Here’s an interesting find sent by a tipster. Staples, the biggest office retailer in the United States, has a page showing an Apple TV with a list price of $49.99. While that price is very low, we were not able to add it to our cart or check out because the following page said “out of stock” (screenshots below). Staples also recommended a $24.99 Apple Lightning charge and sync cable when you visit the page. In fact, there is a bunch of Apple’s products sitting on “Mockup Pages” section.
The introduction of the Mac App Store, at least for the Mac’s biggest game publisher Aspyr Media, hasn’t been entirely smooth. Aspyr recently outlined some issues with bringing multiplayer to Mac games due to Game Center and sandboxing restrictions of the Mac App Store, and developing separate versions of games for Steam and the Mac App Store continues to be a hurdle. An example is Borderlands 2. It took Aspyr just two months to ship the Mac version, but the Game Center multiplayer won’t arrive until sometime early this year. However, executives at the company promise Apple’s enthusiasm toward gaming on Mac is stronger than ever thanks to the Mac App Store. Aspyr also said it has much planned for 2013 in Apple’s store and remains platform agnostic, despite running its own competitive GameAgent store.
9to5Mac recently had the chance to speak with Aspyr Vice President of Publishing Elizabeth Howard, with input from CEO Michael Rogers and other execs, about the process of porting games to the Mac App Store, the company’s relationship with Apple and publishers, and the possibility of bringing iOS titles to OS X.
In case you’re unfamiliar, Aspyr is one of the biggest Mac game publishers bringing PC and console titles to OS X. It regularly leads many of the top paid and grossing charts on the Mac App Store thanks to high-profile releases such as Borderlands 2, RAGE, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and much more. Go below for the full interview and a chance to win Borderlands 2 for Mac. Read more
Apple recently updated iTunes and Apple TV content with holiday-themed sections, featuring “Holiday apps & games” and “Snow Sports” sections on the top of the App Store in iTunes and on iOS devices. Curiously, as spotted by Mac OS Ken, Apple is also displaying holiday-themed sections on Apple TV and advertising apps for not only snow sports but also “Apps for Shopping”, “Holiday Cooking Apps”, “Deep Games for Holiday Downtime”, and more.
Selecting the banners for most of these new sections leads to an empty page, without any apps listed (as pictured in the gallery below). Some, such as the Apps for Shopping section, doesn’t appear to be working at all. This is of course going to lead to speculation that Apple has plans to bring iOS apps to Apple TV in the near future, but it’s more likely Apple is mistakenly displaying iTunes/iPhone content on Apple TV (the iTunes store already displays some of the same holiday-themed sections).
It wouldn’t be the first time content mistakenly made its way to an Apple device. Earlier this month, Apple’s launch of iTunes in Russia was met with a bit of controversy when the iTunes app displayed advertisements for escort services and .xxx domains. Apple quickly addressed the Russian iTunes bug, but you can currently still find the holiday app sections on Apple TV by navigating to “Movies> Genres> Classics> Holiday Music, Movies, and More.”
Last week, we told you that Apple’s latest Apple TV beta included a new Bluetooth pairing menu. The feature currently allows for connecting wireless keyboards to second- and third-gen Apple TVs, indicating Apple has plans to introduce the feature in an upcoming update. A full gallery of the Apple TV holiday app sections below:
In recent months, several reports from Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and most recently Jefferies seem to indicate Apple is in talks with cable companies for a new Apple TV-related service. It depends on whom you ask as to whether that service would center on a next-generation Apple TV set-top box or mark Apple’s introduction of the much-rumored Apple HDTV. There are still a couple analysts betting on an Apple TV set in the near future. Peter Misek of Jefferies is one. Misek estimated sales of 4.9 million units in CY13, and Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster is once again adding to the rumors today…
Munster, who has many times in the past predicted a full-fledged Apple HDTV, reported in a note to clients today that Apple will launch a TV set in time for the 2013 holiday season (via Business Insider). Not to be confused with a possible refreshed TV set-top box, Munster believes Apple will release an HDTV somewhere between 42-inches and 55-inches and priced between $1,500 and $2,000.
Perhaps more interesting than the Apple TV rumor is Munster’s claims that Apple is set to launch a new radio service in March of 2013—possibly alongside a Retina iPad mini. As for the rest of Munster’s 2013 roadmap for Apple: in June 2013, he is predicting previews of iOS 7, OS X, and new Retina MacBook Airs.
Munster’s other not-so surprising predictions from the note:
I can confirm that Airplay only works for audio in streaming video so you can’t stream to an AppleTV, yet. Also, I am able to stream my purchased movies but offline downloading doesn’t appear to be working at the moment (update: 8 hours later, 1 movie has finished downloading).
Amazon’s Cloud Drive got updated just yesterday as well, but with the proximity to the Hulu announcement, we’re thinking this might be Apple’s move more than Amazon finally building the app. On the other hand, perhaps the $199 Google Nexus 7 is signaling a big shift – that Amazon doesn’t need to build its own hardware and it can just produce software for the variety of tablets out there.
We’ve gotten word that inside Apple there are Apple TVs running the Hulu Plus app natively. The app is feature complete and ready to roll out to Apple TV users on current builds. In fact, it has been ready for at least a month and development is now on hold.
While there are no technical issues standing in the way of the Hulu Plus release on Apple TV, there appear to be some political ones. At some level at Apple, there appears to be some consideration that the Hulu Plus app could eat into iTunes TV sales on the Apple TV. Where Netflix tends to run older programming, iTunes is the Apple TV’s only outlet for current TV programming….
Today, our Apple TVs are lighting up with some Hulu Plus goodness. If you do not see it, a quick reboot will bring it up. Hulu offers a free one-week trial here. Pictures directly from the screen are below.
Update: Hulu has updated its blog with the news and provided an unnecessary instructional video (Above).