A few months ago a shiny new black box arrived at Dogmelon HQ:
I love any new Apple device, but I especially like the Apple TV.
When I grew up we had a choice of two TV stations. Any more than that still feels luxurious. As for streaming whatever you want from the internet – that’s pure witchcraft.
The reason Dogmelon likes the new Apple TV is not so much that Dan can work through the Real Housewives of Beverley Hills back catalog, but that it runs apps. It has its own AppStore and everything.
Note: only the newer Apple TVs play apps. They have to be 4th generation onwards (2015 or later).
So now we have Dogmelon’s Mahjong running on a TV:
If people like it, then Solitaire will follow.
My reaction so far:
1. It’s Big and Beautiful
It’s beautiful to see a game on a TV. Even a modest sized TV is enormous compared to your iPad or most PCs. However, you do sit further away, so it’s not overwhelming.
2. It’s Different to Control. Not worse. Just different.
You can’t just reach out and touch the screen, and there’s no mouse. You play with the remote control.
It sounds awkward, but Apple have done a great job to make it as natural as possible. The remote has a touchpad area, just like a MacBook, except that it sits under your thumb.
Like any TV remote, the idea is that you control everything using only your thumb. But we’ve also seen people hold it in one hand and poke at it with their other finger, as though they were performing CPR on a non-responsive hamster. Whatever works. Whatever floats your boat.
Is it as natural as touching the screen? If it’s not, it’s very close.
We’ve tested it on quite a number of people (Dogmelon will never test our products on animals, see below). So far they all get the hang of it within two minutes.
3. It’s More Social
The overall playing experience is more social. We usually don’t look over somebody’s shoulder at their iPad. But the TV is fair game. You start playing. People wander in and start watching. Then they start suggesting moves. They sit on the couch and make themselves comfortable. They chat with you while you play. Eventually they ask if you can switch to Real Housewives … “Not now, I’m busy, Dan.”
So the big question is: do people want to play a game like Mahjong or Solitaire on the TV? It’s something we’ve had some requests for, but we really don’t know.
What about you – is it something you’re interested in? Do you own a new Apple TV, or do you have any plans to get one?
It helps us decide what to work on. Otherwise, we can only guess!
Note on Dogmelon Testing Policy
Dogmelon will never test our products on animals. Except maybe on some animals, some of the time.