Apple TV ▪ September 11

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Apple TV’s user interface has been through more changes over the past 8 years than any other Apple OS — the rare Apple UI that has seen more major changes than the devices it runs on. As improbable as this might have seemed for a “hobby,” fixing the Apple TV was one of the last topics Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs discussed with biographer Walter Isaacson: “I finally cracked it,” Jobs said about an upcoming Apple TV UI. “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine,” apparently indicating that complex remotes would be a thing of the past. But after Jobs passed away, the Apple TV received only a couple of modest tweaks — improvements, but modest nonetheless — as Jobs’ mysterious “simplest UI” apparently remained unused.

As an Apple TV user and fan, I’ve spent years waiting for this week’s introduction of the fourth-generation Apple TV, as much for improved hardware as the opportunity to see Jobs’ vision in action. I’ve long suspected that pervasive voice control was the missing link — Siri was added to the iPhone 4S just before Jobs died — and from every indication, Apple has done a wonderful job of building voice navigation into the new Apple TV’s tvOS operating system. But did it get the rest of the UI right, or are we in for more years of main menu redesigns? Let’s take a look at what tvOS 1.0 gets right and wrong…

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While Apple hasn’t detailed the changes publicly, the company is planning what appears to be a major, undocumented overhaul of its AirPlay protocol with iOS 9 that should make the framework for streaming video and audio content between devices a much smoother experience for both users and developers. It is, however, breaking many screen mirroring apps in the process and forcing developers to scramble to implement workarounds ahead of the launch of iOS 9 on Wednesday and the new Apple TV in the coming weeks.

Perhaps the best example of these apps is Reflector from developer Squirrels. The app utilizes AirPlay to allow cross platform wireless mirroring from mobile devices to Macs, PCs, and other devices with the app installed. The developer first brought the change to our attention and warns that developers will have to follow in its footsteps to implement a workaround that will allow screen mirroring apps to continue functioning after iOS 9 is released…  expand full story

Apple TV ▪ September 10

AAPL: 112.57

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Apple’s “Hey Siri” special event was so completely jammed with major announcements that a lot of little details fell through the cracks — performance differences between the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, battery surprises in the iPad Pro and iPad mini 4, and connectivity omissions in the Apple TV 4, just to name a few.

Every year, once the event’s dust has settled, I dig through all of the information out there to bring you a clearer picture of what to expect from Apple’s latest devices. Here are the things you’ll want to know about the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, iPad mini 4, and Apple TV 4… expand full story

Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV event is finally over and we’ve got a lot to say about it. From 3D Touch to the iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil, there’s a lot to cover that happened during the event. Let’s get into a recap of the event as well as our first impressions of Apple’s latest product announcements. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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When word surfaced this week that Periscope has been secretly working on an Apple TV app, it was pointed out that Twitter’s live broadcasting service only supports portrait video capture while TV sets of course are landscape. It appears Periscope already had plans in motion to change that, though, as the latest version of the app released today adds support for streaming in landscape orientation.

Aside from setting the stage for the future app on the new Apple TV announced yesterday (Periscope hasn’t demoed the app, but it’s icon appears in an Apple TV human interface guidelines graphic and was seen on stage), the update creates a better viewing experience for Periscope users. It handles displaying video much better now regardless of how the broadcaster is holding their phone. Landscape streaming doesn’t require viewers to hold their phone in that way, either, and it’s a much better fit for web viewing as well.

Periscope also points out new accessibility enhancements for visually impaired users which has been a popular request. Check out the latest release notes below: expand full story

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