Apple TV News

This is a discussion on Apple TV News within the Apple TV forums, part of the Apple Hardware category; Apple on Monday began informing developers who won its Apple TV lottery that their new set-top boxes will begin shipping later this week, allowing them ...

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  1. #31
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    Apple will ship new Apple TV hardware to select developers later this week




    Apple on Monday began informing developers who won its Apple TV lottery that their new set-top boxes will begin shipping later this week, allowing them to build applications ahead of the October launch.

    Developers who reached out to AppleInsider on Monday indicated that they had been contacted by Apple, informing them that they were selected for the developer program. Those who were chosen must accept and purchase their new Apple TV by Wednesday.

    Apple is only charging developers who were chosen $1 for the purchase, to verify their name and address before shipping the unit.

    Developers who complete their purchase are informed by Apple that the unit will ship within 1 to 3 business days. With that turnaround, it's possible that some could begin receiving their new Apple TV by the end of this week.

    The revamped Apple TV was announced last week, featuring a dedicated App Store with third-party software. Developers will be able to create apps for the new Apple TV just like they do on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

    The new Apple TV powers its App Store with an all-new operating system dubbed tvOS. AppleInsider went hands-on with the new hardware and software at last week's event.

    Beyond apps, one of the defining features of the new Apple TV is its Siri Remote, which allows users to quickly find and narrow down content by just using their voice. It also features motion sensors and a touchpad for new forms of input and gameplay with titles on the App Store.

    When the new Apple TV launches to the public in October, it will start at $149 for the entry-level 32-gigabyte model, while a larger 64-gigabyte variant will cost $199.





    9-14-15

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  3. #32
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    Plex and VLC are coming to the new Apple TV




    If you’re worried for some reason that the new Apple TV might not have strong enough video chops with all those apps and games, good news: Plex and VLC, two of the best video apps around, are coming to Apple’s new set-top box.

    According to a blog post this morning, VLC is developing a tvOS app. “Some code to build VLCKit for the new tvOS was merged,” the update says. “It’s very early though, but we have video playback!” VLC is a cross-platform media player that supports pretty much every file type under the sun, and can even be set up to stream media content.

    But streaming movies, videos, and photos is Plex’s bread-and-butter, and it’s coming to tvOS too, according to Plex co-founder Scott Olechowski, who told IT World:


    There is no question we will be able to offer Plex on the platform. There are multiple ways to go about it, based on the tvOS SDK we now have access to. We are now evaluating the best path for Plex and will begin work in earnest once we have evaluated the options. The ability to access great and proven iOS frameworks on the device is great for developers like us – we know the stuff is solid and will perform really well. Our goal is to enable people to enjoy Plex on the hardware platforms of their choice, and there is no doubt this will be a top platform for us.


    This is the best news I’ve heard about the new Apple TV. I’m a huge Plex fan: I have it installed on my Mac (which also acts as a 2TB server for my media collection), iPhone, iPad, and more. Plex, though, has never officially been available on the Apple TV, although a third-party hack called PlexConnect could be used for a time, if you were willing to jump through some hoops. But I personally love Plex so much that I switched my third-gen Apple TV for a Roku, just to be able to access it on my HDTV easier.

    With Plex officially arriving soon after launch, and VLC also coming, the new Apple TV will immediately become one of the best streaming boxes around, don’t you think?





    9-15-15

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    Teardown of Apple TV Siri Remote finds same touch controller as iPhone 5s & iPad Air





    A teardown of the first Apple TV and its new voice-enabled Siri Remote has discovered the controller sports the same Broadcom-made touchscreen controller the company already uses in the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPad Air.

    Nearly two weeks after first getting our hands on with the new Apple TV, iFixit has completed their full teardown of the device and it's companion remote. The most significant changes from the third-generation Apple TV are found in the new Siri Remote with its glass touch surface.

    The glass surface of the new remote utilizes the same Broadcom touchscreen controller (BCM5976C1KUB6G) found in earlier iPhones and iPads. The remote was also found to include an accelerometer and gyroscope for navigation and gameplay.







    With the addition of a Qualcomm Bluetooth radio in the Siri Remote, users no longer need to aim the remote at their Apple TV. However, Apple did continue to include IR technology which can be used to control the power and volume on your television.

    The Apple TV box itself is a half-inch taller and 50 percent heavier than it's predecessor, mostly due to a larger power supply and heatsink. iFixit suggests that this beefier power supply is needed to power the dual-core A8 processor.







    Apple has also ditched the optical audio-out port and added a USB-C port, with the latter currently being for diagnostic purposes only. The Wi-Fi chip inside the new Apple TV also received a bump to include speedier 802.11ac, and the audio output has been upgraded from Dolby Digital 5.1 to 7.1.

    The new Apple TV with Siri Remote comes in 32- and 64-gigabyte models, priced at $149 and $199, respectively. They are expected sometime in October.





    9-22-15

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    tvOS beta 2 for released to developers running pre-release hardware




    Along with the public release of iOS 9.0.1 and the beta release of iOS 9.1, Apple has seeded a second version of the tvOS beta to developers who are running pre-release hardware that was given out earlier this month.

    The new tvOS build can be downloaded from Apple’s Developer Center now and comes with a build number of 13T5365h. We’ll keep this post updated with any new changes as we discover them.

    Apple also published a new beta version of Xcode 7.1 with support for tvOS. According to the release notes, this Xcode build will allow developers to pair their new Apple TV remote with the simulator for testing.





    9-23-15

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    Apple updates TestFlight app with support for tvOS internal testing




    On the eve of this year’s iPhone launch, Apple has pushed out an update to the TestFlight application to enable internal testing of apps on tvOS. The Apple TV operating system has is now in its second beta version for users who have access to pre-release hardware.

    Developers have been able to test locally on their devices by plugging them directly into Xcode and building their app, but today’s TestFlight update will allow them to distribute the builds over-the-air to other members of the same development team.

    TestFlight apps for tvOS are accepted by testers in almost the same way as iOS apps, but rather than tapping a link in the invitation email, users will enter a code into TestFlight using a “Redeem” button at the bottom of the app list. A TestFlight app on the Apple TV will allow for basically the same redemption method.

    External testing wouldn’t be much use until next month when the general public is able to buy the new and improved Apple TV, so don’t expect to see that feature launch anytime soon. iOS 9 external beta testing didn’t become available until shortly before the software was released.

    The TestFlight change log is below:


    What’s New in Version 1.3.0:

    TestFlight now supports internal testing for tvOS apps and adds the ability for testers to accept beta invitations with redemption codes. The redemption code is found via a link within the invitation email and redeemed by entering the code in the TestFlight app.

    Minor stability and performance improvements.





    9-25-15

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    Video shows MAME emulator in action on Apple's tvOS





    A video posted to the Web on Monday shows a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator running on Apple's tvOS, allowing developer Kevin Smith to play a number of old-school arcade titles with a paired Bluetooth gaming controller.

    Smith, who was one of the few developers selected to receive an early fourth-generation Apple TV dev kit, said the app is based on Les Bird's iMAME4all Xcode project and is shown running on tvOS beta 2.

    "I created a target for tvOS and set about getting the code to compile for arm64 (Mandatory for AppleTV), fixed a varierty [sic] of compiler and linker errors," Smith said in his video's description. "Removed code which was incompatible with tvOS frameworks and simplified code to work on tvOS."







    The developer also modified the source code to support a 1080p display, Apple TV's maximum output resolution, and adjusted original MAME's original user interface to exit games using the pause button. A number of titles are supported including "1942," "1943," "Donkey Kong," "Metal Slug," "Street Fighter" and more.

    As noted by MacRumors, it is highly unlikely that Smith's MAME version will appear as a legitimate purchase option on the upcoming tvOS App Store. Apple's stance on emulator software has been quite strict and while a few have snuck onto the iOS App Store, either through rare App Store review team mistakes or hidden within apps, they were quickly pulled.

    Apple is expected to launch Apple TV in October, though a firm date has not been announced.





    9-29-15

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    Apple blocks iFixit dev account following fourth-gen Apple TV teardown




    Apple has banned iFixit's developer account and pulled its app from the App Store after the repair firm dismantled a fourth-generation Apple TV dev kit it received as part of Apple's pre-release program.

    That teardown violated Apple's terms for the developer program, iFixit admitted in a blog post. The company said it "weighed the risks" in advance and decided to do the work anyway. The ban was imposed a few days later.

    iFixit took "actions that may hinder the performance or intended use of the App Store, B2B Program, or the Program," Apple wrote in a notification email.

    The app was actually neglected for several months, and became buggy with the launch of iOS 9, iFixit commented. In the meantime the company has been working on its mobile website, and has no plans to rewrite the dedicated software, though it suggested that people could easily adopt its APIs to build their own. An Android app is still available in the Google Play Store.

    Although the new Apple TV won't officially launch until sometime in October, Apple recently sent out pre-release hardware to lucky developers. The program was intended to kickstart development of tvOS apps, given that the platform was only announced on Sept. 9.





    9-30-15

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    Apple to open Apple TV universal search API to third-party developers




    Apple CEO Tim Cook recently confirmed that developers will indeed be granted access to a universal search API set to debut with the fourth-generation Apple TV, meaning third-party apps have the opportunity to get screen time alongside big name services like HBO and Hulu.

    In a follow-up to its interview with Cook published in September, Buzzfeed reports the Apple chief as saying universal search on the next-generation Apple TV will support iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and HBO at launch, but current plans are to open the search API to developers in the near future.

    "I think that many, many people will want to be in that search," Cook said. "And that's great for users. Think about your experience today. Even if you're fortunate enough to have the content you want to watch in an app, you sometimes don't remember exactly where that show is, so you're going to Netflix or Hulu or Showtime. You shouldn't have to do that. It should be very simple."

    Universal search is being touted as a tentpole feature for Apple's upcoming set-top streamer. Users can type in – or in some regions query Siri with the included Siri Remote – search terms to surface content from a variety of sources. Being tied into a powerful search tool could be a boon for third-party developers.

    Describing how universal search works, Cook said multiple results will appear if a certain show is offered on more than one service. As Buzzfeed explains, searching for a TV series or particular episode will return a rundown of all apps in which that content is available, based on a user's subscriptions. Users who pay for HBO GO and Netflix will see those two platforms show up if content is available on both.

    Apple's fourth-generation Apple TV is set to debut later this month starting at $149 for a model with 32GB of onboard storage, and $199 for a 64GB version.





    10-5-15

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    ‘Universal Search’ on the Apple TV will be a lot more helpful than we thought




    One of the more compelling new features on the upcoming Apple TV is something Apple is calling Universal Search. As opposed to the status-quo today, where users have to hop in and out of different apps in order to find what programming is available where, Universal Search will allow users to quicky search across a number of varying services to find what they’re looking for. In other words, imagine Universal Search as a unifying layer that sits atop all of the content available via Apple TV’s many media apps.

    At launch, the fourth-gen Apple TV will be able to search for programming across iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, and HBO. So if you’re looking to catch up on, say, season 3 of Dexter, you can simply enter a search and Apple TV will scour all of the aformentioned services for you. The days of individualized searches across multiple apps will soon be long gone.

    Now that’s all well and good, but what happens when certain seasons of a show are spread out across multiple services? How might the Apple TV handle that?

    Not to worry, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently divulged in an interview with Buzzfeed that search results from the iTunes Store won’t be given first billing.


    … If I’m a Netflix subscriber and I want to binge-watch a five-season series, will an Apple TV search tell me that the first three seasons are available to me for free on Netflix, the fourth is available for purchase on iTunes, and the fifth is available only on HBO? Or will it leave me to work that out myself?

    Cook said the former scenario is the one Apple’s implemented. “It will be clear which service is free,” he said. In other words, Apple will show each season or episode in all the services in which it’s available to you and iTunes if they have it. So you would see options for Netflix, iTunes, and HBO, if all three had the content and you were subscribed to Netflix and HBOGo.


    This is particularly awesome given that shows on Netflix seem to be cycled in and out more quickly than most users can realistically keep track of.

    What’s more, Cook also revealed that Apple is planning to offer developers an API so that other apps can be included under the Universal Search umbrella in the future.

    “At launch we’ll have iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, and HBO – so we’ll have five major inputs into universal search initially,” Cook told Buzzfeed. “But we’re also opening an API, so that others can join in.”

    The Apple TV is slated to launch sometime later this month, but Apple has yet to give out a firm release date. Pricing wise, recall that a 32GB model will set you back about $149 while a 64GB model will be priced at $199.





    10-5-15

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    CBS, NBC round out 'big four' networks on Apple TV, exclusive M2M channel also debuts




    Apple on Tuesday added streaming options for the last two of the "big four" U.S. broadcast networks – CBS and NBC – to the Apple TV lineup, as well as an entirely new, exclusive fashion channel dubbed M2M.

    CBS, which is the most-watched network in the U.S. featuring hits like "The Big Bang Theory" and "NCIS," includes access to the CBS All Access subscription service. It costs $5.99 per month and allows viewing of current primetime shows, leading datytime and late-night CBS programming, and thousands of episodes from the network's library of classics.

    CBS All Access also includes live TV streaming in select major markets, where the network owns and operates the over-the-air station.

    NBC, meanwhile, requires users to log in with their cable provider credentials to view most content on the Apple TV. The arrival of NBC and CBS rounds out the big four broadcast networks on Apple TV, joining established apps from Fox and ABC.

    Finally, the new "Made2Measure" or M2M network is also available on Apple TV, and exclusively on Apple's set-top[ box. The digital fashion network is an upstart from WME/IMG.

    The three new channel options arrive just days before the fourth-generation Apple TV, with a dedicated App Store, will be available to order. CBS, NBC and M2M are all instantly available on both the second- and third-generation Apple TV.





    10-20-15

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