By Corey Shaw

( Android TV and Apple TV 4K do the same thing regardless of how they function. Even if you are not much into TV, you probably know how hot the streaming device market is. In simple terms, Google’s Android TV is an operating system which is used by many hardware manufacturers including Sony, Sharp, Xiaomi, Nvidia, and Razer. Apple, on the other hand, sells its own media streaming box called the Apple TV 4K.

No matter which one you choose, both Apple TV 4K and Android TV help you consume content you want from your favorite video streaming service providers. But at the end of the day, it’s not just about watching your favorite movies or shows because these solutions are feature-rich and can do a lot more than streaming content on your TV set. Here we have compared these two offerings from Apple and Google to help you choose the best.

If you’re already a part of the Apple ecosystem and feel that the Android TV vs Apple TV 4K debate is not for you, you are probably wrong. There are users in both Android and Apple worlds who chose to step out of their hardcore brand loyalty zone.

Other than watching movies and TV shows, people use their smart media players to see their digital photo albums on the big screen. Both Android and tvOS offer dedicated apps to see your collection of photographs on TV, the best app comes from Apple. The Apple Photos app is easy to use and its interface is clutter-free.

On Photos app, you get your images organized in the best possible ways and Apple has also made sharing easy. One of the best things about this app on the Apple TV 4K is you can browse your media library without having to use anything else on the network. Additionally, if you’re an iTunes fan, it’s easy for you to go with the Apple TV 4K because this is the smartest and the only way to access your music, movies available on your iTunes app.

The Apple TV 4K is available in two storage capacity choices – 32GB and 64GB versions. By paying $20 more, you can get the 64GB device which is available for $199 while the 32GB version of the Apple TV 4K is available for $179. Those who think that paying $20 more will get you more storage should think again because you might be looking for ways to fill this 64GB space once after buying this version.

You will struggle to fill the space because cloud-based media is a big relief here. The Apple TV 4K supports tons of streaming services like HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu and cable-based services. Each of these applications hardly consumes 30-40MB of storage. The storage will not be used to its maximum capacity because even if you have a lot of Apple’s first-party media, everything will be streamed. If you enjoy rental shows and podcasts, this media will be stored on your device, but once after the access period gets over, the files will be deleted.

On the Android side, the Android TV gives you the ability to expand storage capacity with microSD cards and external hard drives. As long as these drives perform fast, you are guaranteed to have a great experience on your Android TV and all your data can be stored easily. If you are thinking of using a microSD card or a USB storage drive on the Apple TV, unfortunately, there’s no such option available.

You can find many apps available for the Android TV, and despite having a huge library of apps, Apple TV lacks support for many popular apps including Spotify. There are several ways to enjoy Spotify music on the Apple TV but there’s no direct way. The biggest advantage of having an Android TV box is that you can install almost any app by downloading APK file even if your favorite app is not available on the Google Play Store. Apple doesn’t give you this much freedom.

For those looking for a digital media box you can play games on, the Nvidia Shield is a better option than the Apple TV. The Android TV supports almost all the gamepads available in the market while Apple TV recognizes only a few. So if you’re using a gamepad that supports Windows 10 and Android OS, you can use it on your PC and Android TV. But since most of these gamepads don’t support the tvOS, you’ll need to use a separate controller for your Apple TV.

One more thing buyers should keep in mind is that Android TV has more games available on the platform than the Apple TV system. Android TV is a highly improved operating system and tvOS still has a long way to go to reach that level. We believe that in future, Apple TV will be a lot better than what it is today but at present, Android TV beats Apple on many fronts.

If you are already using Apple products such as iPads, iPhones or a Mac PC, Apple TV is the right choice for you. If you’re still out of the Apple ecosystem and looking for a digital media box for Netflix, Hulu and other video streaming services, both Apple TV and Android TV offer great viewing experience. Apple TV, however, may feel limited, but this is not something new for those who are familiar with Apple products.

By Corey Shaw

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