Apple TV News

This is a discussion on Apple TV News within the Apple TV forums, part of the Apple Hardware category; Screenshot from the proof of concept iPlayer app Following the unveiling of the new Apple TV back in September, United Kingdom-based public service broadcaster BBC ...

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  1. #41
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    Developers Press BBC to Bring iPlayer to Apple TV by Building Their Own Proof of Conc


    Screenshot from the proof of concept iPlayer app




    Following the unveiling of the new Apple TV back in September, United Kingdom-based public service broadcaster BBC told fans on Twitter that there were "no plans currently" to develop an iPlayer app for the new platform. While the broadcaster has backtracked slightly since that time, more recently stating it doesn't "have any info to give" on the topic, with the launch of the Apple TV right around the corner, a couple of Dorset-based developers have taken the task into their own hands to prove that the app can be made with relative ease.

    The BBC iPlayer app allows viewers of the popular British channel to catch up with current series and watch live TV on a smartphone or tablet. The company expanded support for the service to streaming devices like Chromecast and smart TVs last year, but never made the leap to Apple TV due to its limited SDK support and nonexistent functionality with other platforms like Android. Now, a pair of developers from Bournemouth, Dorset in the United Kingdom -- Matt Cheetham and Phillip Caudell -- have used a recent hack event to prove Apple TV support for BBC iPlayer could be implemented fairly easily by the broadcaster.







    The pair took to GitHub to share the app they created, dubbed the "Auntie Player," which splits the iPlayer experience up into Home, Categories, Live, and Search tabs, with full episode lists, descriptions, and run times for each show. Cheetham and Caudell cite BBC's "disappointing response" from September as the main source of inspiration for the proof of concept app, pointing out BBC's failure to support Apple TV as a direct contradiction to its public purpose to "make engaging digital content and services available on a wide range of digital platforms and devices."







    Most impressively, the duo planned, coded, and completed the app in under nine hours at the "Hack to the Future" event in Bournemouth over the weekend. As they note in the GitHub post, the two won't be submitting the app to the App Store, but they wanted to showcase "what can be achieved with the tvOS platform and the BBC's amazing content."


    The app we're publishing here was built in just under 9 hours at a hack event to prove it could be done. It's by no means complete or perfect, and it's very much a proof of concept. It's our hope the BBC will release an official app for Apple TV, as they've made iPlayer available on a wide range of other set-top boxes and Smart TVs.


    Check out the developers' full suite of source code for Auntie Player on GitHub, along with an array of screenshots and more of the reasoning behind sharing their creation with the public.

    With Apple's new tvOS developer tools for the fourth-generation Apple TV, the platform is now open to all developers, significantly broadening the potential for Apple's set-top box beyond the locked-down content provider model that has existed until now. Just yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated his thoughts that the television experience needs to be reinvented and that apps are the way to do it.





    10-20-15

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  3. #42
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    Apple’s fourth-gen Apple TV will be worth the $149 gamble?? VIDEO




    Compared with the runaway successes of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, the Apple TV living room media player hasn’t had a stellar track record. Despite considerable hype leading up to its early 2007 release, Apple declared the first Apple TV “a hobby” shortly after it hit stores, then began a seemingly endless campaign to figure out what people actually wanted it to do. Three years later, a second-gen version refocused on video rentals and added one major feature – AirPlay – to stream and mirror content from iOS devices and Macs. A tweaked third-gen model added 1080p support after less than two years. The modest changes led Apple TV sales to resemble a bunny hill; even Apple’s atypically aggressive price points couldn’t help the devices match the popularity of Roku, Amazon, and Google rivals.

    Next week, pre-orders will start for the fourth-generation Apple TV, and it would be easy to say “pass:” none of the prior versions has been fantastic, and once again, Apple deliberately left out an arguably major feature – 4K Ultra HD support – that competitors jumped on, and will probably topline the inevitable fifth-generation Apple TV. But I’d personally suggest that you consider ordering the new $149 Apple TV anyway. Even though its potential won’t really be tapped until (at least) next year, early adopters are about to have a fun ride as it develops into an amazing new living room entertainment platform…


    Why Gamble

    If you’ve already used the prior-generation Apple TV, you know the basics of what the new version will do: play videos, music, and photos on your TV, including content streamed from the Internet, as well as AirPlay-streamed content directly from a nearby iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac. These features alone justified earlier Apple TVs for millions of people, but they were tightly controlled by Apple, and only intermittently augmented with new streaming “channels.” That’s changing.

    Based upon tvOS, a TV-optimized version of iOS, the new Apple TV adds several major new features. First, it can download third-party apps and games. Second, it can integrate app-like data content with multiple audio and video streams for a next-generation interactive TV experience. Third, it will be able to serve as a hub for HomeKit accessories, possibly also controlling your TV and home theater setup. In short, the Apple TV is no longer just an audio, photo, and video player… it’s more like an iOS-based game console and (mini-)computer for your TV.













    10-21-15

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    Apple TV now available for preorder, first deliveries arrive Friday




    As promised, the new fourth-generation Apple TV became available for purchase Monday, with the first orders scheduled to arrive beginning this Friday, Oct. 30.

    The new Apple TV is available in capacities of 32 and 64 gigabytes. New orders are scheduled to be delivered between Oct. 30 and Nov. 3 at the fastest, if customers are willing to pay for expedited delivery. Free orders deliver Nov. 2 through Nov. 4.

    The first Oct. 30 deliveries will allow Apple to narrowly meet its promised delivery window of the month of October.

    While home deliveries begin this week, retail availability of the Apple TV has not yet been announced. Apple's online store simply states that in-store pickup of the new Apple TV will be available soon.

    Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook promised last week that Apple TV preorders would start on Monday. Pricing starts at $149 for the 32-gigabyte model, while a 64-gigabyte version runs $199.






    The new Apple TV sports Siri voice control with deep search functionality. It also includes a dedicated App Store for installing third-party apps. Apple began accepting app submissions last week, and also submitted a golden master of its new tvOS to developers.

    Apple has required that new tvOS apps support the new Siri remote as part of their "core functionality." The remote includes a touchpad, motion input, and a microphone for Siri.

    The new set-top streamer is also powered by a beefed-up A8 system-on-a-chip.





    10-27-15

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    Games dominate paid downloads in Apple TV App Store's first weekend




    Last Friday's debut of the fourth-generation Apple TV also brought with it tvOS and a dedicated App Store, with games proving to be the most popular paid apps at launch, new data reveals.

    Unlike on the iOS App Store, Apple didn't include a list of the top paid, free, and grossing apps for tvOS. But Slide to Play found that Apple has made some data available, though it was characterized as somewhat "unreliable."

    Still, the data provides perhaps the best look into what's selling thus far on the Apple TV, and unsurprisingly it's motion-control-based "Beat Sports" – which was showcased heavily at Apple's September event – that tops the paid charts. In all, nine of the top ten paid apps are games, with only video streamer "SimpleX" cracking the top apps.

    Things are slightly different in the "Free" category, where streaming apps like "HBO Now," "Nat Geo TV" and "Fox Now" are in the top five. But the top two free apps – "Rayman Adventures" and "Crossy Road" – are still games, and "Asphalt 8: Airborne" also cracks the top 10.

    Many of the top free apps were built-in options on the previous-generation Apple TV, even though there are many new options – 1,025 as of Sunday evening. The lists were first spotted by MacRumors.

    Some options on the Apple TV App Store are universal downloads, meaning users can pay once and get the same title for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Other developers have opted to make new TV-only versions of their existing iOS apps, allowing them to charge again for users who want the convenience of playing across devices.

    Because of the closeness between iOS and tvOS, apps can offer cross-platform syncing via iCloud. This means gamers can start a title at home on their Apple TV, then continue playing where they left off on an iPhone or iPad on the go.

    Beyond "Beat Sports," the other most popular paid games for Apple TV are:


    "Galaxy on Fire – Manticore RISING"
    "Lumino City"
    "Alto's Adventure"
    "Does not Commute TV"
    "Battle Supremacy: Evolution"
    "Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved"
    "Shoot the Zombirds"
    "Oceanhorn"





    11-2-15

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    Apple TV tips and tricks: Getting the most out of Apple’s new set-top-box




    The recently released fourth-gen Apple TV may very well become a sleeper hit for Apple this holiday shopping season. Though the device isn’t being backed by a big marketing campaign (not yet at least), the device has received favorable reviews and represents Apple’s most compelling effort to transform its tried and true hobby into a more important and lucrative part of its product lineup.

    With most people set to receive the latest and greatest Apple TV sometime this week, it’s as good a time as any to run through some of the more essential tips and tricks new Apple TV owners should be aware of.

    Over the weekend, MacRumors compiled a list of some of the more interesting Apple TV shortcuts and functions that should help users get the most out of their new device.

    While some are quite obvious (i.e the home button will take you back to the main screen from anywhere), there are a few interesting tidbits worth highlighting.


    A few of the more helpful tips include:

    -Press the Home button twice quickly to bring up the App Switcher, which displays all apps open. Swipe up on the Siri Remote’s touch surface to force close an app.

    — Hold down the Home button to place the Apple TV in Sleep mode.

    — Press the Menu button once to go back.

    — Press the Menu button twice quickly from the Home screen to start the screensaver.

    — Press and hold the Menu and Home buttons simultaneously to restart the Apple TV.

    — Apple TV network strength is displayed in Settings under General > About.

    — The new Apple TV can also learn universal remotes in Settings under Remotes and Devices > Learn Remote. Follow the on-screen instructions.

    — Press the Play/Pause button once to change the keyboard between uppercase and lowercase.

    — Press the Siri button once and wait to view a list of commands you can ask Siri.

    We’ll definitely keep you posted once more tips for using the latest Apple TV start rolling in. In the meantime, make sure to check out the full list of tips and tricks via the source link below.





    11-3-15

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    New Apple TV: Tips, Tricks, Siri Remote Shortcuts and Useful Settings


    Press the Home button twice to bring up the new Apple TV's app switcher



    The new Apple TV launched on Friday in several countries around the world, giving early adopters a chance to try out the fourth-generation device for a few days now. The consensus opinion is that the new Apple TV is a worthwhile upgrade, particularly because of new features such as the App Store, Siri, and tvOS user interface, with lots of potential to get even better in the months and years ahead.


    Siri Remote shortcuts



    Touch Surface

    - To rearrange an app, hover over it and hold down the touch surface until the icon starts to jiggle. Then, swipe left, right, up or down to move the app, and press the touch surface once to finish.
    - The touch surface has accelerated swiping, meaning that a faster swipe results in faster on-screen scrolling.
    - Hover over any letter on the keyboard and hold down the touch surface to bring up a contextual menu, which includes uppercase letters, accents and a backspace key.
    - Hover over a song and hold down the touch surface to bring up a contextual menu, which includes various Apple Music options.


    Menu Button

    - Press the Menu button once to go back.
    - Press the Menu button twice quickly from the Home screen to start the screensaver.
    - Press and hold the Menu and Home buttons simultaneously to restart the Apple TV.


    Home Button

    - Press the Home button once to return to the Home screen from anywhere.
    - Press the Home button twice quickly to bring up the App Switcher, which displays all apps open. Swipe up on the Siri Remote's touch surface to force close an app.
    - Press the Home button three times quickly to access VoiceOver.
    - Hold down the Home button to place the Apple TV in Sleep mode.


    Siri Button

    - Hold down the Siri button to use Siri.
    - Press the Siri button once and wait to view a list of commands you can ask Siri.


    Play/Pause Button

    - Press the Play/Pause button once to change the keyboard between uppercase and lowercase.
    - Press the Play/Pause button once to delete an app in wiggle mode, which requires hovering over an app and holding down the touch surface until the icon starts to jiggle.



    Apple TV settings


    General

    - Apple TV can be renamed in Settings under AirPlay > Apple TV Name.
    - Apple TV network strength is displayed in Settings under General > About.
    - Universal remotes can learn the new Apple TV in Settings under Remotes and Devices > Learn Remote. Follow the on-screen instructions.


    Siri Remote

    - The sensitivity of the Siri Remote's touch surface can be adjusted in the Settings app under Remotes and Devices > Touch Surface Tracking.
    - The triple-press Home button accessibility shortcut can be changed in the Settings app under General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut.
    - The Siri Remote's battery level is listed in Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.
    - The Siri Remote can power on/off or adjust the volume of your TV and speakers over HDMI-CEC or IR. In some cases, this pairing process is automatic after setup, or manually configurable in Settings > Remotes and Devices > Home Theater Control under the "Turn On Your TV with Your Remote" and "Volume Control" menus.





    11-3-15

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    Simplify Apple TV app & content purchases with a 4-digit passcode or disable password




    Entering text, particularly a complex alphanumeric password, on the new Apple TV's Siri Remote is, frankly, a pain. Thankfully Apple has included a few convenient workarounds offering both flexibility and security when purchasing content.

    If you have a password 8 characters or longer for your iTunes account, you likely won't want to enter it every time you want to download a new app on the fourth-generation Apple TV. Because of this, after the first few downloads, tvOS will automatically ask the user whether they want to turn off password prompts entirely.

    If you want to manually opt in and disable password entry for purchases, open the tvOS Settings app, choose iTunes and App Store, and select Password Settings. There, you can choose to require a password never, after 15 minutes, or always. Users can also disable the password requirement for free apps.

    But for those who want to prevent app and content purchases without the need to enter a complex iTunes password, there is another method.

    In the tvOS Settings app, choose General, then Restrictions. Selecting this menu for the first time will prompt you to enter a four-digit passcode to make changes to system restrictions.







    Once you're in, turn on Restrict for the Purchase and Rental option. With this enabled, you'll only need to enter a shorter, simpler four-digit number to authorize iTunes and App Store purchases, rather than your full iTunes account password.

    This setting more convenient applies to both App Store downloads, content subscriptions, in-app purchases, and iTunes movie, TV and music purchases.

    Further restrictions in tvOS allow users to block in-app purchases, and to filter explicit or mature content. There's also an option to prevent Siri from showing explicit language. tvOS also allows control over multiplayer gaming and GameCenter friends, and restricting changes to AirPlay settings and location services.





    11-3-15

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    Apple TV's tvOS found to support app folders




    Developer Steve Troughton-Smith continues to find interesting nuggets of info in Apple's tvOS that hint at future Apple TV capabilities, and on Wednesday discovered a way to bring app folder support to the new operating system.

    As seen above, Troughton-Smith cobbled together code, or "abused llbd" as he says, to enable the creation of app folders in the shipping version of tvOS that mimic those found in iOS. Each created folder shows up on the tvOS home screen as one would expect, with its own title and nested app icon previews.

    The folders come with customizable names and what appears to be full compatibility with tvOS, meaning stored apps can be repositioned and deleted by entering "wiggle mode." It is unclear how exactly apps are moved into and out of a given folder, or if that is even possible, and does Troughton-Smith elaborate on specifics like app limits. At this point the discovery serves as a proof of concept of what Apple could have planned for future updates.

    Depending on consumer interest in third-party tvOS apps, there could very well come a day when folders make sense for Apple TV. For now, however, Apple's basic one-app-per-slot organization system offers sufficient support for the smattering of available apps.






    Launched publicly alongside the fourth-generation Apple TV last week, tvOS is a distinct operating system that mixes and matches GUI elements from iOS and previous Apple TV software builds to form a cohesive OS ready for the big-screen. Apple is still building out functionality, though initial developer interest in the fledgling OS looks promising.

    Earlier today Apple updated the tvOS App Store with a new Categories section, a content discovery enhancement that follows Monday's Top Charts addition.





    11-5-15

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    Apple TV Tech Talks are coming soon to a city near you




    Developers didn’t get any in-depth coding knowledge for tvOS at WWDC this year, but Apple is making up for it by launching the Apple TV Tech Talks tour that will bring technical information on building and designing great Apple TV apps to developers around the globe.

    Registration for the Apple TV Tech Talks opened today with the first event scheduled for December 7th in Toronto, with other events taking place across the globe until February 3rd 2016.

    Here’s the full list of locations:

    Toronto — December 7, 2015
    Los Angeles — December 10, 2015
    Austin — December 14, 2015
    Seattle — December 16, 2015
    Cupertino — December 17, 2015
    Cupertino — December 18, 2015
    Berlin — January 8, 2016
    London — January 11, 2016
    New York — January 12, 2016
    Tokyo — January 21, 2016
    Sydney — February 3, 2016

    The sessions will last from 8AM — 5PM with a morning session, lunch break, afternoon session, and then a reception with Apple Experts at the end. Developers will be able to explore tvOS and the new capabilities of the Apple TV by learning how to implement focus driven user interfaces, integrate Siri Remote into games, leverage TVML for media apps, and much more.





    11-10-15

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    Disney Infinity 3.0 coming to Apple TV bundled with SteelSeries controller




    Popular Disney-themed sandbox game Disney Infinity — which melds physical toys with a virtual universe — is set to debut on the Apple TV, one of the first console games to make the jump to Apple's new set-top box.

    A $99 Star Wars starter kit is now available in Apple Stores throughout the U.S., Disney announced on Wednesday. The pack includes a Bluetooth-enabled Disney Infinity base, as well as a Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic play set piece and Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano figures.

    "Apple TV represents an incredible opportunity for us to bring Disney Infinity to a new audience of players who may not have a game console in their household," Disney Infinity chief John Blackburn said in a release. "We're offering the complete Disney Infinity 3.0 experience on this device, optimized for Apple TV, and we're already planning new Disney Infinity experiences for the App Store."

    The starter pack also includes a SteelSeries Nimbus controller, one of the first third-party game controllers made available for the new Apple TV. AppleInsider looked at the Nimbus in October and found it to be a solidly-built accessory.

    Disney Infinity starter packs usually retail for $59, meaning buyers of the Apple TV version will receive the Nimbus for $40. That's an effective discount of $10 from the Nimbus's $50 price tag.





    11-12-15

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