As a company, we’ve always been bullish on SmartTV and second screen applications, so when Apple announced the new tvOS paired with an AppleTV that anyone could build applications for, we were thrilled.
Thrilled because we’ve already worked with AppleTV rolling our first app for the platform back in May 2015. It was for a major television network and is now accessed by millions of viewers a month. But that was then and this is now. tvOS is, simply put, exciting. It does everything AndroidTV does and more, while also dramatically decreasing barriers to entry to build on the platform.
Looking at it from the onset, we’d expect your most usual suspects to make the first appearance: mobile game ports, and additional video / streaming channels, twitch anyone? But for us the real innovation can come from those companies that will think outside the box. Using tvOS we’ll be able to ideate, design and build new innovations in home automation using home kit, even home security and your door might now be opened from your living room.
Looking beyond the phone, you have peer-to-peer communication, the possibility to stream live video from services like Meerkat or Periscope. This will stream directly to your tv without the need to AirPlay or Cast the feed. Most importantly, the freedom to design the TV app’s UI is going to be monumental. That’s not to say that barriers don’t exist, market penetration of Streaming Media Devices devices was at 20% of broadband connected households (source: http://www.parksassociates.com/), with Roku (37%), Google (19%), Apple (17%), Amazon Fire TV (14%) making up 87% of the overall market.
Will these same users “trade in” their older hardware for new? Will the people who bought Chromecasts move to tvOS and AppleTV? And what about backwards compatibility and support for those AppleTV apps running on AppleTV 3 and prior? There are still a lot of ifs, but times are thrilling nonetheless.