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Apple TV 6.0 released with iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud, iTunes Music Store, more


Everyone’s favorite hockey puck “hobby” has received a huge software update today. Apple TV 6.0, which has been in beta testing since June, brings with it iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud, iCloud Photos and Videos (replacing Photo Stream), iTunes Music Store, and conference room mode.

AirPlay from iCloud, which mirrors Google’s Chromecast, is a feature that must be turned on from the Settings. Once enabled, it allows you to “use your iOS device to play videos from iTunes in the Cloud”, which means the content is streamed directly to Apple TV rather than your iOS device. This reduces local bandwidth in half, however, some users may not want the feature since Apple TV handles iCloud video streaming differently than iOS devices. On iOS, your video will start streaming immediately, but the Apple TV takes in a huge buffer which can result in a long wait before the video can start. Also of note, AirPlay from iCloud is only compatible with iOS 7 devices.

The software was called “Apple TV 5.4” while in beta, but it appears Apple has changed the name to Apple TV 6.0 in the public release (as seen in this iTunes Radio KB document).

The update comes just two days after the public release of iOS 7, which brings a refreshed design and several notable features like Control Center. The 1080p set top box is rumored to be undergoing a hardware refresh as soon as next month when the new iPads and MacBooks are set to be updated as well.

In addition, the Apple TV can now install software updates automatically.

(Thanks, Benjamin!)

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  1. You can also set it to AutoUpdate the apple tv software.

  2. PMZanetti - 10 years ago

    Let’s hope a Remote App update for iOS 7 is inbound

  3. rahhbriley - 10 years ago

    I’m excited, but is this really anything other than adding iTunes Radio and a few tweaks? Podcast should have synced long ago, the photos update is really just a shift, and I’ll have to checkout the new AirPlay from iCloud feature. Not sure exactly what it is all about, but I’m guessing this will allow other iCloud accounts to play their iCloud content on my aTV, without having to have it downloaded to their device? Cool, but….not that significant is it?

    • rahhbriley - 10 years ago

      And I guess the ability to search and purchase music is cool, but wasn’t this available in the past? Maybe on 1st gen. aTV? Great addition, but should have been there along, assuming it was just contract particulars they had to work out? Man its not easy to please me is it? Guess my expectations are just out of line, and I try to give Apple the benefit of the doubt, I just can’t help but feel that a few of these features should have been here for quite awhile. I feel more like, “Finally!” not “Wow, nice addition.”

      • rahhbriley - 10 years ago

        One more add on: I wasn’t expecting anything too significant with this update, so really I’m not disappointed. However, next month at the iPad event, I am starting to expect an Appstore, or something more significant. Am I crazy, or is it still not time for an Appstore for aTV?

      • Nik (@InsaneNinja) - 10 years ago

        “Should have been there all along” is also called hindsight. They trimmed off a half dozen of the more annoying issues, while still adding new features. I call this a win.

  4. Thomas White - 10 years ago

    Any word on PLEX connect working with this?

  5. Chad Bienvenu - 10 years ago

    I’m hoping that not too far into the future we will see cable operators sign on with Apple (and other providers) to stream TV broadcasting to the Apple TV. Imagine the competition and innovation that would ensue if cable operators had to compete with everyone instead of just satellite operators. Country-wide competition would bring cable package prices down as well as spur on the much needed updating of the communications networks in the US.

  6. Felonius NoSpamius - 10 years ago

    This made me happier than iOS7 Clown edition did.

  7. João Ricardo Machado - 10 years ago

    I tried to updated it and now my apple tv only shows me a screen asking to connect it to iTunes: :( Now I’m gonna have to buy a cable just for that, can’t believe it.

    • Gee Are Pabst - 10 years ago

      You don’t need it! Unplug it and retry update. I needed two times until it updated correctly!

    • Matt Gregor - 10 years ago

      I decided to hit update on two of mine at the same time. I got the same results as you did. I followed the directions on one of them, plugged it into iTunes, it gave me one option: Restore Apple TV. I did that and it said it would install the latest version of ATV software. I just connected it back to the tv and it is actually running 5.3 (which I think was the version that came with the ATV3? Anyway, I started a second attempt to update it OTA and time will tell if it bricks it again.

      Anyone know of a way to just download the necessary update file and force iTunes to install it to an ATV?

      • Nik (@InsaneNinja) - 10 years ago

        You can load an update to an apple tv from itunes via micro-usb cable. Or just do it tomorrow when the demand isnt so high.

    • Steve Lawrence - 10 years ago

      The cable you need is just a regular micro USB cable – you sure you don’t have one already?

    • Matt Gregor - 10 years ago

      After connecting it to iTunes, restoring it to factory defaults, it had 5.3 software (so it didn’t download the latest like makes you think it’s going to do). Anyway, plugged it back into the TV, turned on, attempted the OTA upgrade a second time and this time it worked. So for anyone who bricked theirs on the first attempt, try those steps. Good luck!!

  8. PMZanetti - 10 years ago

    Ok now I understand AirPlay from iCloud. Say you’re watching a movie on your iPad, and you shift into the living room and hit the airplay button to send it to your Apple TV. If The movie you’re watching is an iTunes purchase, it can optionally continue the movie by streaming from iTunes instead of streaming from your iPad.

    • What I don’t get is how to ensure it comes from the cloud. This is supposed to be something that is enabled from Settings, but I don’t see the option. Does anyone else?

      • Jordan Kahn - 10 years ago

        There is a new option in Settings under Airplay. It set by default to “auto” for streaming from iCloud “when possible”. Turning it off will always stream from your iOS device like it did before.

    • rahhbriley - 10 years ago

      Thank you.

  9. Robert Schaffrath - 10 years ago

    I wish it included the ability to purchase apps. I would not mind have SlingPlayer on my Apple TV. My device was a gift and the only things I use it for are YouTube and device mirroring. Have contemplated a Netflix subscription but I am not really in to movies and various TV shows I have looked for they do not have.

  10. John Henry - 10 years ago

    well if you were some of the unlucky few (like me) then the new update bricked the apple tv..and tech supports answer..take it to an apple store…

  11. Gee Are Pabst - 10 years ago

    One small correction: The latest beta was already named Apple TV 6.0 in the about section of the Apple TV: ;-)

  12. Jesse - 10 years ago

    Reblogged this on social(dot)tech blog.

  13. Michael Crandell - 10 years ago

    Thanks so much update for bricking my AppleTV. I don’t have the spare time to run around and take it to the Apple Store! These things are supposed to make life easier, not more difficult! Find it hard to believe that they released this and let this happen. Beyond infuriated right now!

  14. Chris (@socal_scot) - 10 years ago

    This is in no way a HUGE update. It’s at best an increment update. It’s all under the hood tinkering and some planned introductions including iRadio (an ironic whoohoo)…

    I was hoping for a good refresh of the interface for a start… but hey we can just hang out again for another year while Roxio gets better and better at eating the apple pie..

  15. Yoshi (@vinebeat) - 10 years ago

    Succeeded to update after the trouble of asking to connect iTunes.
    But I can’t log in iCloud after I selected “agree”, although I can log in iTunes Store… Is this caused by just a server traffic or by a problem to update by”asking to connect iTunes”?

  16. Leon Kernan - 10 years ago

    I think Apple TV would really benefit from having Siri and a UI overhaul.
    At the moment it’s just a reminder of Apple design from the iMac G5 frontrow era.

  17. Jonny Mack - 10 years ago

    Dear Apple. Thank you for sending the lovely update of Apple TV that downloaded and wiped out my Apple TV. I could care less about iTunes Radio. I just like to watch tv. And now I can’t. PS. If you have the bandwidth to draw a picture of a USB port and an arrow pointing at the iTunes logo, you have the ability to simply write wtf I’m supposed to do. I personally haven’t a clue, unless you mean you want me to drag my Mac Pro Tower into the living room from the den and somehow plug it into the Apple TV and… do what? Again, thanks. Jonny

    • standardpull - 10 years ago

      Greyshawn, I totally hear you. The Mac Pro is a beast, and the Apple TV is smaller. Why not reboot? Because it is plastic!

  18. Jonny Mack - 10 years ago

    Oh yes, and thanks too for adding this HUGE FUCKING annoyance to a day when you engineered the worst undersupply of an iPhone in your history. Surprised at the gold phone’s demand? How could you after you advertised only the gold phone and even TURN YOUR SITE GOLD when the 5s screen comes up. But that phone you only have a few of? WTF? And now you kill my tv too? REALLY? I miss Steve. I really do.

  19. Dean Owen - 10 years ago

    GAME OVER Apple! You can’t even get a simple ATV upgrade done right. This is the beginning of your downfall. What a shame…

  20. Nik (@InsaneNinja) - 10 years ago

    “Settings” button is now moveable
    Parental Restrictions dropped “Parental”
    iCloud and iTunes Store now have separate logins.
    “Tap ios 7 device to setup” is probably now included. I do not feel like testing it.
    “Activity” (latest updates feed) is now a Photostream option to view, Even as a screensaver.
    Is “Limit Ad Tracking” new? I allowed ad tracking, to get better movie recommendations.

    I havent yet tested if videos come up in photostream screensavers.

    • Nik (@InsaneNinja) - 10 years ago

      Oh, and you can set it to hide your personal photostream, while still displaying shared photostreams. Meaning your image download habits are not left open to your family.

  21. Ben Wintle - 10 years ago

    You can also now AirPlay YouTube videos to your Apple TV and then go about doing something else on your iphone without it cutting out.

  22. Kevin Sitek (@KevinSitek) - 10 years ago

    Great article and comments. So I am having the same issue after updating my Apple TV. My Apple TV is asking me to connect it to iTunes. So I connected it to my MacBook Pro to iTunes via the micro usb cable but iTunes doesn’t recognize my Apple TV. AKA – my Apple TV doesn’t show up anywhere in my iTunes and the light on the front of the Apple TV keeps blinking very quickly. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  23. Joseph Vaccariello - 10 years ago

    Bricked another one…. Apple = FAIL! At least I have a Roku too. Fricking Apple… I like your interface but you bricked my ATV3. And when you say go connect to iTunes…Hello?!?!?!? Would be nice if you gave us a micro-usb cable with the ATV3…versus having to buy our way out of your failures… I only have a 4s and hence no micro-usb. You really screwed the pooch. If I wanted to listened to iTunes Radio on my ATV3 I would have going out and maybe considered buying another hockey puck called Apple Radio. It’s TV you twits! We wanted to watch something not listen…. you know what the line at the store is going to be like? You’ll either be out of this precious micro-usb… or who fricking knows…

  24. Jules (@julesbg) - 10 years ago

    What?? No VPN support yet?? how am Isupposed to watch Hulu if I live outside the U.S…. other options are kind difficult…… VPN support please!!!!

  25. Wipe and restored from ethernet a 3rd gen just fine. My 2nd gen, even after a wipe and restore did not see the update. I plugged it into itunes and it it wiped and restored to the newest version. A hardwired (USB) restore via iTunes will almost always remedy any issue in my opinion.