Apple finally updated the third-generation Apple TV that debuted in 2013 earlier this year and now the 2015 model is available to buy.
The new device, still called Apple TV, brings a number of new things, including an app store and a motion-sensitive remote with a trackpad, among many other things. To help you identify all the differences between the new Apple TV and old model, we've pitted the two set-top boxes against each other.
Here's everything we know so far... though keep an eye out for Pocket-lint's full review of the latest Apple TV which will be coming soon, where we will get into more depth to bring you details on exactly what's new and different.
Apple TV (2015) vs Apple TV (2013): Design
The new Apple TV (technically called fourth-gen Apple TV) looks exactly like the third-gen model, but it's much taller and heavier. It weighs 272g and has the following dimensions: 33 x 98 x 98mm.
The third-gen Apple TV weighs 272g and has the following dimensions: 23 x 98 x 98mm. With zero buttons and only a single status light on the front, it has a simple design and can't be controlled from the black box itself. The rear is where you'll find various ports for connecting it to your TV.
As the two look so similar, we can't really name a winning box for this section. We'd like to give it to the old one, simply because it's smaller, but the Apple TV isn't meant to be portable, so size shouldn't really matter.
New Apple TV (2015) vs old Apple TV (2013): Remote
The new Apple TV has a new remote equipped with a touchpad and dual-mics for Siri. If that wasn't enough, it also includes sensors that allows it to detect motion and track as it moves in multiple directions.
The remote sports an accelerometer and gyroscope. It actually sounds a lot like the motion-sensitive remote that comes with Nintendo's Wii console - though that uses an IR sensor. Apple's relies on Bluetooth 4.0, so you won't have to point it directly at your screen. It also has Lightning connector and lasts three months on a single charge.
The remote has a few buttons (menu button, display button, Siri button, play/pause, and volume), and if you turn it sideways, it becomes a game controller. Apple demoed how games like Hipster Whale's Crossy Road work on with the new remote. Just swipe the touchpad to move left or right, and click to move forward.
The third-gen Apple TV must be controlled via Apple's standard aluminium remote or the Remote for iOS app. It's not clear if the third-gen Apple TV will work with the new remote.
The new Apple TV remote obviously beats the old one. It's just smarter and more functional overall.
New Apple TV vs old Apple TV: Power
The new Apple TV features 32GB or 64GB of internal storage for all those apps and tunes you plan to stream. It also has the A8 processor, Apple's 64-bit system-on-a-chip that can be found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The third-gen Apple TV features 8GB of internal storage, 512 MB of RAM, and the A5, a 32-bit system-on-a-chip designed by Apple and manufactured by Samsung. The A5 debuted in 2011, with the release of iPad 2.
It's worth noting the third-gen Apple TV originally released in March 2012, with 1080p video support and redesigned software. A second version of the box launched the following January, with a smaller A5 chip and nothing else changed.
The new Apple TV is clearly much more powerful and capable (on paper at least), so it wins this round.
New Apple TV (2015) vs old Apple TV (2013): AV output
Unfortunately, the new Apple TV doesn't support 4K like Amazon's new Fire TV, but it does support H.264 video up to 1080p at 60fps.
The third-gen Apple TV is compatible with high-definition TVs via HDMI and streams the video format H.264 in 1080p at 30fps. It is also capable of 720p at 60/50Hz and supports 7.1 surround sound.
Due to lack of support for 4K, we think both boxes come out even in this section, but we can't ignore the fact that the new box streams 1080p at 60fps (rather than 30fps), so it technically wins.
New Apple TV vs old Apple TV: Ports
The new Apple TV has the following ports: power in, HDMI 1.43 out, Ethernet, and USB‑C for service and support.
Around the back of the third-gen Apple TV, you'll see the following ports for connecting the box to your TV: power in, HDMI out, optical audio out, Ethernet, and Micro-USB socket.
We like that the new box has USB-C over Micro-USB. It's the latest technology, after all, helping it to snap up this section.
New Apple TV (2015) vs old Apple TV (2013): Connectivity
The new Apple TV supports 802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 4.0, while the third-gen Apple TV supports Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0. Because the new Apple TV uses MIMO (multiple input/multiple output), it has the potential to kick wireless speeds up a notch.
We'll always prefer more speed, so the new box beats the old one in terms of that.
New Apple TV vs old Apple TV: Software
Apple has created a new foundation for Apple TV. It runs something called tvOS, which offers universal apps that work across phone, tablet, and the TV. The new Apple TV not only has a modern OS but also a new user interface and - wait for it - an actual app store. You can even play games with Apple TV using the box's new remote.
The Apple TV's new interface looks similar to the existing interface, though it's more refined and intuitive and has a white background instead of a black one. The focus is definitely on content. Also, Apple seems to believe you will want to shop via TV, so it's providing ways to view products on your screen as well as buy with a button push.
Based on the numerous demos and adverts aired during Apple's event, it seems like voice search via Siri will be the primary way to navigate on the new Apple TV. And a universal search function will help you to search across various apps like iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime.
You can search for "Show me that Office episode with Will Ferrell", and Siri will bring you to the Office's page with the episode selected. You can also ask Siri to do a quick rewind by 15 seconds. Just ask "What did she/he say?", and Siri will rewind for you. You can even ask for sports scores and the weather forecast while you watch shows.
Sports fans can get alerts from different games too - and they can watch two at a time with a split screen. There's also new screensavers; Apple TV will display day or night shots depending on time of day.
The third-gen Apple TV's interface featured a rectangle-tile interface. The tiles served as app-like buttons or channels to Apple's streaming services, such as iTunes Radio and iMovie Theatre, as well as third-party services like Netflix and HBO Go. Only Apple could add new content to Apple TV via over-the-air software updates.
This software update is what really makes the new Apple TV stand out from the old one.
New Apple TV (2015) vs old Apple TV (2013): Conclusion
Shut up and take our money, Apple!
The new Apple TV isn't drastically different in appearance, but it has so many under-the-hood changes and software improvements that make the £129 or $149 price tag for the 32GB model totally worth it. It even has a fancy new remote.
What's not to love? You can read our first impressions with the new Apple TV here.