With the Lunar New Year in tow, the long-awaited weekend is set to provide a much-needed respite from the flurry of events that January has been. Whilst some are heading abroad to optimise the time off afforded to us by the festive season, many of us are expecting to spend a significant number of hours running through the common motions of the new year; from reunion dinners to visiting the in-laws and updating extended family members on the surface state of our lives. But for many, these ritualised hours have long been instilled as somewhat of an unfortunate bore. Where the elder folk play catch up over kuaci, and the rest of us are left to our own devices to figure out how we might spend the often longish hours at our grandparents’s places.
But therein lies the beauty of Apple TV’s latest update (a timely one, considering it has only recently landed on our shores). Smaller and lighter than it’s ever been, the new Apple TV 4K smart box set-up offers up the ease of portability—something that we’ll be sure to be making full use of this weekend. With its intuitive link-up to the rest of your Apple ecosystem, setting it up at an aunt’s or grandparent’s house is a no-holds-barred experience, giving way to the opportunity to maximise the potential it offers.
With its new A15 bionic chip—the same one that the newer iPhones also boast—efficiency and performance is better than ever. That means you can expect your on-screen entertainment to be smoother and sharper overall; something everyone in the family is bound to be appreciative of no matter what show or film you put on. It doesn’t hurt to know that a wider range of smart TV devices will now enjoy this advance in cinematic quality, considering the new Apple TV 4K is now in support for HDR10+, in addition to its current compatibility with Dolby Vision.
What this better support in picture quality also means, is a more fluid gaming experience with the ever-popular Apple Arcade—home to a myriad of highly-rated games such as hit favourites Jetpack Joyride 2 and Warped Kart Racers and more thematically enthralling options such as Neo Cab or Assemble With Care. With its new multiplayer modes and increased compatibility with third-party controllers, it’s guaranteed to be a hit with the kids and tweens, and the parents will thank you all the more for it.
But should mere games and the latest film releases not excite the system, the new Apple TV 4K plays host to a whole other game changer that’s perfect for the festivities. The Apple Music Sing. With Apple Music’s latest functionality, the long visiting hours can easily be transformed into a fearsome karaoke session with the family: both old and young. A one-stop click will reveal a lyrics display—each word timed to the music just as you would expect in a regular session—and you can even adjust vocal levels to have the original singer’s voice be at minimum volume. Simply put: a regular mic and speaker set-up is all it’ll take to complete the throwback experience of getting our older relatives to belt out all the old hits, from Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ to ‘Desperado’ by The Eagles.
And as much as homecoming is an intrinsic part of the Lunar New Year festivities, there’s still something in place for those who are missing loved ones abroad. With the Shareplay functionality, all you have to do is get on a FaceTime call with them—be it from your iPhone, Macbook or iPad*—and start a movie or music video session from your own Apple TV. They’ll be automatically synced up to your playback and can join in on part of the festivities, albeit being miles away.
It’s worth noting that the highly-lauded Siri Remote still comes in as handy as ever—with its intuitive, touch-sensitive interface and ever-useful Siri button on the top right. In short, it maintains its swift and delicious experience for the user—which is all we can really ask for when we’re constantly attempting to entertain the family folk. Suffice to say then, the Apple TV 4K is about to be a mainstay on our visiting agenda this festive weekend and long beyond.
*Requires iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, macOS Ventura 13.0, or later.
The new Apple TV 4K is available in the Apple TV 4K (Wi-Fi), which offers 64GB of storage and the Apple TV 4K (Wi-Fi + Ethernet), which offers support for Gigabit Ethernet. Get your Apple TV 4K device here.