Even if you are not an expert on the subject, you must have noticed, as program consumers, how the market for streaming devices has been on the rise lately. Android TV and Apple TV 4K have the same function regardless of how they are used. In simple terms: Apple sells a box called Apple TV 4K, which offers multimedia streaming and an all-in-one platform in the Apple tradition of grouping software and hardware within a single ecosystem. On the other hand, Google’s Android TV is an operating system that is used by many hardware manufacturers, including Sony, Sharp, Xiaomi, NVIDIA and Razer. This system is more of a platform as it is available on multiple devices and manufacturers can choose to include it in their own products. The two products are therefore platforms that transform televisions into interactive devices, with their own applications.
No matter which box you choose, Apple TV 4K and Android TV help you enjoy the content offered by your favourite video streaming service providers. But it’s not just about watching your favourite movies or shows, because these solutions are feature-rich and can do much more than just stream content to your TV. So we compared these two offerings from Apple and Google to help you choose the best one for your needs.
There is no denying that Apple knows how to design a product. The company has undoubtedly made questionable decisions over the years but, overall, their products are defined by their intuitive side and their user-friendliness. And Apple TV is no different in this regard. However, if you are already part of the Apple ecosystem and think that the debate between Android TV and Apple TV 4K does not concern you, you are probably wrong. There are users in both camps who have chosen to leave their loyalty and comfort zone.
Indeed, you must be attentive to your needs and to the offer of the two competitors. The most recognized and used large applications are of course available on both platforms: for example, Netflix app for movies and series, Twitch app for live video games streaming, or PokerStars app for online poker. But music monsters like Deezer and Spotify are missing from Apple TV, which only offers iTunes. Fortunately, the application is of excellent quality, but it is a typical example of Apple’s desire for exclusivity over the competition, which nevertheless offers content of just as good quality.
Indeed, Apple Photos app is easy to use and its interface is simple. You can organize your images in the best possible way and Apple has also thought of making sharing easier. One of the best things about this app on Apple TV 4K is that you can browse your media library without having to use anything else on the network.
Then let’s talk about another important topic. The Apple TV 4K is available in two storage capacities: the 32 GB and 64 GB versions. By paying 20 € more, you can get the 64 GB device which is available for 219 € while the 32 GB version of Apple TV 4K is available for € 199. Those who think that the difference in storage compared to the small amount of 20 € is worth investing should also think that getting more storage will then require a feeling of need to fill this 64 GB space when you are not you didn’t really need it at first.
You will find it difficult to fill all this space because the media is often based on the Cloud, which has the consequence of greatly relieving the storage on the box. Indeed, the majority of applications consume barely 30-40 MB of storage. It will therefore not be used to its maximum capacity, because even if you have a lot of Apple media, they will all be broadcast. If you like to rent series and podcasts, the media will be stored on your device, but once the access period is over, the files will be deleted.
On the other hand, Android TV gives you the option of increasing storage capacity with micro SD cards and external hard drives. As long as these discs are running fast, you are guaranteed to have a good experience on your Android TV and all your data can be stored easily. On the other hand, if you plan to use a micro SD card or a USB storage drive on the Apple TV, you can forget because this option unfortunately does not exist.
There are many apps available for Android TV, and despite having a huge library of apps, Apple TV does not have support for many popular apps. If we take the example of Spotify, we can indirectly succeed in enjoying the music of the platform on Apple TV, but there is not yet a direct way. The biggest advantage of having an Android TV box is that you can install almost any application by downloading an APK even if your preferred application is not available from the Google Play Store. As usual, Apple doesn’t give you as much freedom.
For those looking for a digital media box that you can also play on, the Nvidia Shield is a better option than the Apple TV. Android TV supports almost all game controllers available on the market while Apple TV recognizes only a few. So if you’re using a controller that supports Windows 10 and Android OS, you can use it on your PC and Android TV. But since most of these game pads don’t support TV OS, you’ll need to use a separate controller for your Apple TV. Another thing buyers should keep in mind is that Android TV also has more games available on its platform than the Apple TV system.
Android TV is a highly improved operating system and TV OS still has a long way to go to reach this level. Also, we believe that in the future the Apple TV will be much better than it is today, but at the moment, Android TV is beating Apple on many fronts.
To summarize, the choice of TV platform you choose depends mainly on the side of the barrier where you are today. There are other differences that could influence your choice. If you’re not ready to spend a lot, for example, you can opt for a Mi Box even if you have other Apple products and despite the other limitations of the device. Content availability will also be a major decision point. Apple TV may indeed be limited, but this will not be anything new for those who are familiar with Apple products. Right now, Android TV reigns supreme in this regard, but the 5th generation of Apple TV could change this situation, especially with the rumoured implementation of a subscription service for major channels. So if you already use Apple products such as iPods, iPhones or Mac PC, Apple TV is surely the right choice for you. If you’re still out of the Apple ecosystem and looking for digital media for Netflix, Hulu and other video streaming services, Apple TV and Android TV provides an exceptional viewing experience.