Apple TV review: The good, the bad and the ugly

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Apple TV
The new Apple TV brings powerful new features.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The new Apple TV looks like the old one, but it’s a complete overhaul of the little black puck. It now comes with a full-blown App Store, a touch-sensitive remote and voice controls via Siri.

You can preorder it now, and it’ll ship Friday.

We got our hands on a developer model and have been playing around with it. We like it a lot. Setup is fun, the interface looks stunning, and the touch remote works beautifully. If the Music app is any indication, apps on this thing are going to be great. There’s just one little thing wrong. And it’s not little, actually. It’s big.

Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly about the 4th-generation Apple TV.

The new Apple TV will be free to (some) developers

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The new Apple TV will be provided free to developers who win Apple's lottery.
The new Apple TV will be provided free to developers who win Apple's lottery.
Photo: Apple

In what appears to be a first, Apple is providing free hardware for software developers.

Monday could be the lucky day for a limited number of developers who signed up for the Apple TV Developer Kit.

Not only will they get the new hardware six weeks in advance of it going on sale, they’ll get it for free, Apple has confirmed.

Apple doesn’t need glitz and glamour when it’s got the goods

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Haters gonna hate, but we’re giving Apple’s latest product revelations a big thumbs up.
Haters gonna hate, but we’re giving Apple’s latest product revelations a big thumbs up.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Wow. That was a big deal. For a mere “s” upgrade, Apple went way above and beyond with today’s big product showcase. Three major product lines have been not just upgraded, but reinvented, and finally there’s a reason to buy the one that has been languishing — the Apple TV, which is now a gaming console as well as an entertainment center.

Maybe I’ve drunk too much Kool-Aid, but I thought this morning’s presentation was one for the history books.

Short and sweet: All the new magical stuff from Apple’s big event

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Tim cook
Apple and Tim Cook have plenty to cheer about.
Photo: Apple

From the iPhone to the iPad to the Apple TV, Cupertino’s constellation of magical devices just got a little more magical.

Did you expect all that Apple goodness? Most of what we heard today already churned through the rumor mill: the plus-size iPad Pro; new Apple Watch finishes and bands; a refreshed Apple TV with games, apps and Siri functionality. And, oh yeah, the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus with a whole new level of Force Touch, called 3D Touch.

There were even a few surprises, like the iPad Pro’s new Smart Keyboard and the iPad stylus, dubbed the Apple Pencil. But throughout today’s keynote by Tim Cook and his lieutenants, the series of under-the-hood upgrades they revealed promise to push all Apple products forward into the future.

Let’s take a moment to boil down all two hours and 10 minutes of this incredibly dense and surprisingly succinct Apple event.

Liveblog: Apple unveils iPhone 6s, iPad Pro and more right here!

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More news than you can shake an iPad at.
More news than you can shake an iPad at.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Congratulations — it’s iPhone Day 2015!

Tim Cook is already up and tweeting about the big Apple keynote that will go down today in San Francisco. We’ll be here liveblogging the entire thing, mixing all the dull wit and pithy snark we can muster for the iPhone 6s. The event starts at 10 a.m. Pacific but we’ll be getting started well before that — and we won’t stop until every last new iPad and iPhone has been announced.

For a quick recap of what to expect from today’s keynote, check out our roundup of all the announcements Apple will make, including the long-awaited iPad Pro.

Today’s event promises to be Apple’s biggest event of the year, so turn on the stream on your Apple TV and join us in the liveblog below: