updated 12:42 pm EDT, Wed May 30, 2012
May introduce new 'control out' API for third-party devices
Apple will demonstrate a new version of the Apple TV set-top firmware at next month's WWDC, a Boy Genius Report source claims. The update will allegedly be more feature-complete, and even serve as the interface for Apple's upcoming stand-alone TV set. What exactly the new firmware might introduce is uncertain though, except perhaps support for a new "control out" API.
Apple is reportedly trying to entice manufacturers to use the API, which would let people control third-party components through Apple hardware. Compatible hardware would be automatically controllable, instead of requiring special setup and/or a universal remote. Users might, for instance, be able to flip through program guides on a cable set-top.
The source speculates that the stand-alone TV won't be shown at WWDC, although it might be possible. Most reports have said that a TV won't launch until at least late 2012 or sometime in 2013. Apple may be waiting on the progress of deals for TV content, which could let people stream and/or subscribe to video without having to go through regular cable or satellite providers, which sell content bundled instead of à la carte.