It’s been rumoured for almost as long as the Apple Watch was, but now it finally has an image to put with its name. Yes, the new Apple TV is real, and it’s all about the apps.
In case you haven’t been aware of Apple’s products beyond that of the iPhone, the iPad, and the MacBook computers, as well as that whole “Watch” and iTunes digital music revolution that happened some number of years ago, the company has also spent some time in the past building a TV system.
It didn’t have an overwhelmingly original name, but the Apple TV served as a solid little hockey puck of a box for people keen to get into Smart TVs long before Smart TVs were actually a thing, providing a handful of streaming services accessible through an easy grid interface similar to what people were already using on their iPhones and iPads, as well as support for Apple’s own media library of movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts.
For many, this has been the so-called “Smart TV” they have been using, and services such as Netflix have been quick to jump on the bandwagon, providing access to Apple TV users through this interface and system to get the Apple content alongside Netflix, YouTube, and quite a few other services.
But it has been a while since we’ve seen an update to Apple TV.
In fact, the last time a proper update happened was a good three years ago, with a minor update occurring in 2013, but the real 3rd generation Apple TV being announced in March of 2012.
Back then, the update was a change to the 2010 model that included support for Full HD 1080p streams, iCloud access, and a little more, and that has been the way it mostly stayed for the past few years, fuelling rumours Apple was indeed working on something.
This week, Apple has proven those rumours were right with the launch of “the all-new Apple TV”, name we suspect will just be seen as “the new Apple TV” when people go to buy it, because dependent on price, there’s a possibility it will be sold alongside the old Apple TV.
According to Apple, this latest variation has been “built from the ground up” and relies on new hardware leveraging Apple’s A8 processor used in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and a lighter and slightly different interface, with a new operating system.
While Apple’s iOS was initially based on Mac OS, the new Apple TV’s operating system is instead based on iOS — it’s even called “tvOS” — at once creating an almost Inception-esque operating system circle and at the same time presenting something familiar to anyone who has ever used an iPhone, iPad, or an Apple TV before.
Siri has been tapped as a resource for the Apple TV, and now you’ll be able to talk to the remote, asking it to find you things like “Show me all the William Shatner movies” or “Show me kids shows like The Wiggles”, with Siri doing the heavy lifting and saving you from typing using an on-screen keyboard.