Apple Stumbles With its Obtrusive Apple TV+ Ads

This week, there were two interesting and important articles that I want to explore.

First, at Tidbits, Josh Centers asks: “Why Is the Apple TV Constantly Advertising at Us?” He writes:

The Apple TV app on the Apple TV is currently the bane of my existence. In theory, it should be a tidy way to manage everything you watch, bringing together content from Apple, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and other streaming services (but still not Netflix, for some reason), plus live news and even sports. It sort of does that, but over time, Apple has started using the app to push the company’s own paid content, especially its Apple TV+ service. Open the Apple TV app and it inundates you with ads for Apple TV+ and its shows.

This reminds me of the infamous pre-installed crapware affair PC buyers experienced for years. Often, there was no way to remove this software, installed by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) — who received some compensation. Some of this crapware was outright dangerous.

Mac customers were always exempt from pre-installed crapware on the basis that Macs were/are class machines, not embroiled in a PC race to the bottom and razor thin profit margins. We gladly paid a little more for the best customer experience.

So how does this apply to the Apple TV? Evidently, Apple no longer feels bound by the purchase contract that upholds Apple standards of respect for the consumer. Author Centers explains.

After all, an Apple TV costs between $149 and $199. At that price—much higher than most of the competition—is it too much to ask that we not be inundated with advertising? Anyone who spends that much on an Apple TV will probably be interested in Apple TV+ without an overbearing sales pitch, and turning such an expensive device into a billboard makes it feel cheap, like a Fire TV. Apple has always prided itself on its good taste, and turning the Apple TV’s front end into an ad platform is anything but.

One is almost tempted to reach the conclusion that Apple’s long held standards of conduct were not really based on solid human values but rather expediency. Crapware on Macs wasn’t necessary. A desperate plea for Apple TV+ acceptance is. Hence, author Centers’ observation of cheapness.

If Apple TV+ content is supposed to be of such high quality, potentially award winning, it should be promoted accordingly. Or else we must draw the conclusion: it’s all the same game played the same old way, and Apple is just another serial abuser of unwelcome intrusions.

Like everyone else.

intel cpu

Second up is an older article that’s chock full of great information about Intel’s CPU roadmap, including disasters (Canon Lake) and successes (Coffee Lake).

Apple’s notebook and desktop computers have been stuck on Coffee Lake (or Coffee Lake Refresh) for quite some time now. Reading through this fabulous article makes me think that Apple must have been fairly frustrated over the years with Intel, especially in the difficult march towards a 10 nm production process. Here’s the article from May, 2019.

This article is the best I’ve ever read when it comes to making sense of Intel’s CPU work over the recent years. The Land o’ Lakes. Even so, I’ve had to read it several times; the author makes no attempt to baby the reader.

Some believe that Apple has had its fill with Intel and will take the Mac to its own ARM CPUs perhaps as early as WWDC 2020.

Meanwhile, if you’ve been wondering about Ice Lake, Comet Lake, and Tiger Lake, this article is a great place to start.

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

7 thoughts on “Apple Stumbles With its Obtrusive Apple TV+ Ads

  • I don’t have an AppleTV device, but I have an AppleTV app on my Roku Ultra. The ads on that app aren’t obtrusive at all. There’s far less clutter than other streaming services, and there’s no running previews with audio – it’s similar to Prime. Netflix on the other hand has plays video w/sound previews any time you select a show. That’s annoying. But Netflix isn’t pushing its original content any more than AppleTV or Prime.

    Not sure what the AppleTV box does that prompted this article.

    1. One of the principles that Steve Jobs instilled within Apple when he returned in the 90’s was that Apple exists to make the best products that enrich people’s lives. And that money was a measure of how well Apple executed on that principle, not an end in itself. My hunch says, that for the last few years, the current leadership has strayed off that path.

      1. This was an article by Lloyd Chambers who’s been a long-time photographer and software engineer. He runs the blog Here’s an article that he recently posted on his thoughts with respect to Apple’s priorities and software quality:

        As a professional, my view is that Apple demonstrates a disdain for professionals and corporate customers or anyone who gets work done on a Mac (vs those who use Apple stuff as entertainment products).

        I’ve been writing about Apple Core Rot for 7 years now—at some point an ethical/moral line is crossed between making mountainous piles of money and respecting/serving customers. It is my view that the the line has been crossed. But since Apple is mainly a phone company I don’t expect changes other than plenty of lip service public relations—show me the money, so to speak, and Catalina speaks volumes. The pain iOS 13 caused me and many others is a bad sign. Clearly the financial incentives at Apple do not value quality software.

  • I was doing IT work back when Crapware was all the rage. I WAS able to get rid of it. I nuked each machine when it arrived and installed a clean copy of Windows, using the license key from the sticker on the side. Yes it was a pain, but that was the only way. Later on I would build a clean image of the system, nuke the incoming machine, and install the image, which saved time. But yes it was a PITA. We dealt with confidential data. We didn’t dare leave it on there.

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