The new Apple TV 4K 2022 is here and it is powerful. The new Apple TV 4K comes with the A15 Bionic chip which gives it a 50% improved performance than its predecessor and up to 30% improvement for GPU performance. But is all that power enough to give Zwift an extra boost?
Unlike last year’s Apple TV with the 2018-era A12 bionic chip, this year’s Apple TV has a much more powerful chip that you will also find in the iPhone 13 and is still being used in the iPhone 14.
The new Apple TV 4K comes in two models, the base model is $129 and ships with 64GB of storage instead of 32GB. I’ve never found myself in a situation where I needed more space on Apple TV but more storage space for even less money is nice.
There’s also a 128GB model for $149, which also adds an Ethernet port and support for Thread networking that allows it to act as a hub for compatible smart home devices. Both models can act as hubs for Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, but only the $149 model is fully prepared for Thread and Matter enabled thread accessories.
But both models support WiFi 6.0 and Bluetooth 5.0, just like last year’s model did. And Apple also added support for HDR10 Plus mainly for Samsung TVs. But the biggest update internally is the A15 bionic chip which gives it a 50% improved performance and up to 30% improvement for GPU performance which is important for gaming.
Zwift runs natively on Apple TV and based on my own experience, I think it’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to run Zwift. It is quick to start and pair to all sensors. But probably the most underrated feature is all app updates happen behind the scene on Apple TV and you don’t have to deal with constant messages to update. You won’t realize how much time that saves you until you try run Zwift on a PC.
The one downside that you probably won’t even notice unless you see how Zwift works on a higher-end PC, is the graphics. On Apple TV, you will get a basic profile and 30 frames per second which isn’t any better than the previous Apple TV model, or even the first-gen Apple TV 4K model.
The problem isn’t with the Apple TV. Zwift hasn’t optimized its game to take advantage of the Apple TV hardware fully. Also, looking at the performance of current devices with the A15 Bionic chip like the iPhone 13 pro, for example, I still get basic profile with 30 frames per seconds according to Zwiftalizer.
As for Bluetooth connection limitations, that didn’t change either. There are two Bluetooth connection limits in apps. You can, however, still connect a Bluetooth headset like your Airpod or any headset for example along with your smart trainer, and your heart rate sensor.
But speaking of cool things, the Apple TV remote is great. I love the new remote from the 2021 model, and this one is identical to the previous model, Other than ditching Lightning for USB-C port for charging.
The new Apple TV is also 20% smaller than the 2021 model also it feels lighter, and no fans. Everything runs so efficiently inside this little device that Apple didn’t think it needs a fan to cool its components down.
Apple TV for Zwift has always been a cheap and very efficient way to get on Zwift. And for only $129, this is an easy recommendation. It boots up way quicker than my powerful PC. It quickly pairs to my smart trainer and my other sensors. Zwift also sort of updated the user interface to make navigating with the Apple TV remote a lot easier than in years past. I personally still use my Apple TV when I just want to quickly get on Zwift for a quick workout or a run without having to deal with all my PC shenanigans.
If you have an Apple TV 4K already, I can’t think of a reason to upgrade to this one., unless you’ve got a Samsung 4K TV and have been waiting for HDR10 Plus. Otherwise, there’s no compelling reason that I can think of to upgrade from a prior model to this one.