Tuesday November 19, 2013 7:32 am PST by Eric Slivka
Two new channels have appeared on the Apple TV set-top box, with U.S. public television system PBS delivering some of its content through a new channel and Yahoo announcing the launch of Yahoo Screen, a channel for browsing videos such as Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as hosted by Yahoo.
Full access to the PBS app, which includes over 5,000 hours of content, requires users to sign in with a Facebook, Google+, or PBS account, which subscribes them to email updates through their local PBS stations.
Apple has been rapidly expanding the number of content channels available on the Apple TV over the past several months, adding channels such as WatchESPN and HBO GO in June and music video channel Vevo and several Disney channels in August and September. The company is also said to be working on deals with cable provider Time Warner and TV network The CW.
Tuesday November 12, 2013 4:44 pm PST by Juli Clover
Confirming earlier reports suggesting the long-rumored Apple television set is taking a backseat to other Apple projects, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today told investors that he does not expect Apple to produce a television set until 2015 or 2016.
Kuo does believe, however, that Apple may launch a new version of the existing Apple TV set top box with the same A7 processor found in the iPhone 5s and Apple's newest iPads in 2014.
We expect Apple to launch a new version of the Apple TV with an A7 processor in 2014, and we forecast 2014 shipments to total 8.2mn units. Shipment growth will be limited unless Apple is able to integrate more TV content, services and its App Store, in our view.
According to Kuo, the cost of launching a supply chain for television set production is a major obstacle for Apple's television set plans, as is the company's continued struggle with procuring additional content deals. Kuo believes that integrating TV content, an App Store, and other services are key to skyrocketing the Apple TV and a subsequent television set from a hobby to a viable product.
We believe the slowdown in Apple TV shipments suggests Apple faces challenges in integrating TV content and services. If Apple wants to launch iTV, the challenges of integrating content and service are more difficult considering the different TV content ecosystems (e.g. cable operators) in various countries. Moreover, establishing an iTV supply chain is very costly. Thus we believe iTV launch will be delayed to end-2015 or early 2016 at the earliest.
There was some speculation that Apple could release an updated Apple TV product during the company's recent iPad event, but according toTechCrunch's MG Siegler, Apple is not yet ready to debut its revamped hardware, which could include upgrades like Siri integration or motion control, so a 2014 timeline makes sense.
Apple has also thus far been unable to secure the deals with content providers and cable companies that are necessary for it to revolutionize the television experience, but it remains in ongoing negotiations with multiple companies including Time Warner.
Monday November 11, 2013 8:57 am PST by Eric Slivka
While Apple has been rumored for a number of years to have been working on a television set project, reports have become more scarce over the past year as interest in a potential smart watch has gained steam. According to a report from NPD DisplaySearch, the rumor trends are indeed a reflection of what is happening at Apple, with the company apparently putting the TV project "on hold again" as wearables such as the "iWatch" have taken priority.
According to sources in the TV supply chain, it appears that Apple’s long-rumored TV plans, which were far from concrete anyway, have been put on hold again, possibly to be replaced by a rollout of wearable devices. Although many financial and industry analysts have been speculating about Apple’s entrance into the TV business via an actual TV (instead of the Apple TV “hobby” set-top-box) for years, during the last year the rumor-mill has shifted into high gear about a 2014 introduction. Indeed, our own information from TV supply chain sources pointed to the fact that Apple appeared to be lining up resources for a product introduction in the second half of 2014, likely with 2-3 large screen sizes and 4K resolution.
However, the hangup has always been the content.
The report is not specific about how DisplaySearch has arrived at its conclusion that Apple's TV project has been put on hold, but the firm closely watches the display supply chain and likely is not yet seeing any significant movement toward an Apple television.
Apple has reportedly been working on advancing its Apple TV set-top box, but Apple's efforts to revolutionize the television experience will require the company to reach agreements with content providers and cable companies, a process that has been underway for several years but yet to result in any significant progress.
Meanwhile, focus on Apple wearables has continued to pick up steam amid continuing rumors that the company is shooting for a late 2014 launch of an iWatch that would run "full iOS". Fueling speculation in recent days has been an announcement that Apple will build a major new manufacturing plant in Arizona to produce sapphire glass. While sapphire is currently used to protect the iPhone's rear camera and the Touch ID sensor of the iPhone 5s, the deal points to a major expansion of Apple's sapphire plans that could include scratch-resistant wearable devices or even full sapphire glass front panels for future iPhones.
According to Cook, Apple believes that it can use its skills building software, hardware, and services to create "great products" in categories that Apple does not participate in today. "We're pretty confident about that," said Cook.
Apple has been rumored to be working on a number of innovative products, including a smart watch dubbed the iWatch, which will compete with offerings from several other companies like Nike, Jawbone, and Samsung, along with a potential Apple television set.
Thursday October 24, 2013 2:10 pm PDT by Jordan Golson
Apple released version 6.0.1 of the Apple TV software today, a minor bug fix release capping a week of new product updates.
The last Apple TV update occurred back in September following the public release of iOS 7 for the iPhone and iPad. That release added support for iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud and new podcast functionality.
On Tuesday, Apple added a new iMovie Theater channel to the Apple TV. The new channel is designed to work in conjunction with a new feature in the Mac and iOS versions of iMovie that allows users to share clips and videos seamlessly between their Apple devices.
According to Apple's Apple TV software update page with, version 6.0.1 includes "general performance and stability improvements. The update is available through the Apple TV's over-the-air update mechanism via Settings / General / Software Update.
Tuesday October 22, 2013 6:29 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has added a new iMovie Theater channel to the Apple TV, designed to work in conjunction with the iMovie Theater feature that was added to both the iOS and Mac versions of iMovie in today’s update.
iMovie Theater is a cross device feature designed to allow users to watch shared clips, movies, and trailers on all Apple devices, including the Apple TV. Projects that are created within iMovie for iOS or Mac and shared using iTunes Theater within those apps will automatically show up within the Apple TV channel.
The channel is activated by signing into an iCloud account that is connected to an iOS or Mac version of iMovie. It is available through an over-the-air update and should be available for users running the most recent Apple TV software. Apple also bundled a number of other new features into its iMovie update, which is available for download today.
iMovie for Mac and iOS have been redesigned to make it easier than ever to browse your video library and instantly share your favorite moments. iMovie for Mac includes simplified editing tools that let you quickly improve the look of your movie, add fun effects, and speed up or slow down your video.
iMovie for iOS brings desktop-class moviemaking to your iPhone® and iPad, so you can create split screen and picture-in-picture effects or advanced audio edits in just a few taps. And with iMovie Theater, you can watch your shared clips, movies, and trailers on all your Apple devices, even your Apple TV®.
iMovie is available for both iOS and Mac, priced at $4.99/$14.99. [Direct Links: iOS/Mac]
Monday October 21, 2013 9:12 pm PDT by Jordan Golson
Apple will launch 55- and 65-inch 4K ultra-high definition televisions late next year, if an analyst report from Masahiko Ishino at Advanced Research Japan is to be believed.
Bloombergshared the report, claiming the displays will have a frameless design with suppliers including LG for display panels, Samsung for graphical processing, and Corning's Gorilla Glass 3 for glass covers with units priced from $1,500 to $2,500. Foxconn would be used for final assembly for initial delivery in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the analyst.
A number of companies released 4K ultra-high definition displays earlier this year, but they remain prohibitively expensive for the average consumer. We have no indication of reliability for predictions by Masahiko Ishino or Advanced Research Japan.
Earlier this year, an extremely sketchy report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News claimed Corning, Foxconn, G-Tech Optoelectronics and display maker Innolux were working with Apple on a new television product.
Sunday October 20, 2013 9:23 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple will introduce a high resolution Retina iPad mini and a thinner, lighter version of the standard 9.7-inch iPad during its Tuesday event, reports The Wall Street Journal, confirming months of product leaks and rumors.
Apple is now readying a revamped iPad Mini with a high-resolution "retina" display. It’s also working on a thinner, lighter version of its standard 9.7-inch iPad, using a thin film instead of the glass found in existing models, based on information from the company’s parts suppliers.
While a fifth-generation iPad with thinner side bezels and an overall smaller size has been widely expected, the release of the Retina iPad mini has been less certain, given multiple reports in the last few weeks suggesting serious supply chain issues.
Rendering of the fifth-generation iPad between iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad
It was unclear whether the Retina iPad mini would be ready for Tuesday’s announcements, but in addition to The Wall Street Journal, two reliable sources, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and AllThingsD, have also indicated that the Retina iPad mini will make its debut on October 22.
Alongside a Retina screen, the iPad mini is expected to include an A7 processor, while the full-sized iPad will offer an A7X processor. Both iPads will include upgraded cameras, and could also offer Apple’s new M7 motion tracking chip. AllThingsD has also indicated that Haswell MacBook Pros will be unveiled during the event.
Finally, I’m told we’re likely to see a slate of new MacBook Pros upgraded with Intel’s latest Haswell processors. Apple brought Haswell to its MacBook Airs earlier this year, giving them a nice boost in battery life and graphics. It has been expected to do the same for its professional laptops ever since. Tuesday should see the announcement of that move.
Aside from the iPads and the Haswell MacBook Pros, Apple is expected to announce a number of other hardware and software products, including Mavericks, revamped versions of iLife and iWork for both Mac and iOS, the redesigned Mac Pro, and possibly a new display to go with it. A minor update to the Apple TV may also be included, and it’s possible that the Mac mini could be updated as well.
Sunday October 20, 2013 8:48 pm PDT by Richard Padilla
Following a Tweet last month in which he hinted at an updated Apple TV arriving sometime this month, former TechCrunch writer MG Siegler is now "pouring a small amount of water" on his own claim, suggesting that major changes to Apple's television-related hardware are not yet ready to be shown.
Well, now I feel the need to pour a little — just a little, mind you — cold water on the rumor fire. While I still haven’t heard anything concrete, the most recent whispers I have heard is that the Apple TV project has been delayed a bit.
That doesn’t mean we won’t see an Apple TV update at the event — we could see an updated unit with a spec bump or something. But the thing to be more excited about, the device with some sort of newfangled control system, doesn’t seem like it’s ready just yet.
Siegler notes that he had originally heard about a new Apple TV hardware (not a television set) targeted for a November launch, but that the information was not concrete enough to warrant a full article at the time. Given the publicity his original Tweet garnered, however, he has felt the need to address the issue now that it appears his original information is unlikely to pan out on that timetable.
Last month, 9to5Macseparately reported that Apple has been testing Xbox Kinect-like motion control for televisions, though it was unclear if that would make its way to the Apple TV set-top box or was being held for a standalone Apple television set farther in the future.
Friday October 18, 2013 6:54 am PDT by Richard Padilla
Amazon France and Amazon Germany are now displaying an avaliability date of October 23 for the Apple TV, indicating that a new version of the device may be available soon after after Apple's media event next week, reports German website iFun [Google Translation].
While the model number listed for future availability on both stores is that of the European 3rd-generation Apple TV, a new model of Apple's set-top box is well overdue for an update, having gone 590 days without a major release. A tweet from the well-connected MG Siegler last month hinted at an incoming updated version of the hardware, with Apple also releasing a major update for the Apple TV in September that brought iTunes Radio and AirPlay from iCloud functionality.
Wednesday October 9, 2013 9:33 am PDT by Husain Sumra
Apple is set to revamp the displays for the majority of its product lines within the next year, according to supply chain research done by NPD DisplaySearch (via CNET). The new research corroborates an earlier report that Apple is set to revamp its displays across multiple product lines and offers some speculation on Apple's plans rooted in the supply chain hints.
Based on supply chain research, we believe Apple is planning to revamp nearly all of the displays in its products over the next year. This would indicate that Apple, once again, intends to count on display technology for new product innovation. We can speculate about Apple’s new products as follows:
DisplaySearch speculates that Apple may launch both a 4.7-inch and a 5.7-inch iPhone next year, roughly in line with a Wall Street Journalreport from September claiming Apple has been experimenting with iPhone models carrying displays of 4.8 inches to 6 inches, perhaps for a 2014 release.
DisplaySearch's report also covers the slimmer-bezeled iPad and Retina iPad mini, which will reportedly be unveiled on October 22. Unsurprisingly, the report indicates that both displays will carry the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as the current full-size iPad. DisplaySearch also suggests that a 12.9-inch iPad is set for debut next year, in line with the Wall Street Journal'sreport that Apple is looking at larger iPad models.
The MacBook Air, which is unlikely to get an update at Apple's October 22 event, is likely to see a new 12-inch Retina Display model launch next year, according to DisplaySearch's findings. This new low-power MacBook Air would likely feature a 2304 x 1440 display, although this would be the usable screen real estate at a non-Retina equivalent of just 1152 x 720, lower than that of the current 11-inch MacBook Air. Users would, however, be able to opt for higher-resolution non-Retina settings as seen on the Retina MacBook Pro. Mac display upgrade rumors also fall in line with earlier reports that Apple is set to move to IGZO displays, which allow for higher-resolution displays with lower power consumption.
DisplaySearch also claims there will be two Apple-branded 4Kx2K television sets in 55- and 65-inch sizes, feeding longstanding rumors of an Apple television set project that has yet to come to fruition. Finally, the report claims that 1.3- and 1.6-inch iWatch models could debut in late 2014 with flexible 320 x 320 AMOLED displays. This, too, falls in line with earlier rumors claiming Apple is set to adopt AMOLED display for its smart watch device.
The first of these rumored devices with all new displays is reportedly set for an unveiling at an iPad-centric event on October 22. Apple has yet to officially confirm the event, but should send out media invitations roughly one week ahead of time.
Tuesday October 1, 2013 5:47 pm PDT by Jordan Golson
Apple has hired Jean-François Mulé, the former Senior VP of Technology Development and longtime employee of CableLabs -- an R&D joint venture run by many of the biggest cable operators in the U.S. -- as an engineering director.
The hire was revealed on Mulé's LinkedIn page and first noted by Multichannel News. He has been working at Apple since September and says in his Apple job description that he is "challenged, inspired and part of something big".
He claims extensive experience in software development for cable applications like Internet data, IP voice and video, TV apps and more. From Multichannel News:
Before joining Apple, Mulé spent the last two years as senior vice president of technology development at CableLabs, where he founded the organization’s San Francisco office (CableLabs is in the process of building out a new R&D outpost/innovation center in Sunnyvale).
During his earlier career at CableLabs, Mulé also served as VP of IP technologies and services, director of the PacketCable Architecture, and chief architect. During that span, he ran or helped spearhead several projects, including PeerConnect, the cable industry’s peering registry, a development program for cable industry-focused wireless services (Wi-Fi gateways, device management, inter-operator Wi-Fi roaming, and mobile offload services using femtocells and Wi-Fi), and was involved in several high-profile, IP-based CableLabs programs such as DOCSIS 3.0 and APIs for second screen video apps.
Tuesday October 1, 2013 8:12 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Apple TV users in Germany are discovering today that they now have access to two new channels on their set-top boxes in the form of music video channel Vevo and hockey channel NHL GameCenter, reports Macerkopf [Google Translate].
Both channels have been available to users in various other countries for some time, with NHL GameCenter having debuted in the United States nearly two years ago and Vevo appearing just over a month ago.
German users also have their own exclusive channel on the Apple TV with movie and TV show streaming service Watchever, which was added in January.
Thursday September 26, 2013 7:02 pm PDT by Richard Padilla
Internet streaming service Netflix has announced today that it is rolling out its Super HD video quality to all Netflix members and additional devices, including the 3rd-generation Apple TV. The viewing option is of a higher quality than a standard 1080p image due to a higher bit rate stream and reduced compression, and was previously only available on select ISPs with a direct connection to Netflix.
All Netflix members, regardless of their Internet service provider (ISP), now have access to the highest quality HD streams available on Netflix.
This means that the great TV shows and movies on Netflix will look even better on HD screens with a higher bit rate stream, Super HD, that applies less compression to the 1080p image.
We initially rolled out Super HD in January only through ISPs with a direct connection to Netflix. Based on the performance data we’ve seen, and in response to member requests, we are now expanding availability to give all our members the ability to enjoy Netflix in the best possible quality. Netflix uses “adaptive streaming” to dynamically adjust the video quality based on the available bandwidth. This means that the ability to receive Super HD depends on broadband quality and performance. Netflix members who subscribe to an ISP with a direct Netflix connection will get the best experience.
Originally added with the introduction of the 2nd generation Apple TV, Netflix has been updated on Apple’s set-top box multiple times, including the addition of personalized profiles in August. The move also comes as Apple may be planning to release an updated Apple TV box next month, and comes after the addition of Major League Soccer and Disney Junior Channels to the set-top box today.
Thursday September 26, 2013 9:25 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Continuing its expansion of content offerings on the Apple TV, Apple today rolled out two new channels for the set-top box: MLS (Major League Soccer) and Disney Junior.
The MLS channel offers scores, standings, and video content from Major League Soccer, while also offering access to the MLS Live subscription program for live video of matches. MLS Live is priced at $24.99 for the season and a subscription can be used not only on the Apple TV but also on iPhone and iPad.
The new Disney Junior channel is similar to Disney Channel and Disney XD offerings added last month. All three channels require authentication through a participating cable provider for access to live and on-demand content.
Today's additions are the latest in a long line of new channels introduced to the Apple TV in recent months. In June, WatchESPN, HBO GO, Sky News, Crunchyroll, and Quello were added, and last month Apple debuted channels for Vevo, the Smithsonian, and the first two Disney channels. Deals with TWC and The CW are also said to be in the works.
Wednesday September 25, 2013 4:21 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released a support document detailing a newly implemented Apple TV setup feature that was introduced last week with its Apple TV 6.0 software update.
Users that have a third-generation Apple TV running the 6.0 software can use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 7 to automatically transfer network settings, Apple ID information, and language preferences to the Apple TV, allowing for faster setup. The information exchange is done via Bluetooth by touching the iOS device to the Apple TV, taking advantage of the Bluetooth LE built into all Apple devices after the iPhone 4.
Apple's support article includes a detailed list of instructions on the process:
1. Connect your Apple TV to your television and power and wait until your Apple TV displays the setup screen.
2. Unlock your iOS 7 device and ensure that Bluetooth is enabled. Also ensure that you are connected to the Wi-Fi network you want to use with Apple TV.
3. Touch your iOS device to your Apple TV and wait for the prompts to appear on your iOS device and Apple TV.
4. Enter your Apple ID and password on your iOS device.
5. Choose if you want Apple TV to remember your Apple ID password, and if you want Apple TV to send data to Apple.
6. Your Apple TV will start the configuration process, including connecting to your Wi-Fi network, activating Apple TV, and setting up your iTunes Store account.
Prior to the implementation of the tap setup feature, entering Apple TV information was a tedious process that required connecting a Bluetooth keyboard or using the Apple TV remote to pick and choose letters.
As noted by Apple, the transfer requires an iPhone 4s or later, a third-generation iPad or later, an iPad mini, or a fifth-generation iPod touch. The feature does not work with the iPhone 4 or the iPad 2.
Monday September 23, 2013 6:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
The Apple TV 6.0 update that Apple pulled over the weekend is now once again available for download. As noted by 9to5Mac, the updated version carries a build number of 11A502, compared to the old 11A470e version, indicating Apple has made some changes to the software.
Following the software’s initial Friday release, there were multiple reports that the update caused critical errors for a number of users, necessitating a full iTunes restore. The newly updated software presumably fixes those issues.
The Apple TV's 6.0 software offers a number of new features, including iTunes Radio, iTunes Music Store purchases, iCloud Photo updates, Podcasts, and AirPlay from iCloud. It can be downloaded from via the Update Software tool in the Apple TV settings menu.
Sunday September 22, 2013 12:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today pulled the Apple TV 6.0 update that it released on Friday, following multiple reports on Apple's support forums stating that the update caused several critical errors for users. MacRumors forum members have also experienced a slew of problems with the software. From a forum member:
Bricked after update. Finally found micro USB cord, hooked up to iTunes and said it was restored. Said to connect to the TV. Hit ok and the light instantly started flaunt again. Same graphic on TV screen to reconnect to iTunes. Went through this three times and no love.
While some devices were bricked, rendering them completely unusable, others experienced Wi-Fi connection issues and other problems that necessitated an iTunes restore. Restoring requires a micro USB cable to connect the Apple TV to a PC or Mac with iTunes.
The update, which brought features like iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud, and iTunes music purchases, seems to have disappeared from the Apple TV last night. Users that have 5.3 installed on their Apple TVs no longer have the option to install the 6.0 software.
Apple has yet to release a statement on the issue and there is no word on when the software might reappear.
Friday September 20, 2013 12:05 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Following the release of iOS 7 and the debut of its new iPhones, Apple has today pushed a new software update to its Apple TV set-top box following months of testing.
As expected, the update offers a number of new features for Apple TV users, including support for Apple’s newly released iTunes Radio music service, iCloud Photos and Videos, iTunes Music Store purchases on the device, Podcasts, and AirPlay from iCloud.
With AirPlay from iCloud, iTunes users can play content purchased from the iTunes store on any Apple TV, streaming it via iCloud.
- iTunes Radio: Create your own radio stations and listen to them ad-free with iTunes Match.
- iTunes Music Store: Browse, purchase, and play music directly from the iTunes Music Store.
- iCloud Photos: Adds support for playing video from a shared photo stream and viewing photo streams from multiple contributors.
- AirPlay from iCloud: Apple TV will play content from iTunes in the Cloud instead of your AirPlay device when possible. Requires iOS 7 on AirPlay device.
- Podcasts: Sync your podcasts and podcast stations across Apple TV and all your iOS devices.
- Subtitles & Captioning: Automatic subtitle selection based on Apple TV language setting. Customize closed caption style.
- Conference Room Display: Lock Apple TV into Conference Room Display (for business and education environments) and show onscreen instructions for using AirPlay.
- Software Update: Keep your Apple TV always up to date by automatically installing software updates when available.
- Setup: Use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 7 to automatically transfer network settings, your Apple ID, and language preferences. Not available on iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
Apple has been working hard to bolster its Apple TV content offerings in recent months and has added additional apps for Vevo, The Weather Channel, the Disney Channel, the Smithsonian Channel, and more. The company is also rumored to be working on an updated version of its Apple TV hardware, which could debut later this year.
Wednesday September 11, 2013 3:18 pm PDT by Jordan Golson
Apple is planning to release updated Apple TV hardware next month, according to the well-connected MG Siegler. The TechCrunch writer tweeted earlier today:
I guess those excited about a software refresh in a week are gonna be *really* excited when new Apple TV hardware is unveiled next month.
The Apple TV box is well overdue for a update, having gone 553 days since a major release, though the Apple TV box was given a stealth update earlier this year that did not affect any functionality.
The Apple TV will receive a software update alongside iOS 7 next week that will allow users to play their purchased iTunes content on Apple TV's that are owned by others.
Mark Gurman is reporting separately that Apple has been testing Xbox Kinect-like motion control for televisions, though he says it is unclear when if this will make its way to the Apple TV set-top box or is being held for a standalone Apple television set.
Mysterious shipment records indicating 'set-top box' shipments were spotted earlier this month that could be a new Apple TV box. Apple is planning to unveil the next versions of the iPad and iPad mini in October, so this would be a likely time for an Apple TV update as well.
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