The Apple TV wants you to spend your time watching things on Netflix, playing a barrage of games available in the App store or browsing the back catalogue of titles in iTunes.
But trust me on this, what you're really going to want to do is go shop, because Gilt, one of Apple TV's many shopping apps, has revolutionized the way we think of online shopping.
I discovered it while going through each page of the App store alphabetically, trying to find some of those smaller apps that would enhance the Apple TV experience. This alone is a major process, and some developers have already started to complain that the company isn't properly promoting the apps they've designed specifically for the system. But as someone who spends a lot of time shopping, both online and in-store, the idea of being able to order fairly priced clothing and homeware directly from my TV was more than appealing.
I was prepared for a terrible experience. Not because of the Apple TV per se, but just because online shopping is a bit of a ritual. There's the process of finding the perfect item, opening it in a brand new page to examine all angles of it, checking to ensure that the store has the right color or size and then finally arguing with your moral conscience over whether or not to actually buy it. This is easy enough to do on a computer when you have a fully functioning mouse or even on a phone when you can click on the direct links you want with a tap of your finger. But on a television that uses a remote that relies entirely on swiping and touch-enabled scrolling, I was concerned that it was going to be more of a hassle than anything else.
I was dead wrong.
Gilt's Apple TV app is designed with speed and smoothness in mind, and it's apparent from the moment you open the app.
With winter coming up, I decided to test out the app by shopping for a new sweater. The best word to describe the experience of using the app to shop is "logical." It's a step by step guide that mirrors a better online store's browsing methods. You simply scroll to select the category you're interested in and start sorting through the various options.
And while selection is subjective, what's really impressive about the app is the user interface, which leans heavily on Parallax multimedia code in the product images. It provides an almost futuristic feeling to the shopping experience.
After simply scrolling from left to right through the various sweaters available for purchase, I found one I was interested in and clicked on it.
This is where it gets really cool.
The app designers understand that this is a relatively new way to shop for clothes and, to make it even easier, have made the process practically 3D. When you choose the item you're interested in, it gets magnified, with four different views available to the left of the main image to see how it would look from different angles. It's reminiscent of the scene in Clueless where Cher Horowitz steps into her satirically large closet and uses the computer to find the perfect outfit.
Being able to see what this sweater looks like on a large television set, and scroll through the different angles by just sliding your thumb over the touch pad is the best online shopping experience I ever had.
Instead of having to lean over my laptop and deal with finicky quick view pop ups or hold an annoying digital magnifying glass over a particular image to get a better look, Gilt does it all for you. It understands what shoppers want when they're browsing online and it uses an incredibly sharp and visual heavy UI to deliver an enjoyable experience.
It's also pretty useful when shopping for those items that pop into your head when you're sitting down and watching television.
Let's say you're watching Bob's Burgers and during a scene where the Belcher family are gathered around their kitchen table, you remember that you needed to pick up a new cutting board after your last one broke during a fancy dance party.
Instead of having to boot up your computer, go to various online stores, and find the perfect cutting board, you can simply hit the home button on your Apple TV remote, open up Gilt, check out the homeware section and purchase a relatively inexpensive board within minutes before jumping right back into Bob's Burgers.
Having an app that works almost flawlessly and being able to purchase a variety of miscellaneous items literally at the click of a button is dangerous for those like myself that want every shiny piece of clothing or appliance that flashes across the screen. At the end of the day, however, it's great to have a new and far better way to online shop than the current avenues available.
Gilt isn't the reason Apple developed a digital media microconsole. It's not going to be the app you spend the most time on, like Netflix, and it's not the reason you're going to invite a bunch of friends over to hang out, like you can with games like Quiplash.
What Gilt has that most of the other apps on Apple TV do not is a sense of actually being able to help you out with day-to-day errands.
Like some of the weather apps available, Gilt is something you're only going to pull up when you need it, but it's good to know that when you do need to replace that cutting board or sulkily start buying winter clothing, that it's entirely reliable.
We all have to indulge our guilty pleasures every once in a while.