Apple TV will get more Chromecast-y in an iOS 7 update next week

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Photo: cnet.com

We mentioned last week that an Apple TV software update would allow owners to stream content from a friend’s Apple TV box elsewhere, and AllThingsD now has a little more info on how this will work.

The new software will allow people who have purchased content from Apple’s iTunes store to play that stuff on other people’s TVs, via its Airplay system.

The key part is that they will be able to tell an Apple TV box they don’t own to stream the media they do own, directly from the cloud. That’s a change from the current system, which requires users to  download stuff to their iPhones and iPads and fling it to the TV from there. It also echoes the way Google’s new Chromecast device works …  Read more

New Apple TV software likely coming next week, but don’t expect fresh hardware (yet)

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Apple won’t announce a new piece of Apple TV hardware next week (as had been previously rumored), but AllThingsD says that Apple will debut some new software for the existing device. Of course, an Apple TV software update is already expected, but ATD says that there could be some neat new AirPlay-related functionality:

Sources say that one new feature in the works will let people who’ve bought content from Apple play that stuff on other users’ Apple TVs, via Apple’s Airplay system. So if you’ve bought a TV show or movie from Apple’s iTunes store, you could watch it at a friend’s house, by calling it up on your iPhone, and telling your friend’s Apple TV to start streaming it.

The new Apple TV software update will also unlock iTunes Radio, the ability to setup an Apple TV over Bluetooth 4.0, and OS X Mavericks multi-display support.

We’ve heard that Apple has some Apple TV related announcements up its sleeves for the coming months, but major hardware changes aren’t expected until at least next year. Sources say that Apple has been working on ways to control the Apple TV (whether that be a full on display – or just a box) via motion…

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Apple acquires Matcha.tv iOS streaming media aggregation and discovery tool

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Popular online media aggregation and discovery app for iOS, Matcha, suddenly disappeared from the App Store in late May without any explanation by the company or Apple. Tonight it became clear exactly what happened.

According to Venture Beat, Apple has acquired Matcha.tv for an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million. Although, the final total could be higher once the deal is completed. Unsurprisingly, Matcha.tv CEO Guy Piekarz declined to comment on the potential acquisition and Apple served Venture Beat their typical canned response that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Matcha.tv launched in January of 2012 and steadily grew its fan base by providing an easy way to browse streaming movie and TV shows across all the major sources including Netflix, iTunes, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others. During its time on the App Store it amassed a favorable 4.5 star rating from iTunes reviewers and was also received well by tech pundits. At first glance this service would seem as a nice way for Apple to fortify a full-fledged Apple TV service or expand their current offering with deeper airplay capabilities and controller integration. Tim Cook has repeatedly said that TV remains an area of “great interest” so it makes sense that they are arming themselves with the resources necessary to take their “hobby” to the next level.

Apple has already successfully completed several strategic acquisitions this year including Passif, a developer of low-power chipsets, and Hopstop, a mapping service.

FireCore releases Infuse 1.3 with Wi-Fi file transfers, fullscreen TV-out, and more

Our launch video review of Infuse

FireCore has released an update for Infuse, the popular video app for iPhone and iPad. The new update boasts new features such as the ability to transfer videos to your iOS device through a web browser, fullscreen TV-out support, new sharing options, and more.

Infuse 1.3 is a free update for existing owners. New owners can get the app for $4.99 on the App Store. The full change log can be found below.

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New for accessory makers in iOS 7: Open AirPlay audio, Apple-designed hearing aid tech, device management, much more

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We already told you about a few big new features in terms of improvements to Bluetooth coming in iOS 7: Developers will now have a standardized controller framework for hardware game controllers and new features for BLE devices that will bring Notification Center support and always-connected apps. That’s not all Apple has planned for accessory makers in the near future, below developers have reached out to explain some of the other big new features that will be available to accessory manufacturers with iOS 7 and Mavericks… Read more

Apple *could* upgrade the little computer in the Lightning HDMI adapter to do better 1080p

Digital-A-V-connector-Lighting-take-apartWe reported over the weekend that there was some confusion over exactly how Apple’s new Lightning digital AV adapter works and why it lacks the ability to carry a native 1080p signal. One theory is that Apple was using an AirPlay wireless streaming protocol, but we’ve since learned that is not the case. According to a post  that purports to be from an anonymous Apple engineer explaining how the cables function, Apple does not use Airplay protocol. It instead uses the same H.264 encoding technology as AirPlay to encode the output into the ARM SoC. From there, the data is decoded and sent over HDMI:

It’s vastly the same thing with the HDMI adapter. Lightning doesn’t have anything to do with HDMI at all. Again, it’s just a high speed serial interface. Airplay uses a bunch of hardware h264 encoding technology that we’ve already got access to, so what happens here is that we use the same hardware to encode an output stream on the fly and fire it down the Lightning cable straight into the ARM SoC the guys at Panic discovered. Airplay itself (the network protocol) is NOT involved in this process. The encoded data is transferred as packetized data across the Lightning bus, where it is decoded by the ARM SoC and pushed out over HDMI.

Perhaps even more interesting is that Apple could improve the quality with future software updates since the firmware is stored in RAM as opposed to ROM. The poster noted that Apple deemed the quality “suitably acceptable” but *will* make improvements with future iOS updates: Read more