Yahoo Screen includes news, music, various TV shows
Apple has silently added two new app channels to the Apple TV interface. The first, PBS, grants access to some of the public broadcaster's TV shows. Yahoo Screen incorporates live news, events, and music, as well as original Yahoo programs, and content from third parties like The Daily Show, ABC News, and Saturday Night Live.
New build of iOS sees release across iPads, iPods, iPhones
Apple has released version 7.0.4 of its iOS operating system for iPads, iPhones, and iPods. The update is available through the Settings app, under General --> Software Updates. Apple says the update addresses "bug fixes and improvements, including a fix for an issue that causes FaceTime calls to fail for some users." Apple has also pushed out an update for its Apple TV set-top box.
Predicts new iPad mini will still cut into iPad Air share
Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a memo to investors saying that while the new releases of the latest iPads will cause a spike in sales for the holidays, he sees a repeat of last year in terms of the smaller iPad mini taking share away from the larger iPad model. He also predicts that the Apple TV segment will grow slowly unless Apple can land more content and app deals. Kuo has had a good (but not perfect) track record in predicting Apple moves and results in recent quarters.
Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV negating need for full-scale TV set
Apple is no longer planning to ship a dedicated TV set in 2014, claims NPD DisplaySearch. The firm quotes sources in the TV supply chain industry, who add that one of the main obstacles is the company's inability to secure deals for proprietary content. While Apple is potentially an attractive partner, earlier reports have suggested that TV networks are reluctant to risk the lucrative deals they have with cable and satellite companies, which typically bundle channels into packages.
Changes mostly cosmetic
Apple has issued a new version of its Remote app for iOS, 4.0. The release adds support for iTunes 11.1, but more significantly has been given a design overhaul for iOS 7. Changes so far appear mostly cosmetic, including the use of transparencies, new buttons, and an overall "flat" look.
Other changes undiscovered
Apple has issued a minor firmware update for the Apple TV, v6.0.1. The main addition appears to be an iMovie Theater channel, used to view videos uploaded through iMovie on other devices. Any other changes have yet to be uncovered, since Apple typically doesn't provide release notes alongside Apple TV updates.
Apple TV users see movies disappear completely
(Updated with Amazon disappearance) Some Disney and Pixar movies have been pulled without warning from the US and UK iTunes Stores, accounts say. These include titles like The Lion King and Mater's Tall Tales. The situation is worse in the case of Apple TV owners, who are no longer seeing the titles in their libraries. No refunds have been offered.
Live streaming of Apple event confirmed on Apple TV
[Update: Streaming to iOS devices confirmed] Apple will be streaming its press event to the general public later today. A new item has appeared on Apple TV set-top boxes labeled "Apple Special Event Ė October 2013," within the "Apple Events" channel, with iPad, iPhone, and Mac owners also able to watch the event live at the same time.
Possible Tuesday update could be interim spec bump
New "Apple TV hardware" rumored to be unveiled this month has been "delayed a bit," according to industry observer MG Siegler. Last month, Siegler himself indicated that the announcement was planned. In a new blog post, however, he comments that while Apple could update the existing Apple TV set-top with slightly better specifications, "the thing to be more excited about, the device with some sort of newfangled control system, doesnít seem like itís ready just yet."
New units may be available immediately after Oct. 22nd event
The Apple TV is listed as out of stock or an upcoming product at Amazon's French and German websites, according to a German report. The sites mention that the product will become available again as of October 23rd. Since Apple is scheduled to hold a press event October 22nd, it's believed that the listings may back rumors that Apple is planning an imminent Apple TV refresh.
Content already available elsewhere
Apple has quietly updated Germany Apple TVs with access to the official NHL and Vevo apps, reports say. The Vevo app a relatively recent addition to the Apple TV platform, having debuted in the US in August. The NHL app, though, dates back to 2011, and has already reached a number of other countries, making its German introduction unusually late.
Rapid expansion of Apple TV channels continues
Two more app channels have been silently added to the Apple TV. The first is Major League Soccer, which includes the ability to watch matches live in addition to pre-recorded features. Live games do, however, require a subscription plan, with options beginning at $15 per month. Subscriptions can be bought through an Apple TV or at the league's website.
May be first public use of Apple's NFC replacement, iBeacons
Though pundits and Android fans have often derided Apple for not including the technology known as "near-field communications" (NFC) into its products, the technology thus far has seen very limited use and slow growth. In part, the pressure put on Apple was designed to goad the company into kicking NFC into the mainstream. In response, Apple created an alternate technology it calls "iBeacons," -- and has quietly used it for possibly the first time in a new setup option for third-gen Apple TVs.
CEO Mike Fries rubbed shoulders with Cook, Cue at Sun Valley confab
The CEO of one of the world's largest cable companies has told analysts at an investment conference in New York that he doesn't believe Apple is going to produce an actual HDTV as has been speculated for years -- debunking predictions from proponents such as Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald and champion of the cause Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. If anyone would know Apple's actual plans, Liberty Global chief Mike Fries would be strong candidate, as he and other TV execs met with Apple CEO Tim Cook among others at a recent conference.
Problem with previous update didn't affect all users, but could 'brick' devices
On Monday, Apple restored an update to its Apple TV device after pulling the previous version on Sunday over widespread reports that the update "bricked" the device, rendering it inoperable for some users. Others complained of lesser technical issues (like lost content or inability to download), while others reported no issues. The new version carries the same name as the old, and those who still have functioning units can re-download the 6.0 update through the built-in Software Update mechanism.
Other users hit with crippling glitches
Apple has withdrawn the Apple TV v6.0 update it issued on Friday. A number of early installers have reported that the firmware bricked their set-top, rendering it unusable. Some people with less serious problems, such as a bad Wi-Fi connection, have nevertheless been forced to connect their hardware to iTunes via micro USB and restore to earlier firmware. Apple hasn't said when a fixed version of v6.0 might be available.
Set-top gets Chromecast-like content streaming
Apple has released an anticipated firmware update for the Apple TV, v6.0. The main addition is support for iTunes Radio, Apple's new streaming music service, also available on Mac, Windows, and iOS devices. Some other changes include podcast sync, access to shared Photo Streams, and the ability to listen to music purchased from the iTunes Store directly. Version numbers for Apple TV are typically behind that of the iOS release they are drawn from.
Jackbox Games intending to 'blur lines between mobile and console gaming\'
Jackbox Games announced today its official launch of YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Party for iOS. A multiplayer version of the interactive trivia franchise, YDKJ Party allows an iOS device or Apple TV to serve as the primary display while other mobile devices, running the free JackPad app, turn users' iOS or Android devices into game controllers, allowing up to four additional players to participate. The new app has launched with a free trial episode, and 30 additional 11-question episodes available as in-app purchases. YDKJ Party and other YDKJ app products are available for download on iTunes.
Update essential for Apple TV owners
Amazon has updated the iOS edition of its Instant Video app with a long-demanded feature, AirPlay support. For owners of both an iOS device and an Apple TV, AirPlay should offer a more convenient way of watching Instant Video on a larger screen. The Apple TV has native support for a number of video services, like Netflix and YouTube, but not Instant Video, in spite of it being on rival set-tops like the Roku.
Could ship in October alongside new iPads
Apple is preparing a new version of its Apple TV set-top, which could ship as soon as October, according to well-known tech commentator M.G. Siegler. The claim is backed up by 9to5Mac, which says that while it's not sure when the device will arrive, sources indicate that the hardware is at least in development. The site adds that the unit should keep the same overall form factor, and that Apple is separately continuing work on a full-scale TV, as well as possible Kinect-style motion controls for TV products.
Service said to mimic Chromecast
Apple maintained a tight focus on new iPhones and iOS 7 during its Cupertino media event yesterday, however the company is said to be ready to update its Apple TV software. Unnamed sources have told All Things D the overhaul will bring expanded AirPlay features, enabling users to stream their cloud-stored iTunes content to Apple TV boxes owned by other users.
May foreshadow fall refresh
Apple's online store is no longer listing refurbished versions of the Apple TV, shoppers note. While Apple can periodically run out of refurbs, the timing may be more than coincidental. The company recently received 40 metric tons of "set top boxes" from a Chinese supplier, and a "television product" is rumored to be launching as soon as November.
Possibility of new Apple TV model coming this fall, following rash of updates
Apple has recently given its "hobby" Apple TV set-top box a rash of updates, adding new channels and planning on adding built-in iTunes direct purchasing to the small unit. Similarly, the box's popularity has risen steadily over the last year, with Apple CEO Tim Cook telling a conference in May that the company had sold 13 million of the devices, "about half in just the last year." Now Apple has taken delivery of 40 metric tons of "set top boxes" from a previously-unknown Chinese supplier that could herald an updated device coming soon.
Issue unreported on Apple's system status page
A number of users are reporting that access to TV shows has vanished on the Apple TV and in the Mac and Windows versions of iTunes. On the Apple TV, the app for TV shows has disappeared; in iTunes, trying to click on the "TV Shows" tab in the iTunes Store may boot users back to the storefront's homepage. Apple's system status page shows no sign of the problem.
Follows update of Apple TV to add new channels of content
Yesterday's update of Apple TV to include a number of other channels was complemented on Wednesday with the addition of two new ESPN channels for both Apple TV and the WatchESPN iOS app. The update brings ESPN News and the Spanish-language ESPN Deportes to both devices, adding to ESPN's present services. The WatchESPN app requires an existing cable subscription to at least one ESPN network.
Apple continues channel-centric expansion of Apple TV
Apple has pushed a silent update to the Apple TV, adding a number of extra apps to the set-top. As anticipated, one of the them is Vevo's music video service. Also new though are Disney Channel and Disney XD, the Weather Channel, and an app from the Smithsonian.
New role related to Apple's TV plans?
Former Hulu executive Pete Distad has confirmed a new job as VP of product marketing at Apple, reports note. Bloomberg first hinted at the recruitment in July, but the switch was only made official this week through a change in Distad's LinkedIn status. Before coming to Apple, Distad was Hulu's senior VP of marketing and distribution.
Could include pay TV service
Apple is adopting a new strategy towards getting content for its TV set, sources say. For years the company has tried talking to cable companies, but made little progress. Now though the company is allegedly latching onto an app-based strategy, and talking directly to content providers. Some providers already have apps on the Apple TV set-top box -- namely HBO and Disney's ESPN -- but Apple is also said to be negotiating with companies like Viacom, which owns networks like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV.
Will offer live streaming, reply-on-demand, artist bio information, schedule, more
With just 11 days to go before the month-long iTunes Festival begins in London, Apple has launched a revamped iOS app devoted to the music event, as well as silently updated Apple TV to add a channel dedicated to the festival. Both will feature schedules, artist bios, live streams of performances (which will also be available through iTunes) and an easy way to buy the music from the performances and on-demand replays. The annual festival begins on September 1 at the Roundhouse in London and features 60 top-name artists.
Music video content app for Apple TV could happen as soon as this week
Music video provider Vevo may have signed deals with both Apple and Samsung to provide streaming and on-demand content. For Apple, the deal will likely mean a new app on Apple TV, possibly coming as early as later this week. For Samsung, Vevo is allegedly providing the content for the Korean company's smart TV lineup. The on-demand music video service would be similar to the content already provided to Microsoft's Xbox, reports say, but the new deals add a second channel that would stream videos 24 hours a day.
Product would allegedly ship in first half of 2014
Officials from Apple met with peers at Corning, Foxconn, and G-Tech Optoelectronics in the US about two weeks ago to talk about the production of a TV set, according to sources for Taiwan's Economic Daily News. Foxconn is reportedly asking Corning to share some data about Gorilla Glass with G-Tech, so that the latter can do surface treatments needed to produce the set. G-Tech is relatively unknown in the West, but was once rumored to be behind the anti-reflection glass for the 2012 iMac.
Could include 'some surprises'
Apple is preparing "some sort of television product" that could be arriving as soon as this November, according to M.G. Siegler. The venture capitalist and former tech industry reporter notes that it's not necessarily a long-rumored TV set, but says he has refrained from writing about it because of uncertainty about what the product is. The method of interaction may be a key selling point, though. "People have talked about voice, but I think that's out the window and there might be some new way to interact with whatever this thing is," he comments.
Actual price of takeover estimated between $10-15 million
Apple's recent buyout of video discovery service Matcha was about getting the company's recommendation engine, which is based on a proprietary algorithm, sources indicate. Matcha is in fact said to have been picked up right after it "found the answer" -- with algorithm refinements -- to user growth and time spent in-app. User acquisition and engagement was allegedly the specific appeal to Apple, which found that Matcha did a better job than competing apps.
Expected to feature 24/7 stream with TV-formatted ads
Music video company Vevo is at work on a native Apple TV app, according to sources. The people say that the app will feature 24/7 music videos, as on Vevo TV, an existing service for the web and devices like the Xbox 360. The Apple TV app may additionally display ads formatted specifically for televisions.
New iOS 7 release allows disabling Control Center in apps
Apple has begun seeding a fifth beta of iOS 7 to developers, along with a matching Apple TV preview. The update comes just a little over a week since the last one, but makes a few significant changes. Users can now pull down a notification banner, for instance, or disable Control Center when an app is running. With the latter option on, Control Center still works from the homescreen.
Mac mini, Apple TV
This week, Apple's online store has a variety of refurbished Macs on sale, along with an even lower price on the Apple TV. Starting at $509 is the refurbished Mac mini with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has seen a $350 price cut to $849.
Promotion is in addition to $200 off retail price of Retina MBPs
Best Buy has launched a brief promotion on top of an ongoing promotion, making for a great opportunity for some buyers. In addition to discounting current Retina MacBook Pros by $200 off list price, the company will also give buyers of those MacBooks a free, third-generation Apple TV. In addition, verifiable students at recognized educational institutions can get another $100 discount on the Retina MacBook Pros, totalling a $300 discount along with the free Apple TV. The offer makes the pricing the lowest currently available when the value of the $99 Apple TV is included.
PS3, Xbox 360 following in near future
Netflix has begun wider deployment of the multi-user profiles that started hitting the Apple TV earlier this week. On top of the Apple TV, the feature is now rolling out to iPhone, iPod, and iPad users "over the next few days," according to Netflix. In the near future, the company is also planning to bring profiles to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and newer-model connected TVs and Blu-ray players. Android and Wii users are only expected to get the option "soon."
May be attempt to compete with Chromecast sales
Apple has reduced the price of refurbished Apple TVs at its online store to $75. Previously the set-top cost $85, about $14 less than retail. Refurb buyers get a third-generation model with 1080p support, and a fresh one-year warranty.
Basic Netflix multi-user support begins rolling out on Apple TV
MacRumors has reported that the Netflix personalized profile feature has started rolling out to some Apple TV users in a limited capacity. Planned for a full release in August, Netflix user profiles let subscribers create personal viewing accounts complete with customizable avatars and individualized viewing histories. The rollout is currently limited to customers who set up a profile when using the DVD service, but at this time does not include support for altering profiles or adding new users.
Update likely to go live in September
(Updated with Apple TV 5.4 seed 3) In tandem with iOS 7 beta 4, Apple has also started seeding beta 1 of iTunes 11.1, reports say. The beta includes hooks for iTunes Radio, Apple's upcoming music streaming service. The service is slated go live around the same time iOS 7 is released, likely this September, although people will be able to listen via both iTunes and iOS.
Aims at pulling in fees from distributors
Apple is negotiating with "other big distributors" about Apple TV apps similar to the one it's working on with Time Warner, according to the New York Times. Sources involved in the talks explain that Apple is hoping to collect fees from distributors in return for improving their TV service. For cable providers, the deals would theoretically keep people paying for subscriptions, a worry in an age when services like Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix allow people to be free of cable or satellite packages.
Company would compensate networks for lost ad revenue
A technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal has claimed in a new report that Apple has been negotiating with networks for "more than a year" over a proposal to allow customers using the company's Apple TV -- and presumably any future video-oriented products like the alleged branded HDTV -- to skip the advertisements, possibly substituting them with other types of programming. Under the arrangement, Apple would compensate the network for the lost revenue, but the details of the plan are unclear.
Cue is lead exec in hunt for content deals for Apple TV, stores
Adding to our earlier report of Apple CEO Tim Cook's second appearance at the Sun Valley retreat for technology and media bigwigs is photo confirmation that he has been joined on this trip by Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue. Cue was not expected to attend and his presence is a surprise, but logical given the attendees and Apple's desire to bring more content on board to its various offerings that Cue is largely in charge of, such as the various online iTunes Stores and the Apple TV. Cue's presence will also fuel more speculation about a rumored HDTV-based Apple product.
Trade-in for iPhone can also net gift-card reward from retailer
North American big-box retailer Target is offering a new promotion in its latest US flyer, offering Target gift cards in varying amounts for the purchase of iOS devices -- including the current iPad models, iPod Touch, Apple TV and iPhone 5. All but the latter are direct rebates in the form of Target gift cards up to $50, while the iPhone 5 discount can be augmented with a trade-in of a previous handset. In addition, the company is selling the iPhone 5 for $149 with a two-year carrier contract. It isn't clear if the gift card is offered for all configurations of the iOS devices, or just specific models.
Subscribers would be able to access channels from within device
If a reported deal between Apple and Time Warner Cable goes through, subscribers for the latter will be able to access channels and programs directly through the Apple TV set-top box at some point in the near future, Bloomberg says. The move, if true, will be announced at some point later this year and continue the expansion of services Apple is offering directly through Apple TV so that users don't have to leave the environment to enjoy broadcast content. The negotiations follow on the heels of deals with HBO (owned by Time Warner) and Disney's ESPN.
Combination of issues highlights complications of digital TV
Though Apple has only just added HBO Go to the lineup of its Apple TV set-top box, the reason for the long delay come from various factors outside Apple's control rather, according to various reports put together by AppleInsider. HBO itself -- along with Apple -- were focused on getting the network's content onto iPhones and iPads as a priority, with the Apple TV "app" becoming HBO's first-ever all in-house software project. On top of that, affiliates such as Comcast are often hesitate to allow subscribers access to the mobile versions.
HBO, WatchESPN options require existing cable subscriptions
Apple has issued a v5.3 update for second- and third-generation Apple TVs. The new firmware adds support for several video services, most notably HBO Go, WatchESPN, and Sky News. Also included are Crunchyroll, which concentrates on anime and other Asian content, and Qello, which hosts concerts and music documentaries.
iPads, iPods, Apple TV
Currently at Apple's online store, save on refurbished iPads, iPods and Apple TV. The iPad mini with 16GB of storage space, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and dual-core A5 chip is now $279 after a $50 discount. A $170 discount is offered on the refurbished third-generation iPad with 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi and Cellular with Verizon, it is now only $409.
Conference Room shows off increasing use of Apple TV for business
Though not explicitly mentioned during the Worldwide Developer's Conference keynote, the Apple TV will also be receiving an update to its differently-numbered iOS software in the near future -- one that supports iTunes Radio and offers a few minor new features. The first beta, which is referred to as iOS 5.4 (notably skipping 5.3 entirely), doesn't yet make any severe design changes but does add support for the forthcoming iTunes Radio, allowing developers a chance to test the service.