Apple TV Update Finally Adds Categories, Top Charts

When the fourth-generation Apple TV was introduced this past September, users were excited about the upgraded hardware and new remote control with Siri support.

However, probably the most highly anticipated feature of the new set top device was the dedicated app store with support for third-party apps. Unfortunately, when users began receiving the first Apple TVs last Friday, the App Store wasn’t fully functional yet.

110515-APPCATEGORIES-2Initially, the App Store contained only three categories – Featured, Purchased, and Search. Essentially, if an app wasn’t featured by Apple, users could only find it via a manual search. That changed yesterday morning when Apple released a new update for the device.

The update added two new sections to the App Store – Top Charts and Categories. Users can now browse through the two sections in an effort to find new apps. While the new sections aren’t perfect, yet – every app in the App Store is currently divided into only two categories – games and entertainment – the ability to browse the 1,200-some apps currently in the store makes it much easier to discover new apps than ever before.

As the ever-growing App Store becomes more populated with apps and games, Apple will likely add more categories, making browsing even easier. Top Charts displays exactly what its name implies – the top free, paid, and grossing games currently in the App Store. The Top Charts section also makes it easy to grab new apps that have proven popular among other Apple TV users.

The New Apple TV Compared to Its PredecessorThe addition of sections to the App Store certainly marks a huge improvement for the user interface. The App Store is still missing one important feature, however – Siri search. The Siri-enabled remote is a huge selling point for the Apple TV. When the device was demoed during Apple’s September event, the device’s impressive Siri integration took up a large portion of the demo. When Siri search becomes enabled, it will mark another large improvement for the user experience.

The fourth-generation Apple TV is available at Apple’s online and retail stores. The 32GB model retails for $149, and the 64GB model retails for $199. Current owners of the Apple TV should see the new sections appear in the app store immediately – some users may need to restart their device in order for the new sections to become available.

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