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It’s hard enough to decide if you want to buy an Apple TV device or its competitor, Chromecast with Google TV. Both have plenty of reasons to attract customers (and some that might scare them away).
But the software inside each brand’s hardware is quite different and comes with a series of both pros and cons. Probably the two most popular streaming softwares on the market, over the last few years, both Apple and Google have devoted a lot of time and energy to making their own respective services better and better.
Apple has really done a lot, even introducing its own streaming service called Apple TV+ which will come with you using Apple TV.
Apple TV is the native home screen and software related to the Apple TV device, while Google TV is the exact same thing for Chromecast. The importance, differences, and most celebrated features of both of these are stark and can add up to one being better than the other.
Since Apple TV and Google TV are made by two of the biggest, best, most well-respected tech companies in the world, you would assume they’d make competitive products that would fight for your attention, time, and money. But which one should you decide to go with?
Apple TV Vs. Google TV at a Glance
Apple TV Advantages:
- Upgraded Siri remote
- Comes with Gigabit Ethernet Jack
- Experts design and HD quality image
Apple TV Disadvantages:
- Definitely more expensive than Google TV (and others)
- No hands-free voice control
- Lacking much customization
Google TV Advantages:
- Very good price point
- Compatible with all USB-C chargers
- 4K Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision support
Google TV Disadvantages:
- Not a lot of internal storage
- Doesn’t allow 4K playback on all streaming apps
- More prone to lagging and slow load times
Winner: It is tough to choose a winner between these two products because they are both superior to their competition and do so well with streaming. However, they are very similar where it counts and the price difference is major, giving Google TV the advantage. Buying Google TV is the right way to go to experience great streaming at a lower price point. Even with a few hiccups in performance, it is not vastly inferior to Apple TV and is far easier to buy.
What’s The Difference Between Them?
Your possibilities are also more numerous today than ever before because the Apple TV+ app is accessible via Chromecast on Google TV.
Having said that, AirPlay and Chromecast don’t work together as well. Simply said, Chromecast compatibility is more prevalent than AirPlay, which is only available on Apple devices.
While an Android device cannot cast to an Apple TV 4K, an iPhone can. Despite being able to watch Apple TV+ on Google TV, you cannot Chromecast Apple TV+ content and anything else you have bought via iTunes.
It’s a strange limitation that seems to be a holdover from Apple’s closed-off environment. And it’s a real drag since so many other companies have seemed to figure out a way to solve situations like this.
Apple has introduced a new high-quality sound feature that will tip the scale for some people. For certain prospective buyers, Apple TV 4K Spatial Audio offers an added benefit.
You may enjoy the astounding Spatial Audio function on Apple TV 4K if you purchased AirPods Max or the superior AirPods Pro from Apple. Spatial Audio is fundamentally a much-improved form of seamless 360-degree technology.
Apple’s Spatial Audio innovation fixes the placement of the sound, making it an in-ear surround sensation with one significant distinction. Voices on Apple AirPod headphones continue to seem as if they are streaming from the television even if you tilt your head.
Turning your head to the left will make a sound that is off-screen to the left appear to be exactly in front of you. It’s a wild experience and it’s really the future of enjoying content at home. And it’s only available via the Apple TV 4K.
This sound design can completely immerse you in whatever TV show or film you’re viewing, and it’s absolutely worth trying and is also worth the price for some.
It’s also important to note that, based upon the version of the product that you select, the Apple TV 4K has either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.
This gives you the option to download TV episodes, films, and music on the device, which is useful for those with erratic internet connections. The meager 8GB on the Chromecast with Google TV won’t get you very far.
Verdict: This category is neck and neck but the advantage slightly goes to Google TV, simply because some of the coolest features on the Apple TV 4K aren’t downright necessary and they cost an awful lot to acquire.
Both Apple TV and Google TV are fairly easy to use and seem to be quite intuitive and simple. That’s very good because as more streaming apps become available to customers, simplicity of use is very vital.
Google and Apple have long been known as companies that want to make the entire customer experience, from the UI to the processing of buying, downloading, and using the apps – simple. They have both done just that with Apple TV and Google TV.
Since launching, Apple has put a lot of time into making sure Apple TV is a seamless and easy-to-use item that customers will come back to again and again. Sure enough, it’s now very quick and offers quite a bit right at launch.
It’s not simply because of the cutting-edge AirPlay 2 technology that Apple’s tvOS is greater than ever before. The latest Apple TV update now comes with HomeKit, which enables voice control of smart home devices. It also has more recent features like picture-in-picture and an upgraded control center.
It’s also lightning fast too and speeds around. You can bounce around from menu to menu with ease and it responds to the remote control in just seconds.
One of the newest, biggest changes with the latest Apple TV is the ability to play games that are offered to you via Apple. With Apple Arcade (which allows players to use both PS5 and Xbox controllers) and Apple TV, the company’s own services are obviously the main focus.
However, you’ll have access to a sizable collection of applications from Apple’s App Store for things like your preferred streaming apps and much more.
Apple will always put only slight pressure on you to use Apple TV+ and their other apps. They will never hide away the other apps that are so popular with people.
The Google TV service, which is basically driven by Android, is a redesigned user experience for the first Chromecast to move in this route. The UI still needs a decent amount of improvements, but the Play Store’s top apps are still available.
Plus, Google has been good about upgrading and changing their app for the better. There is also integration with Google Assistant-compatible smart home technology and Nest smart home gadgets.
It’s odd that the Google Stadia gaming technology isn’t natively supported. You can, in fact, access Apple TV+ as well so you don’t have to worry about not getting to watch your favorite Apple TV+ shows.
Sadly, Google TV can get a bit laggy at times. There are occurrences when it takes about thirty seconds for the screen to boot up and see all your apps laid out before you.
And, even worse, swapping from apps can sometimes take too long too. Now, this isn’t all the time and sometimes Google TV moves as fast as a dream, like Apple TV. But, on the other hand, Apple TV rarely lags.
Verdict: Apple TV is a faster, easier-to-use software that is constantly updating and offering more. On the other hand, Google TV is great but sometimes slows down and feels overloaded and even slightly dated. Apple TV is the better choice when it comes to ease of use and performance.
This is where things get tricky and Google makes up a lot of ground over Apple.
Apple TV is only offered via the Apple TV devices, such as the HD and 4K models, which you can currently buy at your local tech store. And Google TV is only possible on Chromecast devices, of which there are many with varying price points and features.
Speaking of price, it probably will not surprise you to learn that you will need to spend a lot more money to use Apple TV. That is because you need the Apple TV device to fire it up and that’s going to cost you at least $175.
If you want the better version of Apple TV – the 4K device – you will need to spend $30 more than that too.
As for Google TV, you will be able to use it for far cheaper. Any of the Google streaming devices will allow you to fire up Google TV and they will all work very well indeed. That means that you’ll be streaming on Google TV for under $40 in no time at all.
Of course, you can spend more money and buy a more impressive Google product, but even the cheaper products they make are worth your time and will work wonderfully too.
Verdict: Google TV is the right choice here. It is far cheaper to buy the hardware needed to start using Google TV and it makes the product far, far more attractive. You will be spending close to $200 to start enjoying Apple TV.
Because of the superior firepower that is under the hood of Apple products, you will definitely get faster speeds from the device provided by Apple.
However, this doesn’t mean that Google TV is worse. Google TV has its issues, such as the lagging we previously mentioned, but it still works quite well as long as you have a strong internet connection. You also don’t want to overload Google TV with too many apps and want to make sure everything is always updated.
Even with occasional lag, Google TV is still pretty quick and runs quite smoothly most of the time. Apple TV will technically move faster but with that hefty price point attached to it, you can understand why most people are willing to sacrifice just a little bit of speed.
Verdict: Both Apple TV and Google TV provide fast service, with Apple TV seeking out a win in terms of literal performance. However, Google TV is the better choice here because the difference is minor and the price difference is so major.
Make no mistake, both Apple TV and Google TV offer a lot for customers. It is very likely that one of these two softwares will be the one that you use to watch pretty much everything you enjoy on your TV. You can’t go wrong with either Apple TV or Google TV.
If Apple didn’t charge so much for its product, it would be easy to recommend them as the superior choice. However, spending nearly $200 for something that is only marginally better than Google TV is a hard pill to swallow.
Indeed, Google TV is probably the way to go for most people who don’t want to spend an arm and leg on their streaming possibilities. Google TV runs well most of the time, offers a lot, looks great, and still has room to grow. While Apple TV is a bit more polished and certainly faster, the difference between the two isn’t that much.
But the difference in price is steep and that is why Google TV is the way to go. You can start using it by buying even a cheaper model of Chromecast. And once you have it up and running, you will find that its drawbacks are minimal at most.