Platforms include iOS, Apple TV, Android, Windows
DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers to the satellite-based TV service access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect, the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers such as cable operators.
New content delayed without verified cable subscription
Users of the Watch ABC app on the Apple TV set-top box can now watch full episodes a week after they air without a subscription, ABC has announced. Previously the app was like most network-based offerings on Apple TV, limiting that content to people who could authenticate a cable subscription. Watching the latest episodes as soon as they're uploaded (next-day) still requires authentication, as does the live feed available in select cities.
YouTube app brought up to parity with other platforms
The Apple TV has received several new app updates. The most important of these may be a revamped YouTube app, bringing its features closer to par with other platforms. Search results are now displayed while typing, for instance, and users can subscribe to a channel directly, instead of having to use the desktop website or a mobile app. The Apple TV app has also brought in recommendations based on viewing history.
refurbished Macs from $769 and iPads from $309
Today at Apple's online store, save on refurbished Macs as low as $769 and iPads from $309. The refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid state storage is available for $769 after a $130 discount. Priced at $309, after a $70 discount, is the refurbished iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular for AT&T and 16GB of storage.
MacBook Air, Apple TV, AirPort Extreme
Today's deal of the day from MacMall.com is on the 13.3-inch MacBook Air, which has been reduced from $999 down to $899. That $100 discount makes this the lowest price we have seen on this configuration by about $50. This MacBook Air features a 1.4GHz Intel (Haswell) dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. It is backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.
Yosemite update fixes serious Wi-Fi issues
Apple has released simultaneous updates for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. OS X 10.10.1 for Mac copes mainly with significant bugs, such as a glitch with Wi-Fi that would cause a system to repeatedly disconnect. It also solves problems with sending Mail messages, displayed updates at the Mac App Store, Mac minis not waking from sleep, and disappearing items like Actions, sharing services, and Notification Center widgets.
Also includes on-demand material from shows like 60 Minutes
The Apple TV has been quietly updated with another new app channel, CBS News. The app is entirely free, and in fact features CBSN, a newly-launched streaming service. CBSN coverage is live, and anchored between 9AM and 12AM Eastern time every weekday; in the event of special reports or breaking news, it will offer simulcasts with CBS News itself. The service is ad-supported in the form of commercials between segments, and should pull in material from CBS-owned sources such as CNet and Entertainment Tonight.
Feeln comes tied to monthly or annual subscription
Two new channels have been silently added to the Apple TV. The first of this is A&E's FYI, formerly known as Biography and rebranded in July. Most of the network's content is reality TV programming such as Tiny House Nation and Best in Bridal. On the Apple TV some videos are free, but full access requires authenticating with a cable provider.
Listings for Apple TV, Philips television packages in India spotted
Philips has started to offer a new range of televisions in India, with the sets being made available bundled with the Apple TV. The collection, which will start from Rs 29,990 ($490) for the base model, will apparently include the Apple set-top box to provide smart TV functionality, as Philips attempts to cash in on holiday season sales in the country.
Offerings advance beyond sports
UK TV network Sky has expanded its Now TV offerings on the Apple TV to include its Entertainment and Movies packages, according to an announcement. The app's user interface is largely the same -- including New In, Most Popular, and Must See categories -- but now extends beyond sports, and has adopted a "flat" look to match the Apple TV's new iOS 8-style aesthetics. The Now TV iOS app has offered a wider range of content for some time.
Simpsons World yet to go live
Apple has silently updated the Apple TV with an expected FX Now app channel. The app offers on-demand streaming of content from FX, FXX, and FXM, featuring shows such as American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy. Viewers must, however, authenticate a cable subscription from a provider such as AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, or Time Warner Cable to utilize the Apple TV channel.
CEO hints at still greater uses
People will be able to use the Apple Watch as a remote for their Apple TV, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentions in the full-length version of a recent Bloomberg interview. "I love operating my Apple TV from the watch. I don't have to worry anymore about the remote falling through the cushions of the sofa," he joked. The interviewer notes that the public has yet to see the matching app. "There's -- I don't think we showed this," Cook responds. "I've got a little advance copy. And so it will operate your Apple TV, and you can imagine that it can control other things as well."
Set-top could serve as hub for smarthome platform
The latest Apple TV firmware also includes support for HomeKit, the home automation platform built into iOS 8, a source for Forbes notes. Apple hasn't promoted the fact, and the source suggests this is because there's little reason to do so until other peripherals support it. While HomeKit is available as a platform, and partners like Honeywell and Philips have been announced, certified products haven't begun reaching stores.
Will eventually support iCloud Photo Library
Accompanying iOS 8 today is updated firmware for the Apple TV. Immediately visible are new cosmetic touches, namely thinner fonts and "flatter" app icons. It also includes some feature additions, such as a Beats Music channel, making it possible to listen to the subscription service Apple acquired earlier this year.
Includes Apple TV, Chromecast
Netflix has expanded into Germany, according to an announcement by the streaming video service. Plans start at €8 per month ($10.37 US) for basic SD streaming. Two simultaneous devices plus HD quality is €9 ($11.66), while four simultaneous devices with Ultra HD (when available) is €12 ($15.55). As elsewhere, each account can have up to four profiles, which can be age-restricted if need be.
Regular Apple event prep underway
The online Apple store has gone down temporarily, ahead of today's press event. Apple regularly takes the store offline just before an event, so that product pages can be put in place without spoiling announcements. Typically, the store only returns after the event is completely finished.
new channels on Apple TV and more
With the long holiday weekend, and kids heading back-to-school, the last few days have been rather quiet in the MacNN forums. Forum members continue to discuss price differences between SSDs and HDDs in the thread titled "Hard Drive Ripoffs" started by "reader50" late last week. Moderator "P" noticed new Apple TV channels appearing in Sweden, and wonders if there have been more channels added in other regions as well.
Famed tenor Placido Domingo to close out month-long concert series
The iTunes Festival is now underway in London, having kicked off the first night of the month-long concert series with headliner Deadmau5 and opening acts Friends Within and Kate Simko & the London Electronic Orchestra. Performances are streamed live through the official iOS app, iTunes on the Mac or Windows, or via the dedicated Apple TV channel, with selected acts available for repeat or later viewing.
Hard Drive ripoffs, new Apple TV channels and more
This week in the MacNN forums, Administrator "reader50" started a conversation about hard drive prices after making an observation about how generic hard drive prices haven't dropped in price the way they should have over the last 4 years. Yesterday Junior Member "anselm" had a few questions about using FileVault in OS X 10.9.
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.