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Archive of Apple TV Rumors

Alongside the new NFL Now channel on the Apple TV debuting today, ESPN has also expanded its WatchESPN channel to include support for college sports with the SEC Network and Longhorn Network.

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The SEC Network is a brand-new television network created through a partnership between the Southeastern Conference and ESPN. The network launched last week ahead of the 2014 college football season with plans to cover at least 1000 live events per year from the conference's 21 sports. The network consists of a standard SEC Network channel, which mirrors featured content from the SEC Network television channel, as well as an SEC Network + channel with additional coverage.

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The Longhorn Network is focused solely on the University of Texas at Austin athletic program and is also produced in partnership with ESPN. The network is entering its fourth year of availability, but has just been added to the WatchESPN online service this season.

Both networks were added to the WatchESPN iOS app last week, but it has taken a few extra days to make their way to the Apple TV channel. Access to the content is limited to those who have television subscription packages that include the corresponding channels.
The National Football League earlier this month officially launched its NFL Now service, its next-generation video streaming service that provides access to the largest digital library of NFL videos available online. The video content can be viewed on the iPhone, iPad, Mac (via a web browser) and other connected devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and as of today, the Apple TV channel that was leaked earlier in the month.

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The NFL Now service delivers historic videos, breaking news, game highlights and original programming from the NFL Now studios. Personalization is a key feature -- allowing users to follow their favorite players and teams, with up to 4,800 minutes of team coverage being pushed across their screens each week. The service also will provide live video coverage of important press events and other important moments from the NFL. It will not live stream NFL games that are in progress. Customers who want to watch games as they are happening must download the NFL Mobile app [Direct Link].

NFL Now is available in two tiers, with the free NFL Now service providing access to the core news and video content. Football fans who want even more content and personalization can subscribe to the $1.99 monthly NFL Now Plus service, which offers instant in-game highlights, access to NFL Films videos and the ability to create custom video streams featuring their favorite teams or players.

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can download the NFL Now app [Direct Link] from the iOS App Store for free. Mac users can get their fill of NFL coverage via the NFL Now website, while Apple TV channels can access the new channel directly from the main screen on their set-top boxes.
Ahead of its London iTunes Festival in September, Apple is promoting its Apple TV with a bundle deal offering a $25 iTunes gift card with each Apple TV purchase (via 9to5Mac). The gift card can be used to purchase apps, music, and movies available in the iTunes Store, and the promotion is valid through September 30.

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Earlier this year, Apple offered a similar $25 gift card promotion that sparked speculation about a possible imminent launch of an updated Apple TV. These rumors turned out to be false, and Apple is still selling the same third-generation model that saw its last substantial update in early 2012. Though this latest promotion offers a $25 gift card, the Apple TV still retails for its original $99 price tag.

The current crop of rumors suggests a 2015 update for Apple's television-related hardware, with delays to a rumored set-top box interfacing with live and on-demand content reportedly due to ongoing negotiations with cable companies. Rumors have indicated the next-generation Apple TV may include an App Store, support for wireless game controllers, Siri integration and more, although it is unclear whether Apple plans to split the television lineup between the full-featured set-top box and an improved Apple TV or if everything will be bundled into a single Apple TV product.
Roughly six weeks ago, ABC News launched a new Apple TV channel offering a wide range of live and on-demand content from both national and select local feeds. Based on the first 30 days of availability, ABC News has now put together an infographic that offers a look at how the channel is being used. Among the interesting observations:

- Live video usage on Apple TV, which accounts for 20 percent of channel views, is 50 percent higher than on mobile and desktop combined.

- Apple TV viewers spend 65 percent more time per visit than desktop users.

- Peak usage for the ABC News Apple TV channel falls at 9 PM Eastern Time, likely due to that time period encompassing evening viewing hours for most of the United States.

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Click for full infographic

Alongside today's usage data release, ABC News is also announcing the addition of three new local stations to the channel: Albuquerque (KOAT), Boston (WCVB), and Honolulu (KITV). The new additions join the original nine local stations made available on the channel at launch.

Apple has been adding new channels to the Apple TV at a fairly rapid pace, at least in the United States, although many of them require authentication through an existing cable service provider. The company has long been rumored to be working on a more powerful set-top box, but the latest rumors have suggested the device is unlikely to arrive until 2015.
For several months now, rumors have continually suggested Apple is working on a new television product, which may be an updated set top box with capabilities like support for games and apps and expanded access to television content.

Every rumored release date has come and gone thus far, and according to a new report from The Information, a new television-related product is not likely to appear until 2015.

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A source that spoke to The Information has suggested that Apple engineers who are working on the new television product have been informed that the device will not launch in 2014, largely due to ongoing contractual issues with cable companies and Comcast's pending purchase of Time Warner Cable.
Apple engineers who are working on aspects of the device have been told by their bosses not to expect a launch this year and are working off timelines that assume a launch next year, according to a person familiar with the plans. Apple employees have cited cable companies "dragging their heels" and the pending Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger as reasons the device and accompanying TV service haven't launched.
Conversely, sources in the television industry have denied that cable companies are behind the delay, suggesting Apple has "bit off more than it can chew," and needs permission from many different rights holders to "create the service it wants to offer."

Over the years, various rumors have pointed towards very ambitious plans for an expansion of the Apple TV, suggesting Apple once aimed to create a subscription television service that would potentially replace cable packages. Due to a continual inability to negotiate a deal with cable companies, Apple is said to have scaled back on its television ambitions, aiming to work with cable companies rather than against them.

The most recent content rumors from February of 2014 have suggested Apple is working to wedge itself between cable companies and consumers, potentially providing content from cable companies through its set-top box, overlaid with an Apple TV-style interface. Apple is also seeking to add DVR capabilities to the service.

In 2013, Apple was said to be close to completing a deal with Time Warner Cable over a possible TWC Apple TV app, allowing Time Warner subscribers to watch live television through the Apple TV, but the negotiations may have stalled due to the pending Time Warner-Comcast merger.

Earlier this year, a product roadmap from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo pointed towards a Q3 2014 launch date for the redesigned Apple TV, but based on The Information's new data, it seems any potential launch plans have now been pushed back.
Apple today added two more channels to the Apple TV, delivering financial news channel CNBC and network FOX NOW to the platform.

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CNBC offers access to a live stream of the financial channel, as well as on-demand clips from news segments and full episodes of the channels "Prime" content original series. Viewing requires authentication with one of a number of cable and Internet providers. Notable cable companies not available for authentication include Time Warner and Charter.

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FOX NOW includes on-demand access to a number of shows from the network, including 24: Live Another Day, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Glee, and more. Authentication through a cable provider is required for full access to content.

Update 7:40 AM: Apple has also added TV2 Sumo [Google Translate], the online version of popular channel TV2, in Norway.

Update 8:48 AM: As noted by The Loop, Brazilian sports subscription channel Esporte Interativo has also been added in that country.
Google's Chromecast and the Roku were the two highest-selling streaming media devices in the U.S. last year as the Apple TV fell to third place, according to new data from Parks Associates (via GigaOM).

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Both Google and Roku sold an estimated 3.8 million streaming media devices last year, with Apple selling just over 2 million Apple TVs. To date, Apple has sold over 20 million Apple TVs worldwide since launching the streaming device in 2007, while Roku has sold 8 million devices since its first media box in 2008.

A Parks Associates report last year noted that 14% of U.S. broadband households were using streaming media devices. The study also stated that 37% of those surveyed households used a Roku device while 24% used an Apple TV, making the Roku the most used set-top box in the U.S.

Recent rumors have suggested that Apple is working on a next-generation Apple TV, which may feature a streaming TV service through a partnership with Comcast and other cable-box like capabilities. Some reports have also speculated that a new Apple TV may include enhanced gaming capabilities, utilizing iOS gaming controllers and an App Store ecosystem to provide a console-like experience.
Video site Vimeo today announced a revamp of its Apple TV channel, simplifying the interface, launching a new "Staff Favorites" monthly feature, and making several other enhancements. The updates focus on improving video discovery and reducing the number of clicks it takes to access videos.

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Simplified navigation

We took our old menu, cut it down to the essentials, and put it at the top of the screen for easy access. Discover awesome videos, keep up with your feed, tackle your Watch Later queue, and quickly get to your own videos, likes, and collections.

Watch our favorites

Don’t have time to watch every single Staff Pick? Our monthly Staff Favorites Albums highlight the best of the best. We’ve also added the winners of our Vimeo Weekend Challenges and a bunch of curated Channels so you can watch tons of amazing videos right away.
Vimeo is also featuring its growing On Demand trailer library, which integrates with the service's Watch Later queue to make it easy to access content across devices. Enhanced Video Detail pages also include background images and additional metadata such as audience ratings and reviews.

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Content providers are increasingly embracing Apple TV as a platform for distributing their content, with roughly 40 channels now available, although many of the services are currently limited to the United States or just a handful of other countries. Vimeo, however, is available worldwide for Apple TV users.
ABC News is launching a new Apple TV channel today, bringing access to live and on-demand content to Apple's set-top box. The channel offers a variety of news and entertainment offerings, including local news in select markets and access to five decades of historical footage from ABC's archives. As with many of the recent channel additions to the Apple TV, ABC News is only available to users in the United States for the time being, although ABC says availability will expand worldwide "in the coming weeks".

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ABC News on Apple TV offers more choices for how, when and where to get the video content you want. Unlike other news offerings, ABC News provides a robust line-up of original and on-demand content and up to four live streaming events at once, allowing viewers to select and view the live news they care about most. From court trials and breaking news to the daily White House press briefing, live continuous coverage of the day’s top stories, videos and more are instantly accessible with ABC News on Apple TV.
Among the features on the new ABC News channel:

- 24/7 access to live and on-demand video with four separate live video streams to choose from.

- Video news updates on the hour and four to five live reports per day to cover breaking news.

- Local content from nine television stations around the United States: WABC (New York), KABC (Los Angeles), WLS (Chicago), WPVI (Philadelphia), KGO (San Francisco), KTRK (Houston), WTVD (Raleigh), KFSN (Fresno), and WISN (Milwaukee).

- Curated stories and videos highlighting the top news stories of the moment, updated throughout the day.

- 50 years of historical footage from ABC News' archives, including "This Week in History" and "The Day in Pictures" features.


The Disney/ABC/ESPN media conglomerate has had a close relationship with Apple for a number of years, driven in large part by Disney's acquisition of Pixar, which was owned by Steve Jobs. As a result of the transaction, Jobs became Disney's largest individual shareholder and retained a seat on Disney's board of directors.

The fruits of that relationship can be seen on Apple TV, which offers an existing Watch ABC channel, a trio of Disney television channels, a Watch ESPN channel, and three channels (A&E, Lifetime, History) from Disney/ABC's joint venture with Hearst Corporation. Disney is also a part owner of the Hulu subscription service that is available on Apple TV.

Update 7:08 AM: In addition to ABC News, several other new channels have appeared on Apple TV today, including PBS Kids, AOL On, and Willow, a sports channel dedicated to international cricket. The Flickr channel has also been redesigned.
Developers who have installed the newest iOS 8 beta, the latest version of OS X Yosemite, and the current Apple TV beta, all released yesterday, have noticed a new pop up notification suggesting the Apple TV will gain some of the Continuity features Apple introduced during its Worldwide Developers Conference.

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As noted by 9to5Mac, the notifications are being received on Macs running on the same local WiFi network as Apple TVs that also have the newest software, suggesting at the least, that with Yosemite, Macs will be able to interact with the Apple TV in new ways.

It is unclear how Yosemite and the Apple TV might interact as any Continuity features between the two are not yet functional, but it is possible that a feature like Handoff could be used in conjunction with AirPlay, allowing a movie, TV show, or music to be seamlessly transferred from one device to another.

It's also possible the Apple TV could display notifications when a phone call is incoming to an iPhone, much like the Mac and the iPad are able to do. Call notifications and on-screen caller ID are not far-fetched, as some telecommunications providers that offer TV, Internet, and phone access are able to display caller information on screen.

Continuity features like Handoff appear to require Bluetooth 4.0, a feature that is only available in the third-generation Apple TV. Yesterday's update was only available for third-generation Apple TVs, providing more evidence that the device is likely to gain some Continuity features.

OS X Yosemite, the new Apple TV software, and iOS 8 are all expected to be released to the public in the fall after an extended beta testing period. Apple is also said to be working on an upgraded Apple TV set top box with new capabilities, which could also take advantage of Continuity features.
On the same day it launched a new entry-level iMac model, Apple also used the downtime to adjust the prices on other hardware in some European markets. The price cuts we've noticed affect European models of the Mac mini, the European Apple TV and iMac models in the UK.

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Pricing on the Mac mini dropped between €30 and €60, depending on the country and model. Most European stores are now offering the entry-level Mac Mini for €619 with the quad-core and OS X server models selling for €819 and €1019, respectively, although some euro countries such as Germany are showing slightly lower pricing of €599/€799/€999. In the UK, the entry-level Mac Mini remains the same at £499, with price drops between €30 and €50 being applied to the quad-core and server models.

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Apple also cut the prices on the Apple TV in Europe, reducing the cost by €10/£20. The once €109/£99 media streaming device is now available for €99/£79 throughout most of Apple's European stores. While Europe saw a reduction, the Apple TV price remains the same in the US at $99.

Along with the new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac, Apple UK also lowered the cost of existing iMac models. The existing 21.5-inch models were lowered by £100, while the 27-inch models saw similar reductions of £150. The reduction appears to limited only to the UK with most of Europe and the US still selling the iMac at its original pricing.
Alongside the second iOS 8 beta released earlier today, Apple also released a new version of the Apple TV software. The two updates appear to have laid the groundwork for Family Sharing, as there's a new section for "Family Purchases" in the iOS App Store's Purchased tab and a new iCloud Family setting for the Apple TV.

As noted by 9to5Mac, Family Sharing on the Apple TV (and on the App Store) is not yet functional, but as described by Apple during the Worldwide Developers Conference, it allows users to share purchased content across accounts.

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Image courtesy of 9to5Mac

Families of up to six people with iTunes accounts that use the same credit card can share content like apps, iBooks, music, movies, and more, across all of their devices using iCloud. Family Sharing also lets families share photos, videos, a calendar, reminders, and more, to keep everyone in the family connected.

On the Apple TV, it is likely Family Sharing will let users access TV shows, movies, and music that has been downloaded by family members.

Today's Apple TV software update was only available for the third-generation Apple TV (and Rev A), so it is unclear if features like Family Sharing will be limited to those devices, excluding second generation Apple TVs.

Though it is not yet available, Family Sharing will be implemented before OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 are released to the public this fall.
TouchArcade has posted a roundup featuring a look at the surprising number of the new iOS gaming controllers shown off at this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) event in Los Angeles, California.

New products from gaming companies such as Mad Catz, Razer, SteelSeries, Hori, Signal, Phonejoy, and BigBen Interactive were all shown off at the event, with each company pushing various hardware styles and features to better cater to iOS users.

Mad Catz's C.T.R.L.i controller was described as TouchArcade's favorite of the various controllers shown. It features a full-sized design with console-style controls including face buttons, analog sticks, shoulder bumpers and triggers.


The controller can connect to any iOS 7 device through Bluetooth functionality, and also includes an optional clip for attaching an iPhone. Other controllers like BigBen Interactive's GamePhone Controller Pro, Hori's MFi controller, Signal's RP-One, and Steelseries' Stratus XL also showed off similar full-sized designs.

Meanwhile, controllers like BigBen Interactive's GameGrip and PhoneJoy's MFi controller showed off a design that wraps around an iOS device similar to the MOGA Ace Power and the Logitech Powershell.


Phonejoy's controller in particular contains the ability to fully collapse while not in use, while BigBen's GameGrip can wrap around an iPad mini and even a full-sized iPad. Razer also demoed its Junglecat controller, which contains a sliding mechanism with face buttons and a directional pad.

The introduction of all these new iOS controllers comes as rumors surrounding the next-generation Apple TV have ramped up, with some of that speculation focusing on the device's gaming capabilities. To this point, some have speculated that Apple could utilize iOS gaming controllers, a set-top box, and an App Store ecosystem to become a major force in the console gaming industry. Original Xbox engineer Nat Brown and Steam founder Gabe Newell shared sentiments that Apple could take the lead in the games console market with such a system.

Iconfactory software engineer Sean Heber (via Daring Fireball) recently wrote a blog post on how Apple could use its new Metal and AirPlay peer-to-peer technologies introduced in iOS 8 to provide a new console gaming experience with the Apple TV and iOS gaming controllers. He explains that Apple could ultimately allow users to use their iOS devices as controllers with minimal input lag, as games would be playable on both the Apple TV and iOS devices:
The key difference is where the AirPlay extension app actually executes - the AirPlay extension app will be automatically uploaded to whatever AppleTV you are currently AirPlaying with and will run directly on the AppleTV natively instead. This means no video streaming lag and minimal controller lag. Your iPhone would then turn into a generic game controller with onscreen controls or, if you have a physical shell controller attached to your iPhone, it activates that instead.

...You can play without needing to purchase the game on that particular AppleTV, without needing to sign in with your iCloud account to access your purchases, without needing to get their wifi password, or indeed without there even needing to be a wifi network to join in the first place. All without any hassle. When you go home, you take the game and any earned progress along with you in your pocket.
In addition to gaming, Apple's next-generation Apple may also feature cable-box capabilities and perhaps a streaming TV service through a partnership with Comcast. However, Apple's iTunes Chief Eddy Cue said recently that Apple is continuing to work on a way to improve the television experience, but a fix is "complicated."
Eddy Cue, Apple's SVP of Internet Software and Services, and new Apple employee Jimmy Iovine sat down with Re/code's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher tonight at the inaugural Code Conference and were asked about the much-rumored Apple TV.

Echoing past Apple sentiments, Cue said today's TV experience "sucks" and has "a long way to go." He confirmed that Apple is continuing to work on a way to improve television, but a fix is "complicated."

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Image via Re/code
The problems aren't complicated. Solving them is complicated, because there are lots of parties involved.
According to Cue, many of the problems with TV are related to a lack of global standards and complicated rights issues with content; issues that are far easier to deal with in the music industry. Cue does confirm, however, that Apple is talking with various industry players to work on fixing TV.

Specifically, Cue noted that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts "is the best" and that Cue himself is a Comcast subscriber that is able to watch ESPN and HBO on his Apple TV, which he says Apple will keep evolving and improving. He noted that Apple is looking to add even more content. In March, it was reported that Apple was in talks with Comcast about a potential streaming TV service on a future Apple TV.

Despite Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson speculating that Iovine could be key in any potential TV deals, Iovine told Swisher and Mossberg that he was "not going anywhere near TV". He did, however, acknowledge the challenges of movie curation, pointing to difficulties in finding content to watch on the various video-on-demand platforms like iTunes and streaming services like Netflix.
Apple does not have plans to use the company's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference to debut new Apple TV hardware, its related software, or the iWatch, reports John Paczkowski of Re/code.

Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, Paczkowski confirms that Apple's big announcements will focus on OS X 10.10, iOS 8, and possibly Healthbook, an app Apple is said to be developing to aggregate fitness and health information.

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An Apple TV concept via Curved
Sources familiar with Apple's plans tell Code/red that Tim Cook will not use WWDC to unveil Apple's mythical wearable device. Nor will he use it to show off a new Apple TV, or even preview the new software the company is developing for it. Which makes perfect sense, really. There's little point in Apple unveiling a new OS in advance of a significant hardware update.
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, which starts on June 2, has historically been used as a platform for unveiling new operating system software. Apple has, however, occasionally debuted new hardware at the event, including new MacBook Airs in 2013 and the Retina Macbook Pro in 2012.

Though the company does not have plans to unveil an updated Apple TV set-top box at WWDC, the product is said to be in the works. The revamped box is rumored to include an App Store, gaming support, iOS 7 controller integration, and possibly new content deals.

Apple may have had plans to debut the box earlier in 2014, but according to a recent product roadmap from often reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, we may not see an updated Apple TV until the third quarter of 2014.

As for the iWatch, which also remains in development, a late 2014 release date is expected.
mavericks_round_iconAccording to 9to5Mac, Apple may use WWDC 2014 to focus on OS X 10.10, giving the desktop OS more attention than iOS 8 during the annual developer conference. Apple allegedly has been moving iOS user interface developers to the OS X teams in order to finish up the new design in time for early June conference.

As has been previously reported, Apple is not merging the two operating systems, opting to keep iOS and OS X as separate entities, but the next version of OS X may share similar design elements with iOS 7.
The new look will have similar toggle designs to iOS 7, sharper window corners, more defined icons across the system, and more white space than the current version. However, OS X characteristics like the Finder, multi-window multitasking, and Mission Control will not disappear in favor of a more iOS-like experience.
Apple is targeting the desktop OS for release in the fall along with new hardware that will ship with this latest OS X version. Though the internal development codename of OS X 10.10 is "Syrah," the shipping name is still unclear, with Apple apparently securing trademarks for popular California locations that would match the new theme started with "Mavericks."

On the iOS 8 side of development, Apple is allegedly pushing some features of iOS 8 off to version 8.1 as the company focuses intently on its next version of OS X. Though Apple may present most of the new features of iOS 8 at WWDC next month, some notable additions such as transit functionality in Maps may not be available until later versions of iOS 8.

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iCloud will reportedly see some significant changes in the coming year with improvements on the developer side that make it easier to implement support for the service. Siri may also see Shazam integration, allowing users to identify a song using the voice assistant. Lastly, iOS 8 is reportedly being optimized for Apple's upcoming A8 processor and the rumored larger display of the iPhone 6.
The new iPhone’s larger display, as well as a “high-priority” iOS device that is not an iPhone, also lends itself to another core iOS 8 addition. The feature, dubbed by Apple employees as “multi-resolution support,” is designed to improve the performance of both App Store applications and the general iOS operating system across multiple new iOS device resolutions.
Apple TV is also now a priority for Apple, with the company rumored to be bringing in hardware and software engineering resources from within the company to work on the next generation device. Apple may be concurrently developing new hardware as well as a revamped iOS-based software system to power the device. Apple had hoped to introduce the hardware in early 2014, but the product's debut has been pushed off. It is, however, unclear whether a new Apple TV will make its way into the WWDC keynote.
Amid persistant rumors that Apple is developing a revamped Apple TV set-top box, new code appearing in iOS 7.1 indicates that the company is indeed working on building in support for Siri voice input on the Apple TV, as highlighted by 9to5Mac. The references are included in both iOS 7.1 and iOS 7.1.1, but not in earlier releases such as iOS 7.0.6.

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The file is a supporting property-list resource for Assistant (Apple's internal name for Siri), containing information about the feature. The UIDeviceFamily array declares what platforms are compatible with the feature.

As shown by Apple’s documentation, '1' and '2' represent the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad families. The '3' represents the Apple TV family.
References to a new Apple TV model were previously found in iOS 7 builds, and today's information suggests that voice input and feedback are likely to be included on the new device.

Apple's launch plans for a new Apple TV box remain unclear, with rumors of a late 2013 launch giving way to reports centering around an introduction in March or April of this year. Those rumors were then quashed by The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, leaving uncertainty about Apple's television plans. A recent product roadmap prediction from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that the new Apple TV could arrive around September or October of this year.
appletv-326x-tjlOver the weekend, Apple's first-generation Apple TVs were unable to access iTunes, an issue that affected Apple TV owners worldwide.

It appears that Apple has resolved the problem as of Tuesday, with many first-generation Apple TV owners reporting on Apple's Support Communities that their Apple TVs are once again able to access iTunes.

Some iOS users have speculated that the Apple TV downtime, along with the downtime for FaceTime on iOS 6, could be caused by internal communication upgrades related to the Heartbleed security issue, but Apple denied that any of its “key services” were affected by Heartbleed.

Though the first-generation Apple TV appears to be functioning once again, many iOS 6 users are continue to be unable to access FaceTime.
Apple today has added new channels from A&E Networks to its Apple TV, including A&E, The History Channel and Lifetime. Select Apple TV owners will be able to watch episodes from popular TV shows such as Duck Dynasty, Storage Wars, and Project Runway.

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These new channels on the Apple TV offer a preview to all users, but full content is only available to cable television subscribers. Currently, the service is available to customers who subscribe to DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, and Cablevision Optimum, with support for additional providers coming in the near future.

The addition of these channels is part of a larger push by A&E Networks to expand their content beyond broadcast TV. Earlier this month, the network updated both its A&E [iTunes Link] and History Channel apps [iTunes Link], letting iOS owners stream live episodes of popular shows to their iPhone or iPad. Similar to the Apple TV, this iOS-based live streaming requires a valid cable subscription.
appletv-326x-tjlApple's first generation Apple TVs have lost their ability to connect to iTunes and appears to be affecting users worldwide.

A lengthy Apple Discussions page shows that the problem started on the 17th of April and has persisted for 1st generation Apple TV users. Forum poster georgevargas describes the issue:
As of last night I had full access to the iTunes Store. Since this morning I was getting an Itunes Store Not Available message, and after unplugging the AppleTv the iTunes Store access completly disappeared except for movie trailers.
Users have gone through the usual diagnostics, including rebooting and restoring, but have found that nothing has restored connectivity. MacRumors has confirmed the issue on our own 1st generation Apple TV.

The initial timing of the outage corresponds to the FaceTime not working for iOS 6 users, suggesting some internal changes by Apple has affected both services. Some users are speculating that internal communication upgrades related to the Heartbleed security issue could be related. Apple denied that Heartbleed affected any of its "key services" but did not elaborate on what those might be.

Apple has not provided any statement on if and when 1st generation Apple TV functionality will be restored or not. The first generation Apple TV was released in January, 2007 and was sold until September, 2010.

Update 4/22 12:00 PM PT: Apple appears to have resolved the issue preventing first-generation Apple TVs from connecting to iTunes. Many users are reporting that their Apple TVs are once again functional.