First shown in late 2006 and released in early 2007, the Apple TV device has gone through a more substantial transformation than any other Apple product in the past decade. The original model was a stripped-down Macintosh computer with a 40 GB hard drive for playing videos, music, and photos on an HDTV. Apple unveiled a completely redesigned plastic model in 2010, dropping the hard drive in favor of 8 GB flash storage, and in late 2015 the device was updated again with its own tvOS operating system, a slightly thicker design, and an all-new Siri Remote.
The streaming box serves a variety of purposes now, thanks to its tvOS operating system, which has its own App Store. The 4K model and 4th-gen device come with the Siri Remote. Included is a dedicated Siri button that, when paired with universal search on the devices, allows users to easily look up content from a variety of sources with a single search.
Using AirPlay with your iOS device or Mac, you can stream videos, photos, and music directly from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac to your HDTV, as well as mirroring their screens. Under some circumstances, Macs can use a TV equipped with the box as a second display.
With the release of the 4K model priced at $179 and $199 for 32 GB and 64 GB, respectively, Apple has dropped the 64 GB version of the 4th-gen model as it continues to offer the 32 GB model for $149.
New Apple services for TV
At its March 2019 services event, Apple announced multiple things that will appeal to owners of the streaming box. The first is Apple Arcade. The service will allow iOS, Mac, and tvOS users to pay a flat monthly fee and access a bundle of otherwise paid apps through the App Store.
Apple is said to be working with a handful of publishers and developers for the service. With a single subscription, Apple Arcade will give you access to over 100 new and exclusive games. Arcade will be a new area on the App Store, with a new tab along the bottom. The service syncs between all of your devices, and offline playing. There are no ads or in-app purchases with the service. The service will allow access to all members in a Family Sharing account.
The second announcement was Apple TV+. Apple has finally lifted the curtain on its original content television show plans and showed the first snippets today of its own-produced TV shows. The company previewed what it has in a store in a fast-cut montage trailer.
Apple TV+ release date
At its fall event, Apple announced that the service will be released on November 1. New shows will be added monthly.
Apple TV + pricing
At its September iPhone event today, Apple officially announced launch details for its premium TV service. It will launch at just $4.99 per month for a family subscription. Starting on September 10, 2019, customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, or Mac can enjoy one year of the service for free.
The original shows will be available in the revamped TV app on iPhone, iPad, and its TV set-top box. Apple launched a TV app on the Mac with macOS Catalina. The new TV app/service will also be available for Roku, Fire TV, and various smart TVs as well.
Check out our top stories:
- Apple TV+ Launch Details
- Apple shows off first snippets from its TV+ original content TV shows
- Apple TV app coming to Mac, Fire TV and Roku, smart TVs this year
- 4K reviews: The best streaming TV box available, but not for everyone
- The best made-for-iPhone, iPad, & tvOS game controllers
- Latest Apple TV deals at 9to5Toys