A case for 3D Touch on the Apple TV
3D Touch is the breakout feature of the latest iPhone, but developers are struggling to find use cases this early in the game and are unwilling to make it a priority with the 6S representing such a small part of the iPhone market. The feature, outside of some rare and interesting apps, pretty much is seen limited to quick actions from app icons and viewing image previews from thumbnails.
On the Apple TV, however, this feature could represent a monumental shift in television consumption. There are currently a few issues that create barriers to usage in the current Apple TV interface. It takes 3 clicks, on average, to return to an episode I am consuming on Netflix. I first click into the app icon, then swipe to navigate to my Continue Watching section, then click to select the show, and again to select the episode. This can be abbreviated by merely clicking play on the top level of a show; however, it doesn’t reduce the panning involved to locate the show.
Storing the previous few shows I am consuming is simple (as Netflix demonstrates), so a Peek into Netflix from the icon yielding a list much like on the iPhone would be a welcome feature.
The Peek and Pop 3D touch feature could be quite interesting for icons on the home screen, but the feature could extend even further. Widgets could lie on a second layer of the UI and toggled using 3D touch. Imagine weather, notifications, favorite apps, and more sitting just above or below the app grid made immediately navigable by a 3D press.
The new Apple TV Siri Remote is similar in design to the iPhone 6 and 6S models in width and materials. Although the trackpad-like design used to navigate the interface is a fully clickable button, it does not respond to taps, instead interpreting them as a swipe in one of four directions. There may be additional costs incurred by developing the new Remote to include 3D Touch and the price of the Remote may then be out of budget for consumers; however, the case can be made that a 3D Touch Remote already exists.
Apple got a lot of grief for not offering their Remote app support for the 4th generation Apple TV out of the box. It drastically crippled the system, leaving users to navigate a single file keyboard format when inputting text. Perhaps Apple trusted too strongly in Siri’s ability to alleviate the need for text input; Siri would not be very useful for entering email addresses or passwords. Whatever the reason, Apple went on to add support for both the Remote app, bluetooth keyboards, and bluetooth headphones.
It wouldn’t be hard to imagine Apple updating the app to include 3D Touch support. With the latest S series offering 3D Touch as a feature, it would behoove Apple to exploit the benefits of the feature as often as possible. This integration would also give the company a stronger case for their device ecosystem, showcasing the synergies of purchasing not just a standalone Apple TV, but upgrading the iPhone, as well.
I built a quick mockup of how the Apple TV might offer Siri Suggestions for apps based on time of day, breaking news, or other factors. I also added a battery indicator for the devices connected by bluetooth.
I’m sure there are many more creative ways to utilize 3D touch on the Apple TV. Also, here’s a link to the Sketch Doc for anyone who might be interested in playing around with the concept so you won’t have to start from scratch.
Source: Marlon Wayne – medium.com