First shown in late 2006 and actually released in early 2007, the Apple TV went through a more substantial transformation than any other Apple product in the past decade. The original model was a stripped-down Macintosh computer with a 40GB hard drive, serving as a screenless iPod for playing videos, music, and photos on an HDTV. Apple unveiled a completely redesigned plastic model in 2010, dropping the hard drive in favor of 8GB of flash storage, and the current third-generation Apple TV ($99 from the Apple Store) is heavily based on that version.
One-fourth the size of the original model and made entirely from jet black plastic, the current Apple TV serves three purposes: it streams media directly from the Internet, from computers running iTunes, and from iOS devices. It comes with a silver aluminum remote control and power cable; you supply the HDMI cable to connect it to your TV. Unlike the second-generation model it cosmetically resembles, the current Apple TV supports 1080p HD output, and runs the latest, iOS 8-like version of the Apple TV system software.
On its own, the Apple TV lets you watch video from Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, and major sports networks ranging from ESPN to the MLB, NBA, NFL, and MLS. Using AirPlay with your iOS device or Mac, you can stream videos, photos, and music directly from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac to your HDTV, as well as mirroring their screens. Under some circumstances, Macs can use a TV equipped with an Apple TV as a second display.
The third-generation Apple TV received a stealth upgrade in late January, 2013 to a “Rev A” model with small internal component changes. Persistent rumors have suggested that Apple would replace the Apple TV with a thoroughly redesigned fourth-generation model all throughout 2013 and 2014, but as of 2015, the device remains unchanged.
We love the current Apple TV and think it’s a great value for the $99 asking price, but it has seemingly remained on Apple’s back burner for a very long time. Since it’s cheap, you can buy one now and thoroughly enjoy what it’s capable of doing, but don’t be surprised if Apple releases a new version later in 2015.
Rumors of Apple’s entrance into the video streaming arena have been swirling for a couple of years now, with Apple wanting to launch a skinny bundle streaming internet cable TV service, however news on the progress of this project has died down in 2016. It is unclear if it is still on the cards, various outlets reports talked had stalled with the television networks. However, Amazon and Netflix continue to battle it out.
Today, just as Netflix customers are forcibly moved to more expensive monthly plans, Amazon has announced it will offer its streaming video service as a standalone monthly subscription for the first time. Priced at $8.99/per month, the plan is a dollar cheaper than Netflix’s most popular offering. Until today, the only way to get Amazon Prime Video through a $99/year Amazon Prime subscription, bundling video, 2-day shipping and other perks into one membership.
Sadly, there was no word on the status of an Amazon Apple TV app …
Android has featured the ability to stream to AirPlay devices like the Apple TV by means of third-party utilities for some time now, but no Android device has ever shipped with native AirPlay support in tow. That’s all changed with the announcement of the HTC 10, the first device to ship with native AirPlay support.
The ability to create Home screen folders on the Apple TV is one of the biggest new features to appear in the recent tvOS 9.2 update. On previous versions of tvOS, apps couldn’t be organized in folders, which made for a cumbersome experience for those with lots of apps.
If you’re an iOS user, then using folders on the Apple TV will be a largely familiar experience. In this post, we’ll show you how to create folders, move apps in and out of folders, rename folders, and more. expand full story
As we noted earlier, the Pangu team has released a jailbreak for the Apple TV 4. This jailbreak allows Apple TV 4 owners running tvOS 9.0 and 9.0.1 to jailbreak their devices.
Although it is possible to jailbreak the Apple TV with a paid developer account, it’s also possible to do so with a free account as well. In this tutorial, we’ll show you step by step how to jailbreak the Apple TV 4. Watch our video walkthrough inside to see how. expand full story
As promised, Pangu has released a jailbreak for the 4th generation Apple TV. This jailbreak, a first for the Apple TV 4, is capable of jailbreaking units running tvOS 9.0 and tvOS 9.0.1.
If you have an Apple TV that’s running a later version of tvOS, there is unfortunately no way to downgrade back to jailbreak-eligible versions. Instead, you can use our handy guide in order to find an eligible Apple TV at your local brick and mortar retail store. We’ll be sure to follow up with a full guide that shows you how to jailbreak the Apple TV 4. expand full story
The fourth generation Apple TV has even been on the market for less than six months and there’s already a massive update ready for it. The new tvOS 9.2 software update is now available and includes several features that previously hadn’t made it from Apple TV 3 as well as features totally new to the platform.
You can now use Siri Remote to dictate text for search queries, usernames, and even passwords, and Bluetooth keyboards are once again supported for easier text entry. Apple TV apps can now be grouped into folders so you can keep games together, and iCloud Photo Library subscribers can view complete photo and video collections on the big screen. Here’s the full rundown on everything new in tvOS 9.2 for the new Apple TV: