Search will delineate which is free content, be opened to more apps
With an "end of October" release date for the new Apple TV rapidly approaching, Apple is giving developers a bit of a helping hand. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that while initially, universal search will be limited to HBO, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, and Showtime, it will be opened up to coders soon. Additionally, the company has very recently shipped another wave of early Apple TV units to developers, giving more companies the ability to be ready when the device ships to the public.
October 29 end date of sales for media streamers that don't support Prime
Amazon resellers are reportedly receiving an email from Amazon, telling them that video streaming devices that don't support Amazon Prime Video won't be sold on the commerce giant's marketplace. If the reports are accurate, the Apple TV line, as well as Google's Chromecast, will be barred from sale after October 29.
Company violated terms, Apple closed developer account
Teardown and repair site iFixit, best known for their examinations of Apple hardware and repair guides, has seen its developer account closed and its app pulled from the App Store because it tore down a developer-only pre-release Apple TV, in direct violation of the terms and conditions of the developer agreement. The site took responsibility for the error, and apologized to app users for "any inconvenience."
Notably larger power supply, heat sink powers dual-core A8 processor
Repair site iFixit has gotten ahold of the new Apple TV and remote and posted its usual teardown and report on the device, noting that the touchscreen controller in the remote is the same one used for the iPhone 5s and 5c line, made by Broadcom, and that it includes both IR technology (for controlling volume and power on TVs) and a Qualcomm Bluetooth radio so that the device does not have to be pointed directly at the TV to use Siri.
Developers start receiving new Apple TV development kits
Developers have started to receive their new Apple TV development kits, and have posted images of the devices online. AppleInsider spotted developer's Caleb Thorson's photo of the Apple TV development kit on Twitter, though it has now been removed, with the image of the box showing the phrase "As (not yet) seen on TV" on one side. Units of the developer edition of the set-top box were distributed via a lottery, with successful applicants able to buy the new Apple TV for $1.
You say ethernet, we say ethernet a different way
MacNN's other podcast continues with the return of Malcolm Owen. He's the one who knows things while William Gallagher just pretends he does. This week they are knowing and pretending to know about iOS 9 and the various ways of mispronouncing technology terms.
Must be playable with Apple TV remote, secondary controller optional
Game developers working on apps for the new Apple TV may have to contend with another restriction when using the hardware. The App Programming Guide for tvOS advises that games "must support the Apple TV remote," an issue which will force developers to take the remote into account when working on the game's control scheme, a decision by Apple that may create some problems for those working on more complicated releases.
Developer kit for refreshed Apple TV shipping in coming days
Developers keen to start work on porting their apps or creating new software for the refreshed Apple TV are being informed if they have won a lottery to buy the set-top box itself. Apple has started to tell successful developers they can order their Apple TV Developer Kit directly from Apple itself, in order to allow them to create their apps ahead of the final release of the device to consumers in 80 countries in late October.
So many minor predictions so right, but a few big ones totally missed
This week on the MacNN podcast we have nearly a full complement of regulars, and its nice -- Charles brought the energy, Malcolm brought the energy drinks, Mike brought the funk, and William is making us all hors d'oeuvres thanks to his App of the Week selection. We do -- unlike most other sites -- talk about what we got wrong (and what we got right) on our Apple Event predictions, but also discuss Apple TV gaming, the best installment plans for iPhones, our latest new column, and much more.
Quick Provenance port suggests converting iOS apps to tvOS relatively easy
A developer may have become the first to create an emulator for the upcoming refreshed Apple TV. James Addyman, developer of the multiplatform-capable Provenance emulator, claims to have ported his software to Apple TV, getting it running within the Apple TV simulator within Xcode in around three hours, strongly suggesting existing iOS app developers will have little trouble with porting their mobile apps to Apple TV and tvOS.
Local media streaming app Plex being ported to tvOS
Users of the local network streaming movie and music service Plex will have more incentive to purchase an Apple TV, with an app for the latest model said to be in development. Days after the revelation that the latest generation of Apple TV will be able to run third-party apps, Plex co-founder Scott Olechowski confirmed developers are working on a version of its app that will be downloadable to the set-top box in the future.
Apple naysayers need to scratch a little beneath the surface
If we are to believe some of the reports following the Apple's "Hey Siri" event, Apple would seem to have run out of ideas. Apparently the iPad Pro is a "complete rip-off" of the Microsoft Surface Pro -- as Apple is selling a first-party keyboard accessory alongside it, as well as a stylus. The iPhone 6s is only an "incremental upgrade," and the new Apple TV is also another example of Apple playing "catch-up." Further, the new Apple Watch models are apparently evidence that the Apple Watch is struggling and Apple is trying to kick start sales. Apple naysayers need to scratch a little beneath surface.
Apple's gaming apps demo may show that it knows the challenges
I've loved the concept of the Apple TV, even before there was one -- as I've mentioned a few times before, I've had a Mac mini attached to a television since the genesis of the model in PowerPC form. I'm laden with them in the house, coupled to my home server, and the combination sings. So, this week, Apple rolled out what it's calling the New Apple TV, and I'm on tap for the review, whenever we can get our hands on one. I'm going to lay it on the table -- it's not going to revolutionize gaming as it is -- but there is something that will "blow the roof off the joint" so to speak. Lack of revolution doesn't mean its not important for the industry, though.
A roundup on notable but minor details, changes, and tweaks to new gear
Following Apple's media event on Wednesday that revealed the new iPad Pro, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and new Apple TV, some details about the new hardware has emerged. While there are also new betas of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan released to developers and public beta testers as well, for this article we'll stick to physical changes in the new Apple products, along with a slight price increase on AppleCare + and the discontinuation of the gold options for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
The MacNN staff looks at ins and outs of September releases
It's all over but the analysis. Apple's fall release event has come and gone, with the entire A-series processor line by Apple refreshed, all the way down to the Apple TV. Released today are details on new Apple Watch products, the iPad Pro, the long-awaited Apple TV refresh, and the only solid lock on the event -- new iPhones. Join some of the MacNN team for their thoughts on the releases.
Apple limiting app space to 200MB, with limited downloadable asset caching
Apple is imposing requirements on how developers may use the storage in a new Apple TV. According to developer guidelines for the device, applications may not exceed 200MB, and anything required in excess of that 200MB must be downloaded on demand, and cannot be permanent requirements, as they are only stored on the device for a short period of time. Furthermore, developers have no access to app-specific local storage, meaning that saved games and other similar files must be stored in the iCloud user space.
Fourth-generation Apple TV brings more apps to the living room
The fourth generation of the Apple TV has been unveiled at Apple's Special Event, with the set-top box including a large number of updates compared to previous generations. The new Apple TV is the most powerful version of the device created by Apple, and includes not only more powerful hardware, but also massive upgrades to its software, including the ability to navigate using voice, and to load apps directly on the television screen.
Countdown for Apple event stream accompanies minor graphical update
Apple has updated its Apple Events channel on the Apple TV, in preparation for streaming today's media conference. The channel's graphics have been altered to match images Apple has released concerning today's event, both for the main icon and when it is opened, with the channel details appearing when it is opened also updated with key information for today's broadcast, though sadly no extra clues for what Apple will reveal.
CBS to stream Super Bowl, AFC playoffs, two regular-season games free on Apple TV
CBS has revealed that it will stream this year's Super Bowl contest, along with the AFC playoff games and two regular-season football games on a number of "laptops, desktops, and tablets" and other devices, including Apple TV, free of charge without a need for cable account authentication. The two games will be the New York Jets versus the Miami Dolphins in London on October 4 at 9:30AM ET, and a US Thanksgiving Day game between the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys on November 26 at 4:30PM ET.
'Confirmed' reports take cues from previous leaks, speculation
A pair of new "confirmed" rumors regarding accessories and devices that might be revealed at the September 9 Apple event are based on either previous leaked images or an "echo chamber" of cross-reported stories on the next Apple TV, though they may or may not come to pass. As widely predicted, the first of the reports says that Apple will debut new bands for the Apple Watch. While not unexpected, the report is based on a leaked image of new Sport colors shown by Sir Jonathan Ive at a show in Italy last April.
University of Oklahoma now accepting Apple Pay campus-wide
The first US university to accept Apple Pay at all locations campus-wide turns out to be the University of Oklahoma, according to a blog post from the school. In total, the ultra-secure mobile payment system is accepted at some 400 point of sale locations at the university, from the campus bookstore to all the restauarants. Apple has been a popular vendor at the One University technology store on campus, and also promotes the university's content on iTunes U and on iBooks.
Apple Watch reseller expansion reaches London department store
In a follow-up to a story run earlier today about Apple expanding the number of third-party resellers of the Apple Watch, Selfridges department store in London has created an elaborate display of manmade flowers that emulate the various face options on the Apple Watch. The store has actually been one of only a handful of select resellers that have carried the Apple Watch since its April debut.
Rumored Apple TV refresh may offer iOS developers a new audience
The rumored refresh of the Apple TV in September will be the first to use iOS at its core, according to a report, with it using a TV-optimized version of iOS 9 along with new hardware. The new claims come at the same time as a suggestion from a prominent investment management firm that Apple may be making a play for the console gaming market, with an iOS-equipped set-top box capable of taking on current-generation gaming systems.
Wherein, the MacNN staff gazes into the crystal ball
I've been battered with requests on Facebook and Twitter to talk about what we see for the rumored (but likely) September Apple media event. My response sits on a clipping on my desktop, and says in essence, that there is little value in speculating, as Apple will do what Apple will do, but the requests continue. Fine. I give up! I've corralled the staff, and forced them to write about what they see for the next event, and to criticize the rumor mill at large. Read on for our thoughts.
Quiet recall taking place now, Apple contacting affected users
Apple is issuing replacements for a "very limited" selection of recently-produced, third-generation Apple TV media streamers. The company is proactively reaching out to those it has identified as affected by the flaw, offering an overnight replacement, as well as a small-denomination iTunes gift card as a compensatory gift.
Apple TV update, SDK could be launched in next few months, report claims
The Apple TV may be the subject of a refresh in the near future, according to another recent rumor for the streaming set-top box. The latest version claims Apple is intending to unveil a next-generation Apple TV in September, alongside the launch of new iPhones, with it this time incorporating many updates, including an update to its operating system that allows access to the App Store, as well as voice control provided by Siri.
Game Pass will allow NFL games to be shown on Apple TV for first time
Fans of the NFL will soon be able to sign up for a new subscription that will provide access to on-demand video, as part of changes to the NFL Mobile app. The Game Pass, replacing the existing Game Rewind on-demand service, will provide access to all 65 preseason games and 256 regular season games via video streams, including live out-of-market feeds for preseason matches.
Company expands streaming option ahead of 'legal Aereo' option
Owners of several TiVo DVR models, including the Roamio line and the TiVo Premiere with TiVo Stream now have the ability to access recorded content through Apple TV via AirPlay, a first for the company. The new ability comes through an updated TiVo iOS application, available today, which allows the AirPlay transfer. The Roamio DVRs had been able to stream directly to iOS devices previously, but can now stream to other devices not directly connected to the DVR.
Movie channel will offer direct subscriptions for $11 per month
On Tuesday, Showtime began offering direct subscriptions to its service through Apple TV that no longer require an existing cable or satellite service, the company revealed. The network, which features shows such as Dexter and Weeds, is also bringing the standalone service Showtime Anytime to iOS users soon, likely by July 12. Like its rival HBO, the streaming service will offer both a wide back catalog, along with current movies and original programming.
Virtual music storage locker hit with problems; workaround revealed
The launch on Tuesday of Apple Music appears to be wreaking havoc with existing users of iTunes Match, the company's virtual music cloud storage service. Reports beginning yesterday and worsening today indicate that users who have not or are unable to currently update their iOS version to the just-released 8.4, as well as Apple TV users, are seeing issues including duplicate entries for artists and playlists, inaccurate album art, and a general inability to download or stream songs.
HBO Now, device price drop credited for vast increase in viewership
Apple TV has overtaken Roku and doubled its share of "premium" (paid) channel viewing the beginning of 2015 and the end of the first quarter, from five percent to 10 percent, according to Adobe's Digital Index report. A price cut on the Apple TV units and the announcement of the $15 per month HBO Now service, alongside a steady stream of new channel additions, may have contributed to the increase, which compares to a one percent growth rate from Roku. Apple's iOS platform also continues to dominate mobile video viewing.
Turn your whole Mac into an iOS keyboard
It is true that it's harder to type on the glass of an iPhone or iPad than it is to use a real keyboard with full-size keys that depress under your fingers. You could argue how much harder, as we do get by every day without carting large keyboards around with our iPhones, but it is harder -- and there's one more thing. We don't cart our iPhones around as much as we think: we are often right there with them at our Macs. Our Macs which have keyboards. Now Typeeto 1.0 lets you use that Mac keyboard with your iPhone.
Rival movie and original programming service launches three months after HBO Now
Three months after HBO announced an Apple-exclusive trial for its HBO Now on-demand streaming app that did not require an existing cable or satellite subscription, CBS has announced that it will do the same for its own premium movie and original programming cable channel, Showtime. A new Showtime app for iOS and Apple TV will launch on July 12, and cost $11 per month following a 30-day free trial.
Apple TV not mandatory, but necessary to control devices remotely
Confirming speculation, Apple has posted a support document for HomeKit which spells out that a third generation Apple TV can be used as a hub for a system. With an Apple TV as a central point, users can control HomeKit devices while away from the home network with an iOS device.
Apple Events re-added for live stream of the WWDC keynote June 8
Apple on Tuesday re-activated its Apple Events channel for Apple TV owners ahead of the just-confirmed live stream of the Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, scheduled for 10AM PT on Monday, June 8. In addition, the company added a new channels from National Geographic, combining content from both the NatGeo channel as well as the NatGeo Wild channel that includes full shows, documentaries, and more.
Years-long erroneous assumption illustrates double-edged sword of rumor reporting
There's no question that news sites often lean on the rumor mill as the basis for stories (though we are careful to note that rumors are exactly that -- rumors). Sometimes the speculation is fearless, sometimes it amounts to nothing more than an educated guess. Sometimes -- less often than you'd think -- rumors turn out to be true, but we've found that only the ones closest to the actual product release have much veracity. We've turned away from heavy rumor reporting lately -- but they're always in our feeds, or in the MacNN email box. There's a certain cycle to rumors that we've seen, generally from "analysts" with no better sources than we have -- and here's why we don't always report on them.
BBC shutting down global version of iPlayer
The BBC is shutting down its Global Player for the BBC iPlayer streaming tool. Spotted on Twitter by The Next Web, the BBC has advised auto-renewing subscriptions will cease between May 26 and June 26, with downloaded programs becoming unavailable after the user's subscription ends. The United Kingdom-specific version of the iPlayer is unaffected by the closure.
Different new channel options depending on region, from sports to art
Apple has added a handful of new channels to Apple TV units in the US, Canada, the UK, French- and German-speaking regions in Europe, and Australia today. Starting immediately, US owners can now watch CBS Sports (which does not require a cable subscription login) or USA Now, which does require a login. In Canada, viewers will now see either CraveTV (if they are Bell subscribers) or Showmi (for Rogers or Shaw cable customers). Other countries have also received different new channels.
Change in Google API forces Apple to remove YouTube from older Apple TV models
Owners of second-generation Apple TV units -- the last of the larger, gray-colored models -- have reported that YouTube has vanished from the devices starting last night, with both the dedicated channel and references to the feature being removed. As reported previously, the change is due to alterations Google announced last month in the YouTube Data API to allow for new features that various older devices, including some of Google's own, cannot support. Also affected in the cutoff are YouTube app support for older iOS devices running obsolete versions of iOS.
Following botched early update, iOS resumes usual pattern of quick adoption
Apple has updated its App Store distribution graph for developers, showing that iOS 8 has now been adopted by 81 percent of active iOS devices. The figure, which has risen two percent from the previous report in mid-April, reflects the overall improvements brought to the system since its initial release, as well as the wide compatibility of iOS 8, which goes back to 2011's iPad 2 and iPhone 4s. The rapid adoption rate continues to be a major platform advantage for developers.
Instagram adds three filters, emoji hashtag support to iOS, Android apps
Instagram has updated both the iOS and Android versions of the photo app with more filters. Lark desaturates reds and adds more to blues and greens for landscapes, Reyes adds a dusty layer to the image, and Juno tints cool tones green while making warmer tones pop. The app also introduces the option of using emoji when writing hashtags for images.
Supported device list pruned as part of YouTube Data API changes
Google is preparing to cut support for its YouTube apps on a number of aging devices. An announcement on the YouTube support pages notes that select devices manufactured before or during 2012 will lose support for the video app, with the list including smart TVs and Blu-ray players, older Google TV devices, earlier models of the Apple TV, and some iOS devices.
Apple Watch hands-on reports, a look at Photos, new videos, more
Following a longer-than-expected submission process to Apple, we're pleased to report that episode 10 of The MacNN Podcast, along with all previous episodes, has finally arrived on iTunes. Listeners can now search for, subscribe to, and generally wallow in our backlog of tech news, app picks, and bad jokes. The latest episode has a couple of remote reports from Australia and the UK about the Apple Watch concierge try-on experience, the arrival of Photos with OS X 10.10.3, our new videos, and more.
Vast library of current and previous HBO programming available for $15 per month
The standalone service HBO Now has launched on Apple TV in a new update, offering owners of Apple's set-top box the option of subscribing to HBO without an existing cable or satellite subscription as a requirement. Included in the deal, which includes a "first month free" trial offer, is all current HBO programming including movies, and access to all previous original HBO programming, including series such as Veep.
Apple leaving streaming to broadcasters; sticking with hardware, software
As part of its as yet unconfirmed live television service, Apple is reportedly asking the networks themselves to handle the technical details, and associated costs of the streams that will reportedly be available on the Apple TV, similar to deals in place now. Costs generally run $0.05 per stream per hour, but executives are said to be balking at the potential cost for the as yet unknown demand for the service.
Attorney responding to Comcast merger complaint spills the beans
Throwing some doubt on the veracity of earlier reports by the Wall Street Journal NBCUniversal has said in a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission that not only is it not keeping back content from any prospective Apple television network, it has not even been launched discussions with Apple in the first place. The revelation was made as part of an information request fulfilled by the programmer, answering questions about the prospective Time Warner Cable and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast's merger.
Prognostications after long term use of Apple's set top box
Once upon a time, there was a nascent technologist in the early part of the century. This writer was flummoxed by having to burn DVD for video playback for his occupation at the time, given the cost of the media. Then, a certain Cupertino fruit-branded computer company released the Mac mini's first iteration. Connected with a $20 video dongle, and an audio adapter, the (at the time) cutting-edge concept of a computer connected to a television solved many local problems. Apple, and this technologist, have both come a long way since then. The vast majority of the functionality of a Mac mini connected to a TV was replaced by the Apple TV shortly thereafter. The future is bright, but vague, for Apple's once-hobby. What's come before, and what's yet to come?
Trade-up program for older iPhones expected to kick off March 31
According to reports, Apple is set to launch an iPhone trade-in program in China on March 31, joining several existing programs in other countries around the world, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and a number of European countries, among others. Users will be able to bring in older iPhone and trade it in for store credit towards a newer model. The program has been shown to boost sales.
Apple TV gains three additional channels amid talk of fall revamp
On Tuesday, Apple added three channels to its ever-expanding Apple TV lineup, bringing Young Hollywood, Tastemade, and TED to current-generation (black) Apple TV boxes. The TED app channel brings access to over 2,000 lectures and performances, with existing TED members able to sign in and sync viewing and watch lists across devices, as well as bringing the personalized "lean back" autoplay feature to the Apple TV.
Disrupting industries is the new black, great apps and fair app prices, bad jokes
The MacNN Podcast episode seven is now available, and this week we looked at the rumor that Apple is preparing to revamp the Apple TV and sweeten the pot with an optional package of channel offerings that don't require a cable subscription; Google's entry into the MVNO space; the recent Microsoft announcements about Windows 10; Facebook getting into inter-site payments; the return of Launcher to the App Store, and the removal of so-called "anti-virus" iOS apps; our latest "Living With" column; and our favorite apps of the week.