Set-top no longer just a 'hobby,' CEO hints
More than $1 billion in Apple TVs were sold during 2013, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed during today's annual shareholders meeting. At $99 per device, that translates into almost 10 million units. "It's a little more difficult to call it a hobby these days," Cook told investors, referring back to comments Apple executives have made about the Apple TV's significance and prospects.
Apple TV promotion may foreshadow hardware update
(Updated with official confirmation) Apple retail workers are being told that as of today, anyone who buys an Apple TV from an Apple Store will get a free $25 iTunes gift card, according to sources. The promotion is expected to end March 5th. While the offer may simply be a means of boosting Apple TV sales, it's strongly speculated that Apple is trying to clear inventory ahead of a rumored hardware refresh which could take place as soon as April, if not earlier. Third-party vendors have been cutting their own prices in recent weeks.
MLB.com At Bat app updated today, features redesign, 2014 season
Major League Baseball app, MLB.com At Bat, has received an update today. Including content for the 2014 season and spring training, the app includes a redesign of the user interface to compliment iOS 7. Featuring a new inline video playback experience, the app now has a league-wide scoreboard for single-tap expansion, and new content begins with over 200 Spring Training games available as live video or radio broadcasts. Breaking news, schedules and interactive rosters and player stats are accessible for every team. Requiring a subscription to use, MLB.com At Bat is free to download. Users can acquire the entire 2014 season for $20, or $3 monthly.
Recent episodes available for up to seven days for most users
Swedish Apple TV users have gained access to TV4 content through a new app, TV4 Play, according to an announcement by the TV network. Play lets people watch show episodes up to seven days after their original broadcast. TV4 Play Premium subscribers, though, have access to both recent and archive episodes.
Cross-device access costs $10 per month
As predicted, access to the WWE Network has launched on the Apple TV, as well as other iOS devices via the WWE app. Subscription signups are handled through iTunes or the WWE website, and cost $10 per month plus tax. Buyers can purchase time in six-month blocks for $60.
iOS 7 update deals with SSL connection problems
Apple has released a pair of new iOS updates, iOS 7.0.6 and 6.1.6. Release notes indicate that the former deals with a problem in "SSL connection verification." 6.1.6, meanwhile, eliminates several bugs experienced by iPhone 3GS and fourth-generation iPod touch users.
New hires will support current, future content offerings
Recent Apple job listings suggest that the company is looking to improve its support of third-party content on the Apple TV, notes AppleInsider. One opening is for a "content partner engineer," expected to "provide technical support to external vendors as they integrate their content." This includes testing apps and streams, functioning as a liaison, and gathering feedback on possible platform features.
Set-top predicted to launch sometime before Christmas 2014
Apple is planning to announce a new Apple TV as soon as April, sources tell Bloomberg. One of the people indicates that the hardware will have a faster processor and a simpler interface. Two of them, meanwhile, say that the device will ship sometime before Christmas, although the exact date is uncertain because Apple is still trying to secure deals for programming and distribution, including one with Time Warner Cable.
Code buried in iOS 7 since firmware's September launch
The AirPlay configuration file in iOS 7 already contains a reference to a fourth-generation Apple TV, reports note. The device is formally listed as the "AppleTV4,1;" the most recent model is the "AppleTV3,2," a slight revision of the third-gen set-top that brought 1080p to the platform. The 4,1 mention appears to have been present since the first version of iOS 7 debuted in September, but the code went unnoticed until today.
Canada, UK, New Zealand rumored to be coming soon
iTunes Radio is now available to people in Australia, Apple has announced. There the service is functionally identical to its American sibling, in that it's primarily supported by advertising, but free to people who have an iTunes Match subscription. To listen, people need a Mac or Windows PC with iTunes, an Apple TV, or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Famous Ed Sullivan performance temporarily free
Apple has updated the Apple TV with another new channel, this time promoting Beatles content hosted on iTunes. Simply titled "The Beatles," the channel more specifically carries over Apple's marketing highlighting the 50th anniversary of the band's appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Apple TV owners can stream the 14-minute TV segment for free for a limited time; the rest of the channel, however, is dedicated to the Beatles' US albums, which have to be bought on iTunes for listening purposes.
Tech central to A-series processors in iOS devices
Imagination Technologies has announced a multi-year extension of its licensing deal with Apple, allowing continued access to the former's PowerVR technology. While the A-series chips used in the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and iPod touch are internally designed by Apple, the company relies on PowerVR to drive the graphics portion of processing. Specific terms of the deal haven't been announced, but Apple will be paying licensing fees plus royalties for each chip including Imagination IP.
Issue somehow linked to Bluetooth
Apple has issued a new support document, acknowledging a problem with AirPlay Mirroring freezing or dropping entirely. The issue appears to be limited to 2013 Mac Pro and MacBook Pro models, and only when connecting through an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network. As a temporary solution, Apple notes that the problem can be fixed by turning off Bluetooth.
Official Facebook comment deleted
A World Wrestling Entertainment app should appear on the Apple TV alongside the launch of the WWE Network on February 24, according to a now-deleted Facebook post (below) by a WWE PR representative. Aside from the launch date, the representative indicated that people will need a $10-per-month subscription to WWEN to access any of the app's content.
May back rumors of impending refresh
(Updated with possible new hardware features) The Apple TV now has its own separate section at Apple's online store, checks show. Until today, the Apple TV had been categorized as an iPod-related accessory. The new section in fact lists its own set of accessories, including HDMI cables and AirPort routers.
Mixes sports, music, other material
Apple has silently added Red Bull TV to the list of channels available through the Apple TV, notes Variety. The option is available in all regions. It covers an unusual range of content, from things like extreme sports and air racing to music and miscellaneous cultural events.
iPods, iPads, Apple TV
Apple's online store this week has a selection of refurbished iPods at discounted prices. The seventh-generation 16GB iPod nano is available in blue, green, slate, pink, purple or silver for the reduced price of $99, cutting $50 off the list price. An $80 discount is available on the fifth-generation refurbished iPod touch with 32GB of storage, now priced at $219. The refurbished Apple TV has been cut by $24, dropping the cost down to only $75.
Timing said to be March or earlier
The Apple TV could be getting support for games and Bluetooth controllers in an upcoming firmware update, sources say. The update is expected to arrive in March or earlier, and developers are reportedly working on controller options. The games would be downloaded directly to an Apple TV, instead of hosted on a separate iOS device.
MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iPod touch and Apple TV
Today at Apple's online store, find savings on refurbished MacBook Pro models, iPods and more. The 13.3-inch refurbished MacBook Pro with a 2.5-inch Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive has been reduced by $200 to $999. A $350 discount is offered on the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive, now $1,449.
NPD sees Apple TV, Roku far away in the lead
Apple TV and devices from Roku hold the vast majority of the third-party set-top box market, according to industry analysis firm NPD. Speaking with AppleInsider, an analyst from the firm said that the two systems dominate the third-party box market with roughly 80 percent share between the two of them. As the set-top market expands with a proliferation of devices, the share held by those two entities could make it difficult for other players to carve out a niche.
Day passes available for limited viewing
UK satellite television broadcaster Sky has announced that Apple TV users in the UK can watch Sky Sports content. The Now TV app enables users to sign up for a day pass that provides access to six Sky Sports channels, including four standard channels, the Sky Sports News channel and another dedicated to Formula One racing.
Apple TV gets wave of new content
The Apple TV set-top device got a wave of new content on Wednesday, with Bloomberg TV making its debut on the Apple streaming device, alongside a number of other new channels. As well as the new Bloomberg app, Apple TV owners will now have access to Crackle, Watch ABC, and KORTV. The apps should be available now via a background update.
Exec hints at platform expansion
Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus has fueled speculation that the company is preparing to bring its TWC TV app to the Apple TV platform. Speaking at a UBS investor conference in New York, the executive noted that the company is preparing to expand the range of supported platforms for the app, which is currently available on iOS and Android devices, game consoles and smart TVs.
Google said to prep set-top box
Google may be preparing to release a Nexus-branded set-top box, according to new reports. This according to The Information, which claims that the search giant is planning to release an Android-powered set-top box in the next year. The move would mark an even stronger move into television for Google, and likely a full rework of its previous efforts to conquer that segment.
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.