Apple TV overhaul not expected to debut until 2015

 

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A new report from The Information published today discussing the next generation of Apple TV says the new set-top box won’t be ready for prime time until at least 2015. This expectancy timeline aligns with previous 9to5Mac reporting on the Apple TV development progress.

According to the report, Apple employees managing the project have informed Apple TV engineers working on the next generation set-top box that it is currently not expected to reach completion in time to debut in 2014. Read more

Apple TV updated with FOX NOW, CNBC channels

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Apple has rolled out some new channel additions to the Apple TV set-top box this morning. Both FOX NOW and CNBC have joined the Apple TV lineup. Both channels appear to require a cable subscription to unlock the content within. However, some episodes and clips are available without providing subscription credentials.

The CNBC channel supports viewing live broadcasts from the business-focused station as well as viewing previously aired shows and content. The FOX NOW channel features popular shows from the network like American Idol, Glee, Family Guy, The Following, and more. Read more

Apple seeds iOS 8 beta 4 to developers with redesigned Control Center, Health improvements, more

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Apple today released iOS 8 beta 4 to developers. It is now available via Software Update in Settings for those running earlier betas of iOS 8 on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The new update likely brings further design enhancements and bug fixes. iOS 8 comes out this fall and adds new features like health tracking, improved messaging, more efficient email management, and bolstered photo editing. We’ll be updating this post (below) as we discover new changes, and you can send us what you find to tips@9to5mac.com.

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Apple brings iTunes Extras to Apple TV, HD Extras to Macs today & iOS 8 in fall

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Apple today released iTunes version 11.3 and with it is making its iTunes Extras feature available for HD movies on Macs.  Apple also announced today that the feature is now available for Apple TV with update 6.2 and will arrive on iOS 8 this fall.

While we’ll have to wait for iTunes Extras to arrive on iOS with the release of iOS 8 this fall, the Apple TV OS 6.2 update rolled out late last month to users alongside iOS 7.1.2.

iTunes Extras offers an interactive experience for some video content on iTunes that often includes behind-the-scenes videos, image galleries, commentary from the creators, cast interviews, exclusive clips, short films, and more. Content creators decide whether or not to offer the iTunes Extras feature and create the experience using templates provided by Apple. Apple also notes that “new iTunes Extras will be automatically added to your previously purchased HD movies as they become available- at no additional charge.”

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Apple TV loses ground to Roku and Chromecast, drops to 3rd most popular set-top box in U.S.

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A new report compiled by Parker Associates and discovered by Gigaom revealed that the Apple TV has lost some U.S. market share to competitors like the Roku and Chromecast last year, causing it to become only the third most popular device in the category.

According to the report, Google’s Chromecast and the Roku streaming device each sold around 3.8 million units in 2013—though the figure is more impressive in the case of the Chromecast, which was only introduced in the second half of the year. Apple, on the other hand, reportedly moved 2 million devices, putting it just below the others.

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Apple TV adds ABC News, AOL On, PBS Kids, Willow TV, and redesigned Flickr app

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After adding the Watch ABC app to Apple TV late last year, today ABC News arrives as its own channel on the device offering users access to a lot of the network’s content free of charge. While the WatchABC app provides full TV shows from the network and requires a cable subscription, the new ABC News app offers mostly news, clips of new shows as well as the same live stream that is also accessible from ABCNews.com. The new ABC News app comes alongside PBS Kids, Willow TV, AOL On, and a redesigned Flickr app.  Read more

Apple TV receives price drop in Europe and the UK

 

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In addition to introducing a more affordable, entry-level iMac early this morning, Apple has dropped the price of the Apple TV in a few non-United States markets. Specifically, the Apple TV sold in Europe and the UK has received a price drop of €10/£20 from their respective €109/£99 price points before. Customers in Europe and the UK can now purchase the Apple TV set-top box at €99 in Europe and £79 in the United Kingdom. The price in the United States remains untouched, however, at $99. Read more

Apple TV software beta brings iCloud Family Sharing and Photos to the big screen

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The latest beta software for the Apple TV brings one of iOS 8’s headline features to the (former) hobby device: iCloud Family Sharing. While the feature isn’t yet functional, it’s expected that users will be able to log into one account and access purchased music and movies, shared photos, and more from other devices on the same family sharing account…

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Apple adds WWDC channel to Apple TV for live streaming the keynote

As promised, Apple has added a WWDC channel to Apple TV for viewing the live stream of the conference’s keynote today. The keynote can also be streamed from Apple’s website using Safari on OS X or iOS or QuickTime 7 on Windows. We’ll be live blogging the keynote and posting major news as it is announced for those who cannot view the live stream so stay tuned for full coverage. As a primer, read our complete roundup of what to expect Apple to announce today.

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Cue: The current TV experience “sucks,” billion-dollar Apple TV business will get bigger this year

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Speaking at Code Conference Wednesday night, Apple’s head of online services Eddy Cue took a swipe at the current state of television and presented his take on where the future of that industry lies. According to Cue, Apple TV sales have risen in recent years and over 20 million of the set-top box have been sold to date. Cue says that the device is billion-dollar business now and is expected to continue growing.

However, the Apple TV isn’t a true TV replacement. Cue took a few moments to point out just how much using TV “sucks” and bemoan the current range of DVR devices. He even went so far as to compare current technology with the VCRs of a bygone era—and he’s not wrong. Cue cited drawbacks such as having to remember to set a recording or trying to manage storage on the recorder as reasons on-demand streaming through the Apple TV is growing in popularity.

That’s not to say he’s especially fond of today’s on-demand systems either, though. Not only did Cue have sharp criticisms for modern recording tech, he even jabbed at the streaming experience on the iPad, noting that the process of authenticating with a cable provider to access streaming content is less-than-ideal. So what’s his solution?

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Jobs’ biographer believes Beats purchase is about video, not headphones and music

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With the expected Beats Electronics acquisition by Apple expected to take a week longer than first reported, industry watchers are making their last minute predictions as to why Apple would be interested in the audio and music service company.

The latest notable guess? Walter Isaacson, the man who literally wrote the book on Steve Jobs. Dan Lyons, former Fake Steve Jobsreporting for Billboard:

“Isaacson thinks the Apple-Beats deal is not about headphones or streaming music but rather is about video. He speculates that Cook wants Iovine to run Apple’s content business and help Apple launch the TV product that analysts have been gossiping about for years. The product has been held up because Apple can’t get all the content owners on board.”

Lyons adds that Isaacson shared with him something which he did not include in the authorized biography of the late Apple co-founder: Jobs was pitched on Apple buying Universal by Jimmy Iovine around 2002 or 2003… Read more

Apple announces 20 million Apple TVs sold through Q2 2014

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During Apple’s earnings call this evening, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company has sold 20 million Apple TV boxes through the second quarter of 2014. Sharing this number is out of the ordinary for Apple, as it generally doesn’t break down specific sales for its set-top box like it does for other products.

Apple’s decision to give us specific sales information for the Apple TV, however, does corroborate with its move earlier this year to present the device as its own product line, as opposed to an accessory. Cook also said on the call that Apple TV is over a billion dollar market, which means that it is no longer just a “hobby” for the company.

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