of good apps, so I’ve had an idea. What if we had Catalyst for Apple TV as we do for Mac?
Catalyst lets developers take their iPad apps and turn them into Mac apps seamlessly, so what if some developers could do this with their iPhone and iPad apps on Apple TV? They could make great Apple TV apps without all of the hassle of building an app from the ground up. The Twitch TV app is really bad on Apple TV and always suffers from crippling audio sync issues, and screen mirroring isn’t much better. Perhaps a Catalyst TV app could be the solution.
7. 8K video
This might be a big ask and a pipe dream, but I’d love to see 8K resolution in the next Apple TV. It would probably make the Apple TV a much more feasible upgrade option given the future-proofing, but there isn’t much 8K content to enjoy at the moment. Plus, the TVs you need to watch 8K programs with are still very expensive. Call this one a wildcard.
A promising upgrade?
There are rumors of a new Apple TV on the way as I mentioned, including the possibility of a new cheap Apple TV to make the pricing more favorable. I think there is room in the market for a premium Apple TV in the current pricing structure, but I’ll definitely need to see at least a few of these upgrades if I’m going to make the next leap. The Apple TV 4K is the best Apple TV the company currently offers but there are several ways Apple could improve the next version without breaking the bank.
If rumors of a cheaper, smaller Apple TV are correct then I think that could be a massive shakeup to Apple's TV lineup, with a much more favorable pricing structure driving some sales. Personally, I think a bigger processor and reliability tweaks to features like eARC and AirPods connectivity are an absolute must when it comes to improving Apple TV in the future.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9