Archive of Apple TV Rumors

After announcing the discontinuation of the Disney Infinity franchise in May, Avalanche Studios and Disney Interactive Studios -- the game's developer and publisher, respectively -- remained relatively quiet on the specific timeline of the game's imminent demise. After the announcement, Disney still launched three new characters from Alice: Through the Looking Glass, and introduced its first play set with non-bipedal characters, based on Finding Dory.

Today, in an email sent out to fans subscribed to Disney Infinity-related news, the game's team specifically laid out the upcoming timeline of when and what features will be turned off in the coming weeks and months. A few in-game purchase options for Disney Infinity 2.0 have been turned off beginning today, in both the iOS and Apple TV versions of the game, but most of the bigger changes hit on September 30.

Disney infinity cancelled
From that date onwards, users will no longer be able to log into their accounts and play the iOS, Google Android, Amazon Android, and PC editions of any entry in the series, as they "will no longer be available on the respective app stores." This means the game will only be available to play on consoles and Steam, but even there "all online services and community features" will be down.

The end of the timeline shared by Disney Infinity comes next year, on March 3, 2017, where Apple TV and Windows 8/10 versions of both Disney Infinity 2.0 and 3.0 "will no longer be available, supported or playable." That's the termination point for any straggling servers of the game still online as well, since Avalanche Studios will also pull the plug on "all Disney Infinity online services and community features for all versions."
Since announcing that we will discontinue the production of Disney Infinity, we've been exploring timelines for the closure of the game's online versions and community features. Our goal has been to offer extended access to these services, while also providing clear communication about what you can expect.
Although Disney Infinity 3.0 launched on the fourth-generation Apple TV last fall, offering a comparable gaming experience to the console versions, Disney eventually abandoned updating the game on Apple's new set-top box, making fans wired into that version of Disney Infinity 3.0 miss important new features.

Due to the termination of development on tvOS, fans lost the chance to play with new figures that released for the toys-to-life game and weren't included as disc-locked content at launch (the basis of Infinity's gameplay loop), including Baloo from The Jungle Book and a few new Marvel superheroes. Although the Apple TV has received a handful of other, notable gaming apps, Disney and Avalanche's move made it hard to view the fourth-generation device as a true gaming platform, despite Apple's attempts to promote it as such with heavy, App Store-focused messaging.

Disney encourages fans to keep checking the game's official website for updated information on the closures of Infinity's various servers and features as the timeline progresses. There's also a Closing FAQ page on the company's website for any users who don't see answers to their questions regarding the game's discontinuation.

The Disney Infinity team also made two important notes in today's update: firstly, the console version of the game will "continue to operate as usual," even beyond March 2017, with players able to gain full access to the figures and play sets they've amassed over the past three years. Only the social and community aspects of the game will be expectedly absent. Secondly, until September 30, 2016, the game's Community Content will remain available, so players will be able to upload and download Toy Box levels until then.
Apple's "assertive" negotiation tactics have made it difficult for the company to establish deals with cable providers and networks, reports The Wall Street Journal, stymieing its efforts to build a more robust television platform.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple started talking with the Walt Disney Company in early 2015 about getting Disney-owned content onto its then-planned streaming television service, but Apple executives, iTunes chief Eddy Cue in particular, made demands networks were not prepared to meet.

appletvappstore
In particular, Apple wanted to freeze for several years the monthly rate per viewer it would pay to license Disney channels. TV channels usually get annual rate increases and rely on them to fuel profit growth.

Disney balked. Similar talks with media giants that included 21st Century Fox Inc. and CBS Corp. also stalled.
Apple sees TV as a way to push further product growth, but persuasion tactics that have worked in the mobile phone and music industries aren't working in the television industry. Content providers are reluctant to agree to Apple's terms because it would compromise traditional revenue streams. As The Wall Street Journal points out, inking a "sweetheart" deal with Apple could lead to traditional cable distributors demanding similar deals.

Over the last several years, Apple has made several attempts to enter the television market, seeking deals with Time Warner, Comcast, and other providers, but nothing has panned out. In one instance, Apple wanted full on-demand seasons of hit shows and a recording feature that would include ad-skipping in newly aired shows, something cable executives were surprised by.
Apple sought payments of $10 a month per subscriber from the cable providers and refused to rule out seeking an even higher share of each monthly subscription in the future, according to people involved in the talks. It also wanted users to sign in with Apple IDs, even though Comcast and Time Warner Cable would handle billing and customer service.
Up until last year, Apple was still in talks for a streaming television service that would bundle several popular live channels and on-demand television at a price point of approximately $30 per month, but Apple reportedly put the project on hold after being unable to establish the necessary deals because content providers were reluctant to unbundle their channels. Cue, who leads most of the deals, is known for his "hard-nosed" negotiating style and refuses to settle for less than what Apple wants.

Instead, Apple has shifted towards positioning its Apple TV set top box and the tvOS App Store as a platform to allow networks to share their own original content. Apple is also following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon Video with original programming aimed at promoting services like Apple Music and the App Store.

Three shows are in the works: a dark semi-autobiographical drama starring Dr. Dre called "Vital Signs," a reality series that follows App Store developers called "Planet of the Apps," and a music-based reality show that's a spinoff of "Carpool Karaoke."
Apple has purchased an unscripted television series based on the highly popular "Carpool Karaoke" segment from "The Late Late Show With James Corden," reports Variety. The upcoming television show will be distributed via Apple Music and is said to be seen as a way to "drive online activity" for the streaming music service.

It is not clear how closely the "Carpool Karaoke" show Apple has purchased will mirror the segment popularized by Corden. On The Late Late Show, Corden drives around and sings hit songs with celebrities and public figures that have included Michelle Obama, Selena Gomez, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Demi Lovato, Gwen Stefani, and more.


Apple has licensed 16 episodes of the show from CBS TV Studios, which will be executive produced by Corden and Ben Winston.

According to Variety, the Carpool Karaoke show sparked a bidding war between multiple cable and subscription video outlets due to its success on The Late Late Show. Apple's Eddy Cue called the upcoming show the "perfect fit" for the Apple Music service.
"We love music, and 'Carpool Karaoke' celebrates it in a fun and unique way that is a hit with audiences of all ages," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services. "It's a perfect fit for Apple Music -- bringing subscribers exclusive access to their favorite artists and celebrities who come along for the ride."
Apple has been making its first steps into original television programming as a way to promote its growing services segment. In addition to Carpool Karaoke, Apple is also working on "Vital Signs," a dark semi-autobiographical drama starring Dr. Dre, which will also be used to promote Apple Music. "Planet of the Apps," another TV show in the works, will serve to promote the App Store with stories about apps and the developers who make them.

In a recent interview, Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue said Apple is "not trying to create original TV shows" to become a Netflix or Amazon Video competitor, but will "help" producers on projects that are designed to promote its existing products.
apple_tv_squareApple today released a new update for tvOS, the operating system designed to run on the fourth-generation Apple TV. tvOS 9.2.2 comes two months after the release of tvOS 9.2.1, a small bug fix update, and almost four months after the launch of tvOS 9.2, a significant update that introduced features like Bluetooth keyboard support and dictation.

The new tvOS 9.2.1 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System --> Software Update. Those who have automatic software updates turned on will be upgraded to the new 9.2.2 operating system automatically.

As another minor 9.x.x update, tvOS 9.2.2 focuses on performance improvements and bug fixes to address issues discovered since the release of tvOS 9.2.1. No major outward-facing changes or obvious bug fixes were discovered during the beta testing process.

Apple is already working on the next-generation update to tvOS, tvOS 10. tvOS 10 brings features like improved Siri capabilities, single sign-on cable authentication, games that can require a controller, and more.
Apple today provided developers with the third beta of tvOS 10, the next-generation operating system designed to run on the fourth-generation Apple TV. tvOS 10 beta 3 comes two weeks after the release of tvOS beta 2 and more than a month after the operating system was first shown off at Apple's 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference

tvOS betas are more difficult to install than beta updates for iOS and OS X. Installing the tvOS beta requires the Apple TV to be connected to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, with the software downloaded and installed via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a beta profile has been installed on the device through iTunes, new beta releases will be available over the air.

tvossiritopics
tvOS 10 builds on the features initially introduced in tvOS last October, bringing expanded Siri capabilities with topic-based search, Live Tune-In for automatically accessing live channels, and options for managing HomeKit accessories.

Single-Sign On allows users to sign in and authenticate cable credentials just once instead of requiring authentication in all cable-supported apps, games are now able to require controllers, and there are new features for Photos and Music.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

A dark mode offers a better visual experience for darker rooms, universal apps are automatically downloaded, and there's a new Apple TV remote for iOS devices that mirrors the Siri Remote.

For a full overview of all of the new features in tvOS 10, make sure to check out our tvOS 10 roundup.
Eddy-CueApple executive Eddy Cue, who oversees services like the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Siri, Maps, and iAd, sat down for a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the future of Apple TV, the company's relationship with Hollywood studios, and more.

When questioned about the original programming space, Cue said Apple is not in the business of trying to create TV shows, nor is it trying to compete with the likes of Netflix or Comcast. Instead, he said Apple may "help" producers, as it is doing for Planet of the Apps.
We're not in the business of trying to create TV shows. If we see it being complementary to the things we're doing at Apple Music or if we see it being something that's innovative on our platform, we may help them and guide them and make suggestions. But we're not trying to compete with Netflix or compete with Comcast.
Cue also downplayed rumors about Apple's interest in purchasing Time Warner, stating that the company is "not actively trying to buy any studio" right now.
In general, there's always a lot of speculation across many different companies, and some of that relates to the fact that we have a lot of money and so, therefore, we can afford to make acquisitions. So we have a lot of discussions with [Time Warner], but I don't want to speculate. We're not — at this point, certainly — actively trying to buy any studio.
Cue said Apple is only interested in entering the content space when the projects are tied to its existing products, which for now is Apple Music.
The rest of it is about giving [talent] a platform that allows them to be creative in new ways. If I was an agent, I would be very, very excited about what Apple is doing because it lets the people that I represent be able to do more.
Cue said he makes business trips to Los Angeles, where Apple has a growing team surrounding Apple Music and Beats, about five to six times per month. Apple's relationship with Hollywood, which began with Steve Jobs, is said to have "gotten better and better" over time as the industry warms up to Silicon Valley.

Yesterday, Apple posted an open casting call for its upcoming original TV show Planet of the Apps, an unscripted program about apps and the people who make them. The series will be spearheaded by executive producers will.i.am, Ben Silverman, and Howard Owens, with filming to take place in Los Angeles in late 2016 and early 2017.
Apple last week added three new apps to the universal search function on the fourth-generation Apple TV, introducing support for Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1, three popular networks.

For those unfamiliar with universal search, it is a feature that lets users conduct Siri voice searches or text-based searches to find TV and movie content across a wide range of apps. At launch, universal search supported only a few apps, but Apple has been adding new apps on a regular basis.

comedy_central_apple_tv_search
With the addition of support for Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1, searching for shows available on those networks will now bring up options to watch content within the respective apps.

Apple maintains a dedicated support document that offers Apple TV owners a full list of content that can be found via Siri through universal search. Apple's universal search feature is largely limited to the United States. In most other countries, universal search only displays iTunes content, while Netflix is also supported in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK.
Apple has posted an open casting call (via Cult of Mac) for its upcoming original TV show Planet of the Apps, an unscripted program about apps and the people who make them. The show is currently looking for developers from San Francisco, Austin, New York and Los Angeles to participate.

App-Store-About-800x369
Executive producers will.i.am, Ben Silverman, and Howard Owens are teaming up for an unscripted series about the world of apps and the talented people that drive its innovation. They’re looking for developers with the vision to shape the future, solve real problems, and inspire change within our daily lives. “We can really tell their stories as we explore how apps are developed and created and incubated,” says Silverman.
The site says the show isn't just a show, but a "launchpad" and "accelerator" that'll offer developers three unique opportunities. Developers on Planet of the Apps will receive mentorship from the "world's best experts" in tech and entertainment, up to $10 million in funding if they reach the final round of the show, and featured placement in the App Store at the end of the show.

Participation will be limited to 100 developers. Apps must be for either iOS, macOS, tvOS or watchOS and the app must be in a functional state or beta by October 21, so that developers have something to share on the show. Developers are allowed to submit multiple apps and individuals can apply with multiple development teams. Developers have until August 26, 2016 to apply. Filming will take place in Los Angeles in late 2016 and early 2017.

Planet of the Apps is part of Apple's push into original television programming. The show was first announced in March, and other original content will include Vital Signs, a show about and starring Beats co-founder and Apple executive Dr. Dre. While Vital Signs will help promote Apple Music, Planet of the Apps will help promote the App Store.

Interested developers can apply on the show's website.
apple_tv_squareApple today provided developers with the fifth beta of an upcoming 9.2.2 update to tvOS, the operating system that runs on the fourth-generation Apple TV. The fifth tvOS 9.2.2 beta comes one week after the release of the fourth beta and more than a month after the tvOS 9.2.1 update. tvOS 9.2.2 has been in testing since May 23.

tvOS betas are initially more difficult to install than beta updates for iOS and OS X. Installing the tvOS beta requires the Apple TV to be connected to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, with the software downloaded and installed via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a beta profile has been installed on the device through iTunes, new beta releases will be available over the air.

tvOS 9.2.2, like tvOS 9.2.1, is a minor 9.x.x update, focusing mainly on bug fixes and performance improvements that aren't immediately apparent. Apple's release notes have suggested the update includes bug fixes and security improvements. No outward-facing changes were spotted in the first four betas, but this post will be updated if we discover any new features or fixes in the fifth beta of tvOS 9.2.2.

Apple is also working on the next-generation version of tvOS, tvOS 10, which includes new Siri features, single sign-on cable authentication, and more. tvOS 10, currently available to developers, will be released to the public in the fall.
Apple today provided developers with the second beta of tvOS 10, the next-generation operating system designed to run on the fourth-generation Apple TV. tvOS 10 beta 2 comes three weeks after the operating system was first shown off at Apple's 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference

tvOS betas are more difficult to install than beta updates for iOS and OS X. Installing the tvOS beta requires the Apple TV to be connected to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, with the software downloaded and installed via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a beta profile has been installed on the device through iTunes, new beta releases will be available over the air.

tvossiritopics
tvOS 10 builds on the features initially introduced in tvOS, bringing expanded Siri capabilities with topic-based search, Live Tune-In for automatically accessing live channels, and options for managing HomeKit accessories.

Single-Sign On allows users to sign in and authenticate cable credentials just once instead of requiring authentication in all cable-supported apps, games are now able to require controllers, and there are new features for Photos and Music.

A dark mode offers a better visual experience for darker rooms, universal apps are automatically downloaded, and there's a new Apple TV remote for iOS devices that mirrors the Siri Remote.

For a full overview of all of the new features in tvOS 10, make sure to check out our tvOS 10 roundup.
apple_tv_squareApple today provided developers with the fourth beta of an upcoming 9.2.2 update to tvOS, the operating system that runs on the fourth-generation Apple TV. The fourth tvOS 9.2.2 beta comes one week after the release of the third beta and more than a month after the minor tvOS 9.2.1 update. tvOS 9.2.2 has been in testing since May 23.

tvOS betas are more difficult to install than beta updates for iOS and OS X. Installing the tvOS beta requires the Apple TV to be connected to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, with the software downloaded and installed via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a beta profile has been installed on the device through iTunes, new beta releases will be available over the air.

tvOS 9.2.2, like tvOS 9.2.1, is a minor 9.x.x update, focusing on bug fixes and performance improvements that aren't immediately obvious. Apple's release notes have suggested the update includes bug fixes and security improvements, and no outward-facing changes were spotted in the first three betas, but this post will be updated if we discover any new features or fixes in the fourth beta of tvOS 9.2.2.

Apple is also working on the next-generation version of tvOS, tvOS 10, which includes new Siri features, single sign-on cable authentication, and more. tvOS 10, currently available to developers, will be released to the public in the fall.
At its recent Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled an all new "Remote" app for iOS devices, which has been entirely overhauled to make it easier than ever to control a fourth-generation Apple TV with an iPhone.

In the video below, we took a look at the Remote app to give MacRumors readers an early glimpse at what's in store. The new Remote app, which connects to an Apple TV via Bluetooth, mimics the exact layout of the Siri Remote for a navigation experience that's streamlined across different input methods.


When content like movies or music is playing, the Remote app includes a full "Now Playing" view for control purposes, along with a dedicated Menu button and a Siri button. As with the physical Apple TV Remote, navigation through the iOS app is done via touch gestures.

Entering text, like passwords and usernames, is much easier with the iOS Remote app because any text field automatically brings up a keyboard. Full Siri voice commands are supported, as is dictation. Because it includes the same gyroscope and accelerometer in the Siri Remote, an iPhone can be used as a dedicated game controller for playing games on the Apple TV.

The Apple TV Remote app is currently available to developers and can be downloaded through the Apple Developer website. It's not clear when the Apple TV Remote app will be released, but it may be released alongside tvOS 10 and iOS 10 this fall. The developer beta of the app only requires iOS 9.3.2 and tvOS 9.2.1, so there's a possibility it may launch ahead of the new operating systems.

For details on new Apple TV features coming in tvOS 10, make sure to check out our tvOS 10 roundup. Don't miss out on our previous videos, which have covered iOS 10, watchOS 3, and macOS Sierra:

- WWDC 2016 Overview in Seven Minutes
- iOS 10's Overhauled Lockscreen
- The New iOS 10 Photos App
- The New iOS 10 Messages App
- macOS Sierra - Siri
- iOS 10 Hidden Features
- watchOS 3 Overview
- iOS 10's Redesigned Apple Music Experience
- 3D Touch in iOS 10
- The New Home App for Controlling HomeKit Devices
- Everything New in tvOS 10

We've also got roundups for all of the upcoming operating systems, including watchOS 3, macOS Sierra, and iOS 10.