59: A more comfortable Apple TV

I want the Apple TV to be the best, if not the only, device connected to my television. Next week at WWDC, there will probably be some quick mention of tvOS, likely fourth in line behind Apple's other platforms. I'm not sure that Apple will convince anyone who hasn't already to develop a tvOS app. I'm also fairly certain that there won't be new Apple TV hardware that is more of a "home hub" device like the Amazon Echo. What's available to watch on Apple TV seems relatively fixed (unless the elusive, mythical TV content deal comes through). But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't welcome some new Apple TV hardware that made the basic viewing experience more comfortable.

Apple's latest hardware innovation that just has to make its way throughout the entire product line is the True Tone Display introduced on the 9.7" iPad Pro. I expect it to move to other iOS devices first and then to Macs. But why stop there? Despite its name, the "true tone" doesn't require special display technology; the magic is all in the light temperature sensors, which then dynamically drive color temperature. It's just f.lux or Night Shift based on environment rather than time.

A True Tone sensor in the Apple TV would set it apart from competitors — sure, you can watch Netflix on any box, but it's going to look best on a True Tone-enabled Apple TV. Barring that hardware change, I'd be happy for a tvOS update that supports Night Shift. This time of year it's the Stanley Cup playoffs, so I've been watching lots of pictures of bright, bluish-white ice late into the night. Constantly fiddling with my TV's settings or moving over to an awful Flash-based stream on a Mac just to save my eyes is a lousy tradeoff.

Another dynamic adjustment that would uniquely suit the Apple TV is responsiveness to ambient sound. (If Apple was feeling particularly punny, they could call it True Tone as well.) In my part of the world, the weather has been hot, so our air conditioner is constantly — and noisily — kicking on and off. Every time, another volume adjustment on the TV. It got to the point that I wished for a ""smart"" (several levels of air quotes there) thermostat that would control my TV volume.

But that would be a complicated, error-prone system. What if the Apple TV could just monitor room noise? It would have to be smart enough to distinguish consistent background noise (like the air conditioner, the shower running upstairs, a lawnmower outside) from me yelling "ohhh!" as Steph Curry drains another three and crushes my soul a little more. It's absolutely solving a first world problem, but it would make the TV-watching experience simpler and more joyous — exactly what the Apple TV set out to do in the first place.