Watch ABC app for iOS updated, adds AirPlay and Chromecast support
American television network ABC has updated its content streaming app for iOS. Watch ABC allows its users to view the network's shows, sports content, news and weather reports on demand - so long as a participating cable TV provider account is used to sign in to the service. Live video content is available in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles and other major cities, subject to the participating TV provider as well. Watch ABC v3.4.0 now includes the ability to stream content with AirPlay, via Apple TV, and as well by using Chromecast via Google Chromecast. Watch ABC for iOS is free to download, and requires iOS 5.0 or later to run.
Live streaming locked to authenticated subscription
In addition to an updated iTunes Festival app, the Apple TV has also been refreshed with Showtime Anytime, an app for the Showtime TV network. While some episodes are available on-demand for free, full use of the app -- including live streaming -- requires authenticating a subscription with compatible providers. That list includes AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, DirecTV, Optimum, Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, and a number of regional firms.
Empty stocks linked to $25 iTunes cards
The Apple TV is showing as "unavailable for pickup" at many Apple Stores across the US, including the most high-profile ones in California, Texas, and New York. The absent stocks are reportedly being blamed on the ongoing $25 iTunes card bundle. Sales may also be influenced by a recent Lollapalooza livestream, and Apple's forthcoming coverage of iTunes Festival London.
Includes access to personalized streams
Nearly two weeks after its announcement on August 7, the NFL Now Apple TV app has finally gone live. Functionally, the app is similar to its iOS counterpart, providing a certain amount of free content, while moving other material -- such as game highlights and NFL Films specials -- behind a paywall. The NFL is promising to add 105 hours of original content per week.
Likely attempt to revive sales
In tandem with the upcoming iTunes Festival in London, Apple has announced a promotion that will get buyers of new Apple TVs a $25 iTunes gift card. The deal runs through September 30th, the end of the festival. The card can be used to buy apps, music, movies, TV shows, and books.
Full access limited to monthly subscribers
As anticipated, NFL Now apps have been launched for the iPhone and iPad and the Apple TV. The titles promise "hundreds of new videos daily" connected to teams and players; users also can get a non-stop stream based on preferences learned over time.
Users tuning in during primetime hours
ABC News has published new statistics showing that its Apple TV app is enjoying early popularity. During its first 30 days, the app is said to have registered about 50 percent more live video access than ABC's desktop and mobile services combined. Moreover, viewers are said to spend 65 percent more time per session on the Apple TV than on ABC's website.
DevonThink and DevonNote updated
DevonTechnologies has released updated versions of its document and information management software for Mac. The latest version of DevonThink, v2.7.7, recognizes Swift source code files as plain text, and retains more metadata when exporting documents. The program's interface can now retain scroll position, insertion mark position, and selection when toggling views. Able to index external folders faster, the software can support OS X Mavericks tags based on former labels.
Changes only cosmetic
Today's updated Apple TV beta firmware brings a new look to the home screen, users note. This includes redesigned icons, as well as a thinner font. Both of the changes bring the look of the Apple TV closer to par with iOS 7, on which the firmware is based, but no extra changes apart from the last beta's Family Sharing and iCloud Photos support.
Apple TV, OS X Server, Configurator get matching updates
Apple is now seeding its fifth betas of iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and Xcode to developers, as well as a preview of OS X Server 4.0, and fourth betas of new Apple TV firmware and Configurator 1.7. Relatively little is known about their content so far, although notes for the iOS 8 beta add that "spirometry data types are now available in HealthKit;" spirometry is the measurement of lung capacity. Xcode has received Swift-related improvements involving ranges and easier scripting.
No live games to be included
NFL Now -- a video service launching later this month -- will also be getting an Apple TV app, as revealed by an image shared by a worker inside the league. While the app will offer live coverage of events like press conferences and Hall of Fame inductions, users won't be able to watch full games. Instead the app will mostly offer on-demand content, including original programming, NFL Films material, and highlights, including a "premium instant highlights service during the game window."
Cable deals, Comcast/Time Warner merger interfering
Apple is indeed working on a new set-top that will let people will watch both live and on-demand TV, but won't have it ready until sometime in 2015, a source indicates. Engineers at the company are allegedly being told not to expect to ship the device this year, and working along that timeline. The issue is claimed to be cable companies "dragging their heels," and the possible Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, which together are interfering not only with the device but a matching TV service.
Bulk of content locked to cable subscriptions
Apple has added a pair of new app channels to the Apple TV, CNBC and Fox Now. The former is NBC's business network, while the latter offers access to shows like Glee, Family Guy, and The Following. In both cases, viewers must have a cable subscription to unlock the full range of content. Otherwise, people are limited to a much smaller selection of clips and episodes.
On-demand video service coming to media boxes, contains Simpsons World content
According to news from television writer Jason Lynch, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices will gain the FXNow on-demand service within the next 12 months. The news emerged from today's Fox and the FX Network stop on the Television Critics Association Press Tour. With the new app comes "Simpsons World," a new service that provides streaming of the 522 episodes of the animated television series.
Netflix updates Apple TV channel, adds 'Post-Play' feature
Television and movie streaming service Netflix is updating its integrated app for Apple TV. Its popular web and iPad feature "Post-Play" has been brought to the Apple TV, allowing users a brief countdown once a show's credits begin rolling, followed by automatic playing of the next episode in a series - unless otherwise interrupted. AppleInsider has speculated that though the Post-Play feature was found on multiple Apple TV units during testing, it is likely that the update has yet to be fully released to all customers.
OS X gets iTunes 12, iOS 8 gets new Tips app
(Updated with other beta releases, more Yosemite changes) Apple is now seeding its fourth betas of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite to developers. Perhaps the most significant change is in the latter, which includes the first beta of iTunes 12. The updated media player uses a flatter, streamlined design more in keeping with Yosemite, and is the first version to support Family Sharing, something also present in iOS 8. While Yosemite is still only accessible to developers, sources claim that the first public beta could go live later this month, after Apple has put more polish on it.
iOS users will have to wait for iOS 8
Apple has released iTunes 11.3 for Mac and Windows users. The main addition is support for iTunes Extras associated with HD movies, granting access to things like galleries, commentaries, behind-the-scenes clips, and short films. Not every movie has Extras, since these require special formatting on the part of content creators, but even previously-purchased titles can get Extras for free if they're added later.
Field expected to diversify with more entrants coming to market
Ahead of what is expected to be a significant revamp or re-invention of the Apple TV, rivals such as Roku and Google's Chromecast dongle are allegedly outselling Apple's entry in the streaming-settop-box wars, claims a new study. Though still more popular worldwide, the report from Parks Associates believes that Apple sold just over two million Apple TV units in the US last year, which if true would place it third behind Roku and the Chromecast, both of which sold about 3.8 million units in the US in the same period.
Speeds up access to Watch Later, other content sections
Vimeo has launched an update of its app for the Apple TV, according to an official blog post. The new app has a more streamlined interface, reducing the number of button presses needed to get to sections like the Watch Later queue, uploaded videos, or collections. The home page now features a number of curated channels, such as monthly staff favorites and popular videos. One of these is a Vimeo On Demand section, which lets people watch trailers for paid titles and later buy them.
Deals with missing encryption for Mail attachments
(Updated with Apple TV news) Apple has released iOS 7.1.2 to the public via iTunes and over-the-air distribution. The update is only a maintenance release, solving several bugs. Most significantly, it solves a problem with iOS 7 failing to encrypt Mail attachments.
Limited to watching clips, special feeds
(Updated with channels from PBS, AOl, Willow) Apple has silently updated the Apple TV with a new app channel, ABC News. It doesn't require authentication with a cable provider, but live content is limited to feeds already available on abcnews.com. The bulk of the app is dedicated to clips, broken up into categories like Top Stories, and topics such as the 2014 World Cup or the ISIS takeover of Iraq.
New version 3.8 adds ability to connect friends during road trips, more
Navigation and traffic app Waze (free) has updated to version 3.8 for both Android and iOS today, including a redesigned main menu and more integration between the app and a users' contacts. With permission, the app can sync "Waze friends" with one's contact list, which can be useful if a group of people in separate vehicles are heading to the same destination.
Existing services to continue functioning for foreseeable future
As hinted at through the introduction of the iCloud-based Family Sharing feature, the latest beta of iOS for Apple TV (along with the corresponding Beta 2 of iOS 8) doesn't support second-generation Apple TV units, which were the first model to sport the small-black-box look of the current (third) generation devices. The second-generation models can be distinguished from the later version by not having support for 1080p output, and by having an Apple A4 SoC -- the same model that powers the iPhone 4, which is also no longer supported as of iOS 8.
Would likely focus exclusively on media
The Apple TV may gain some form of Continuity support when OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 are released this fall, users of the latest Yosemite beta note. When on a Wi-Fi network where an Apple TV is connected, Yosemite is displaying a message stating that "Apple TV is now available for Continuity," so long as the Apple TV is running new beta firmware. There isn't any indication of what can be done with that support however.
Could be paving way for hardware refresh
(Updated with cuts on Mac mini, iMac) Apple has quietly reduced the price of the Apple TV across much of Europe. In the UK, the set-top has dipped £20 to £79. In continental countries pricing has been lowered €10 to €99. Elsewhere, though, costs appear to be unchanged. The device is still $99 in the US, for example.
Shared feature between OS X 10.10 and iOS 8 makes family media sharing simpler
A new feature discussed at the Worldwide Developer's Conference has appeared in the first beta of the iOS 8 version of Apple TV softwre, released on Tuesday. The new feature is the iCloud-based Family Sharing function, which allows up to six family members to access purchased iTunes content from any of the registered devices in the household running OS X 10.10 Yosemite or iOS 8, both of which will be released this fall. The change allows a household to access everyone's media purchases without changing accounts.
Feature additions yet to be discovered
Apple has begun distributing second betas of OS X Yosemite, iOS 8, Xcode 6, and updated Apple TV firmware to developers. Relatively few details are available so far. The Yosemite beta is listed simply as build 14A261i, and in release notes for the iOS 8 code, Apple states only that it "contains bug fixes and improvements."
Some apps not propagating
A number of users are reporting problems accessing functions in various Apple online services, including the App Store, the iTunes Store, and the Apple TV. People with an Apple TV, for example, may be unable to load the Movies or TV Shows apps, although other apps like iTunes Radio and Netflix are still up. At the iOS App Store, some titles -- such as Facebook Messenger or Skype 5.0 -- are apparently missing or otherwise not propagating correctly.
The PlayStation TV is a genuine STB contender with real gaming chops
One of the surprise announcements at E3 is the news that Sony will be bringing its diminutive PlayStation TV to the US, Europe and other markets. The device already is on the market in Japan, where it is sold as the PS Vita TV, launching in the middle of November late last year to help appease Japanese customers disappointed at missing out on the international launch of the PS4. In Japan, the PS Vita has proven to be a hit with handheld gamers. The PlayStation TV is effectively a STB version of the PS Vita, but with a few compelling tricks up its sleeve, especially when compared with a device like the Apple TV.
Should expand Apple TV's practicality
A small but significant change being brought to iOS 8 is peer-to-peer AirPlay connections between iOS devices and Apple TVs, Apple's official website reveals. At the moment, iOS devices wanting to broadcast to an Apple TV have to be on the same Wi-Fi network. That presents a problem, though, if a person doesn't have access to login credentials or a LAN is offline or simply non-existent.
iOS users limited to Safari
Apple will be live streaming today's WWDC keynote, which begins at 10AM Pacific time. A special channel has been silently added to the Apple TV, and desktop viewers will be able to watch via Safari on OS X, or a Windows browser with the QuickTime 7 plugin. The only mobile viewing option is the iOS edition of Safari. iOS, OS X, and Windows viewers alike must go to a special event page; Apple TV users may have to reboot their device via the Settings menu to force the WWDC channel to appear.
Claims best products in 25 years due in 2014
Speaking yesterday at the Code Conference, Apple's senior VP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue -- joined by Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine -- offered an explanation of the company's $3 billion buyout of Beats, and also discussed Apple's upcoming product pipeline. He noted that a deal for Beats and/or the people behind it has been in development for a decade, and that together the two companies should be able to speed up products that are being kept secret.
OS X 10.10, iOS 8 to be core focus
Apple will not show the iWatch at June's WWDC, nor will it premiere a fourth-generation Apple TV there, sources allege. The company is even expected to skip previewing an anticipated Apple TV software update. Instead Apple will reportedly concentrate on OS X 10.10 and iOS 8, much like it did Mavericks and iOS 7 last year.
Changes make iTunes video content more useful
Apple has made two important improvements to its German video offerings, reports say. The most important is iTunes in the Cloud support for movies and TV shows; this means that content bought or rented on one device can be downloaded elsewhere, or again, at no extra cost, as long as it's tied to the same Apple ID. By extension, the second change is that TV shows hosted on iTunes can now be viewed on an Apple TV.
Some iOS 8 features could be pushed into iOS 8.1
Several sources have offered a glimpse into the current status of several Apple projects. At this year's WWDC, for instance, the people say OS X 10.10 will play a more prominent role than iOS 8, as it should feature a major redesign and Apple wants developers to latch in. The company is even said to be allocating iOS interface labor to OS X teams in order to get the framework of v10.10's design done for WWDC.
MagicPlay acts as bridge between Google Cast API and AirPlay
Google Play Music on Android can be used to stream music through AirPlay devices, thanks to a release from doubleTwist. MagicPlay: AirPlay for Android, downloadable from Google Play and works with the existing doubleTwist Player, will act as a bridge between Google's Cast API for streaming to the Chromecast and AirPlay, granting the music service AirPlay support.
Set-top could follow in footsteps of Amazon Fire TV
Code contained in iOS 7.1 and 7.1.1 suggests that Apple is planning to bring Siri to the Apple TV. A PLIST file for Assistant -- an internal Apple name for Siri -- includes the Apple TV lineup under its collection of supported devices. Notably, though, no Apple TV to date has included the microphone that would be needed for Siri.
iOS 6 users still dealing with FaceTime woes
Apple appears to have fixed a problem that prevented owners of the first-generation Apple TV from accessing iTunes, according to comments on the product's support forums. The outage began over the weekend, but was resolved just earlier today. It's not clear what caused the issue, or why it would only affect first-gen Apple TVs.
App sends variety of video codecs to Apple's media streaming box
Apple's "hobby" Apple TV may not have been the first to market, or the most flexible, but it was the cleanest interface and easiest to use of all the media streamers. Bound to the iTunes ecosystem, it allowed for simple connection and content navigation for all levels of experience. However, for the experienced user, the limit on codecs the device supports is a bit of a problem. A few solutions exist for wider codec playback, but one that promises simplicity is Beamer 2.0 by Tupil. The simple app purports to allow drag-and-drop playback of nearly any video file to an Apple TV, but how well does it actually perform?
Follows shortly after live streaming support on iPad
Via a silent update, Apple has added three channels from A&E Networks to the Apple TV. These include A&E itself, as well as History and Lifetime. In general the apps simply provide access to episodes from their respective TV shows, but Lifetime also includes its signature original movies. As with Apple's other recent channel adds, a cable subscription and carrier that supports the addition is required.
May tie into earlier Time Warner rumors
An FCC filing made by Comcast and Time Warner -- attempting to defend their proposed merger -- also hints that Apple is developing a new Apple TV set-top, reports note. "Today, Google competes as a network, video, and technology provider, and 8 out 9 of the next Google Fiber markets the company announced are in Comcast or TWC areas," part of the filing reads. "Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box."
Early-stage talks could see Apple-supplied device with higher-quality connection
Apple is reportedly in discussions with Comcast, which could see the two collaborate on a streaming TV service. Sources for the Wall Street Journal claim the service would involve Apple supplying the set-top box to customers, with Comcast giving the device preferential treatment in the bandwidth management of the connection itself.
Will leverage Prime Video, rumored to offer game and music streaming also
A new report from the Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is in the process of demonstrating to partners and developers a nearly-complete set-top box device designed to leverage the company's Prime streaming services and compete directly against Apple TV and Roku. The device is thought to be debuting sometime next month, and may also offer game streaming.
Currently missing live content
Apple has introduced another app channel to the Apple TV, ACC Sports. The app is a collaboration between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Campus Insiders, covering all of the schools participating in the ACC, as well as a smaller selection of events from other conferences. The app doesn't offer any live content however, only highlights and miscellaneous pre-recorded features.
iPods from $99
This week at Apple's online store, find savings on refurbished iPods and Apple TV. The refurbished seventh-generation 16GB iPod nano has seen a $50 discount down to $99, and is available in purple, green, pink, yellow, blue, or silver. Refurbished fourth-gen iPod touch models start at $129 for the 8GB Touch, or $149 for 16GB models.
Only works with iOS 7.1 at present, Mavericks support likely ahead
The recently-released Apple TV 6.1 update that arrived on Monday has an undocumented new feature that allows AirPlay sessions to be initiated using Bluetooth rather than Bonjour, a change that should make third-generation (1080p-capable) Apple TV units friendlier to complex networks such as those found in institutional and enterprise environments. The system can still scan using Bonjour as well, but will work with Bluetooth if the initiating devices are running iOS 7.1.
Some performances to be available for later viewing
All of the video streaming at this week's iTunes Festival SXSW in Austin, Texas is being handled by Vevo, the online music service has announced. Live streaming starts tonight and runs through March 15th. To view a concert, people must have a Mac, an Apple TV, or an iOS device with the Vevo or iTunes Festival apps. Mac owners must visit vevo.com/itunesfestival using Safari.
Remote gains Apple TV upgrades
(Updated with Logic Remote news) In the wake of iOS 7.1 and Apple TV 6.1, Apple has released updates to Remote, Podcasts, and GarageBand for iOS, as well as Xcode and iAd Producer for desktops. While the Podcasts and GarageBand updates merely include bugfixes, Remote can now control iTunes Radio on an Apple TV. Apple TV owners have also gained the ability to browse purchased video through the app.
Bypasses Parental Controls menu
In tandem with iOS 7.1, Apple has released new firmware for the Apple TV, v6.1. While a relatively minor update, the code adds the ability to hide unwanted apps, a frequently-requested feature. It was previously only possible to change visible apps by blocking them through the Parental Controls menu. 6.1 can be downloaded through the Apple TV Software Update system.
First time the event has been held in the US, will stream live on web, iOS devices
Just a few days ahead of the beginning of the first US iTunes Festival, being held as part of the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, Apple has now re-added its iTunes Festival channel back to Apple TV, where concerts will be streamed live. Currently the channel also offers information on the concert schedule and background on the various acts, as well as a history of the festival -- which has previously only been held in London.