Apple TV News

This is a discussion on Apple TV News within the Apple TV forums, part of the Apple Hardware category; iOS 7.1 code indicates Apple working on Siri for Apple TV Code found within the iOS 7.1 SDK suggests that Siri is headed to the ...

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    Apple TV News

    iOS 7.1 code indicates Apple working on Siri for Apple TV






    Code found within the iOS 7.1 SDK suggests that Siri is headed to the Apple TV in future. Pierre Blazquez first found the reference on Friday. 9to5Mac has since confirmed that the code does exist in both iOS 7.1 and iOS 7.1.1′s files. The reference does not exist in 7.0.6.

    The file is a supporting property-list resource for Assistant (Apple’s internal name for Siri), containing information about the feature. The UIDeviceFamily array declares what platforms are compatible with the feature.

    As shown by Apple’s documentation, ’1′ and ’2′ represent the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad families. The ’3′ represents the Apple TV family.





    The Apple TV has been given the ’3′ designation ever since Apple TV became based off iOS. The Lowtide application uses the ’3′ identifier for instance, as do current Apple TV apps.

    References to a new Apple TV have already been found in iOS code. Although this particular finding is not evidence of new hardware, it seems likely that Apple will not bring Siri to the current generation of Apple TV, which lacks microphone input.

    9to5Mac has previously reported that a new Apple TV is in development, with a focus on apps and games. A new input method, potentially including Siri, has also been rumored for the upcoming update.





    4-23-14

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    Apple announces 20M Apple TVs sold since debut



    As the tail end of Apple's quarterly conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook threw out a somewhat surprising statistic, saying the company has sold some 20 million Apple TV units since the unit launched in 2007.

    Answering a question from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster regarding Amazon's recent get of HBO content for Fire TV, Cook said Apple has now sold 20 million Apple TVs.

    During Apple's February shareholder meeting, Cook said he would stop calling the product a "hobby" and the ballooning sales numbers are likely part of that decision.

    "The reason that I stripped off the 'hobby label' is that when you look at the sales of the Apple TV box itself and you look at content that was bought directly off the Apple TV, for 2013 that number was over a billion dollars," Cook said. "So it didn't feel right to me to call something that's over a billion a 'hobby.'"

    As for the content wars currently underway between Apple, Amazon and Google, Cook said he doesn't have a personal view as far as Amazon's latest announcement of HBO Go availability. He did note that Apple TV has long had HBO shows — since June 2013 — while Amazon is just now receiving "older content."

    Amazon released its Fire TV set-top streamer earlier in April without HBO support, a glaring deficiency for many would-be buyers.





    4-24-14

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    The Complete Timeline Of Apple TV Channels [Infographic]



    Compared to the likes of the Roku, which boasts a 1,000+ channel library, the Apple TV doesn’t exactly have a lot of different media channels. The Apple TV boasts only has around 33 third-party channels. Much of the reason the channel selection is so limited is because, unlike Roku, the Apple TV is a closed ecosystem: only Apple can release a new channel for its streaming set-top box.

    Things, however, are getting rapidly better, as the above chart shows.

    MacStories’ Graham Spencer has put together a great timeline showing when various Apple TV channels were added to the set-top box. It confirms what many of us have noticed but not quantified: the vast majority of Apple TV updaqtes have happened in the last year and a half. In fact, by my count, Apple has added around two-dozen new channels since January 2013.

    Slowly but surely, Apple has gotten very serious about the Apple TV over the last year. Is anyone surprised when Tim Cook says its set-top box isn’t a hobby anymore?





    4-24-14

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    Apple TV first-generation users cut off from iTunes content




    Users across the world are reporting a loss of access to the iTunes Store on their first-generation Apple TV units. While a few have said a restart fixed the problem, most of those discussing the problem on Apple’s support forums have found no solution. Many are speculating that Apple has deliberately disabled iTunes connectivity for the obsolete model, although the absence of any note on the device’s support landing page suggests the cutoff is accidental.

    The first-generation Apple TV was the only model with a built-in hard disk to store content. Users report that even playback from this is compromised since 17 April, with video stuttering, but this problem is reduced or eliminated when the device is disconnected from the internet.

    While connected to a network, affected devices no longer show the home screen icons to access content from Macs on the same network, but users report that this functionality returns when the Apple TV is connected directly to a Mac.

    Many first-generation units have been ‘jailbroken’ to enable users to install third-party software hacks and enable features not officially supported by Apple. But not all affected units have been jailbroken. User Simon Jacobs tweeted: “Mine not hacked… No way is it a hardware fault. Apple haven’t called me back.” Confirming that his Apple TV software was up to date, Guy Abrahams tweeted: “Clearly Apple are bricking my Apple TV via the web… 3.0.2 – tried restart and restore but no joy.”





    4-27-14

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    Apple's Eddy Cue says 20M Apple TVs sold, business will 'evolve' in 2014



    During the Code Conference on Wednesday, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue revealed Apple sold 20 million Apple TVs to date and raked in more than $1 billion from set-top streamer sales in fiscal 2013. He expects the business to grow even larger in 2014.

    Among the expected music-related topics discussed during Re/code's talk with Cue and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine, a brief exchange on the future of Apple TV yielded interesting insight into what Apple once called a "beloved hobby."

    Talking about the apparent rift between Silicon Valley and Hollywood, Walt Mossberg asked Cue about Apple's TV business and how the company plans to innovate in the sector.

    Cue said "the TV experience sucks," adding that modern advances like the DVR are only "glorified VCRs." He admitted that TV is a "complicated landscape" with simple problems that turn into complex issues due to the number of parties involved. This is counter to the music industry, which is apparently much easier to deal with because content rights are fairly straightforward.

    Mossberg asked why Apple hasn't delivered a TV that "doesn't suck," but Cue refused to give up any information on possible future products. The impetus to make a change is there, however, as the Apple exec said TV should be much more accessible and user-friendly. As an example, Cue said he wanted to watch a TV program on his iPad today, but it's currently difficult — or in some regions impossible — to do so.

    Speaking about Apple TV as a business, the exec said Apple has sold more than 20 million units since the set-top streamer's inception. In 2013,
    Apple TV brought in more than $1 billion, a number that is expected to grow in 2014.

    While light on specifics, Cue said Apple TV is going to evolve this year as Apple continues to improve content offerings much like last year's addition of HBO Go and other streaming channels.





    5-29-14

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    Cue: The current TV experience “sucks,” billion-dollar Apple TV business will get big



    Speaking at Code Conference Wednesday night, Apple’s head of online services Eddy Cue took a swipe at the current state of television and presented his take on where the future of that industry lies. According to Cue, Apple TV sales have risen in recent years and over 20 million of the set-top box have been sold to date. Cue says that the device is billion-dollar business now and is expected to continue growing.

    However, the Apple TV isn’t a true TV replacement. Cue took a few moments to point out just how much using TV “sucks” and bemoan the current range of DVR devices. He even went so far as to compare current technology with the VCRs of a bygone era—and he’s not wrong. Cue cited drawbacks such as having to remember to set a recording or trying to manage storage on the recorder as reasons on-demand streaming through the Apple TV is growing in popularity.

    That’s not to say he’s especially fond of today’s on-demand systems either, though. Not only did Cue have sharp criticisms for modern recording tech, he even jabbed at the streaming experience on the iPad, noting that the process of authenticating with a cable provider to access streaming content is less-than-ideal. So what’s his solution?

    Unfortunately he doesn’t have one just yet. Cue says the TV landscape is a “complicated issue” due to the lack of universal standards between regions in the United States, let alone globally. Content rights, goverment regulations, the sheer number of companies involved in the production and distribution process, and a host of other issues have prevented the creation of a solid, user-friendly TV platform. For now, Cue says, the Apple TV “will continue to evolve” as the company continues to “improv[e] the experience.”

    Jimmy Iovine, who officially joined Apple today as the company announced a $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, noted that he has no interest in creating content for Apple or anyone else. Instead, he’s focusing his efforts on perfecting content distribution and curation.





    5-29-14

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    Revamped Apple TV Debut Likely Delayed Until 2015 Due to Negotiation Difficulties



    For several months now, rumors have continually suggested Apple is working on a revamped Apple TV, which may include capabilities like support for games and apps and expanded access to television content.

    Every rumored release date has come and gone thus far, and according to a new report from The Information, an updated Apple TV is not likely to appear until 2015.

    A source that spoke to The Information has suggested that Apple engineers who are working on the device have been informed that the product will not launch in 2014, largely due to ongoing contractual issues with cable companies and Comcast's pending purchase of Time Warner Cable.


    Apple engineers who are working on aspects of the device have been told by their bosses not to expect a launch this year and are working off timelines that assume a launch next year, according to a person familiar with the plans. Apple employees have cited cable companies "dragging their heels" and the pending Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger as reasons the device and accompanying TV service haven't launched.


    Conversely, sources in the television industry have denied that cable companies are behind the delay, suggesting Apple has "bit off more than it can chew," and needs permission from many different rights holders to "create the service it wants to offer."

    Over the years, various rumors have pointed towards very ambitious plans for the Apple TV, suggesting Apple once aimed to create a subscription television service that would potentially replace cable packages. Due to a continual inability to negotiate a deal with cable companies, Apple is said to have scaled back on its television ambitions, aiming to work with cable companies rather than against them.

    The most recent content rumors from February of 2014 have suggested Apple is working to wedge itself between cable companies and consumers, potentially providing content from cable companies through its set-top box, overlaid with an Apple TV-style interface. Apple is also seeking to add DVR capabilities to the service.

    In 2013, Apple was said to be close to completing a deal with Time Warner Cable over a possible TWC Apple TV app, allowing Time Warner subscribers to watch live television through the Apple TV, but the negotiations may have stalled due to the pending Time Warner-Comcast merger.

    Earlier this year, a product roadmap from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo pointed towards a Q3 2014 launch date for the redesigned Apple TV, but based on The Information's new data, it seems any potential launch plans have now been pushed back.





    7-30-14

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    Apple TV boosts ABC views by 50 percent



    ABC News launched its live news channel on Apple TV just over a month ago, but the media giant has already made some pretty surprising discoveries about the platform, like the fact that users are more likely to watch live ABC News on their Apple TV than their Mac or iPhone.

    Users watch 50% more ABC News live on their Apple TV than on desktop and mobile apps combined, and viewers spend 65% more time watching video on the Apple TV than on their desktops.

    While ABC is certainly happy about the numbers, there’s no doubt Apple is also pleased that customers prefer to spend more time watching video on the Apple TV, which could amount to more ad revenue and a bargaining chip in its plagued negotiations with cable companies.

    ABC also discovered that breaking news has driven the most traffic. The Malaysian Airlines disaster on July 17th was the channel’s busiest day in July, and its military war coverage has been the most watched videos.

    Primetime on Apple TV is 9pm EDT according to ABC’s viewership, with some of the most popular content being live streaming of locals news, to which ABC just added three new stations today for Albuquerque, Boston, and Honolulu.





    8-6-14

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    Apple TV buyers get a free $25 iTunes gift card through Sept. 30th



    If you’ve been looking for an excuse to treat yourself to a new Apple TV, the folks at Cupertino are making sweeting the deal for the next six weeks by including a free $25 gift card with all Apple TV purchases.

    To celebrate its upcoming iTunes Festival in London — which you can watch live on your Apple TV if you don’t get an invite — Apple is revitalizing its promotion from earlier this year that will give you a $25 iTunes gift card with your Apple TV that can be spent on movies, music, books, or apps.

    Last time Apple ran the Apple TV gift card promotion rumors quickly shot up that a hardware update must be on the way. Other than a minor UI refresh though, nothing has materialized and the latest rumors point to a 2015 launch for the updated set-top box.

    The next Apple TV is rumored to be a huge step forward for Apple in the living room and could feature third-party apps and instant access to cable video content. U.S. cable companies are supposedly the cause of the Apple TV delay with demands that are proving difficult for Apple to meet in order to get the permission it needs to create the new Apple TV service.





    8-12-14

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    Apple TV gains new content in UK, Ireland, Australia, Japan, & Scandinavia



    Apple has pushed out several new content channels across many countries to the Apple TV, as noted by several readers. Here’s the breakdown of the new channels across the world:

    Viaplay has been added to the Apple TV in Scandinavia (which is comprised of Denmark, Sweden, Norway) and Finland. Viaplay is comprised of local sports content, films, and TV shows.

    Stan has been added in Australia, and it contains localized TV shows, films, and content for kids.

    The WWE Wrestling Network has been added to Apple TVs in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The network first launched in several countries, including the United States in Canada, for the Apple TV in February.

    Bandai, a localized, subscription-based digital network, has been added to the Apple TV in Japan.

    Last week, Apple rolled out CBS Sports and USA Now channels in the United States. Apple is expected to announce new Apple TV hardware in June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, complete with an App Store and redesigned Remote.





    5-14-15

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