When it comes to streaming services for your television, there’s a wide range of options available.
It’s obvious that most of us here at JOA are pro-Android, but that doesn’t mean this guide will be unfairly biased. If you want to find out just what Apple TV and Android TV do, how much they cost, and which is best, we’ve prepared an article with all of the relevant information.
What do Apple TV & Android TV do?
Apple TV is a digital media player that streams content (such as music, photos and video) to your television. It has support for apps like Netflix, YouTube, and a host of broadcast television apps like CNN and the WWE network.
The Siri Remote is reminiscent of the nunchuck found on the Nintendo Wii, and it even has a similar hand strap to stop you throwing it into your TV while gaming.
It doubles up as a remote control, and there’s a decent selection of games on offer that look good on a widescreen.
You can stream content from iTunes, which is a decent perk if you’ve bought a lot of content from the store in the past. (Apple was planning to launch a dedicated streaming service for Apple TV, but the plans allegedly are on hold for the time being.) Content is available through the app store and streaming apps.
Here’s the official advert for Apple TV:
Android TV is an operating system that connects to your TV to create an interactive television experience, and while you can use a remote, it also offers voice controls.
The Nexus Player is a typical Android TV device that connects via HDMI. It allows access to apps and games, and it comes with a Bluetooth remote that has a built-in microphone for voice control.
You can stream videos, use apps, and play games on your largest screen. (But you might need to buy an additional controller for the games.)
Some televisions come with Android TV inbuilt, such as the 4K Sony Bravia. Here’s a video showing off Android TV being used on the model:
If you would like to learn more about Android TV and what it does, we have an article that discusses the features of the OS in-depth.
Apple TV 2015: (From the Apple Store)
32GB – $149.99
64GB – $199.99
If it’s too expensive for your tastes, you can find the older 2012 model for a lot less.
Android Box: Pricing varies depending on the model. Generic models are usually cheaper.
Nexus Player – Retails for roughly $50 on sale (Originally $100)
Services & Best Features:
Like most Apple products, Apple TV is incredibly user-friendly, and it could be a useful addition if you’ve bought into Apple’s ecosystem. It’s an attractive piece of kit, and you won’t find many issues during use.
The apps and games look great, and voice searching has recently been added to the remote in the 2015 edition, which also has a touchpad located on the top.
Apple has also promised to keep adding features and native apps for Apple TV, so there’s more to look forward to in the future.
If you want more choice, it’s probably better to go with Android TV because of the wide variety of models on offer.
You can use your Android phone or tablet to control your TV, and there’s support for Google Play games. You can track achievements, play multiplayer, and there are online leaderboards.
Gaming is one of the strongest aspects for Android TV because of the large selection of titles on offer. If it’s a priority, it’s obvious who wins in the head to head. (As noted before, a dedicated controller is probably your best option.)
As Apple and Google continue to encroach on each other’s space, is there really any point in moving from one platform to another?
Apple was the first to release their streaming service way back in 2007, but they’ve been overtaken by the sheer volume of competitors on the market. From games consoles to televisions themselves, there’re so many ways to get apps on your TV, so why shell out when you can pick up an Amazon Fire TV or the Roku 2 for $99?
You can use your phone or tablet as a remote no matter your OS with Chromecast, so perhaps it’s the remote peripheral that is supposed to make the difference. Then again, we generally have our devices close to hand at all times, so do we really need another remote control?
There’s no denying that the Apple remote is slick and nice to use, and if you’re a fan, Apple TV isn’t the most expensive addition to the line-up.
If you think you’ll use it, it’s a great piece of a kit that will complement your iPhone and MacBook.
While a new Android television set would obviously be preferable to a normal one, Android TV boxes are usually cheap, and they make your TV interactive.
Which is better? It depends on you. Either way, both are capable devices.
What’s your opinion of your TV streaming service, and which would you pick of the two? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible, or you can also send us a message, (or a follow) on both Facebook and Twitter.