Monday January 23, 2017 9:58 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple today released a new update for tvOS, the operating system designed to run on the fourth-generation Apple TV. tvOS 10.1.1 comes five weeks after the release of tvOS 10.1, the first major update to the tvOS 10 operating system. Apple only seeded two betas of tvOS 10.1.1 to developers before releasing it to the public.
The tvOS 10.1.1 update can be downloaded on the fourth-generation Apple TV using the Settings app. Go to System --> Software Update to install. For those who have automatic software updates turned on, the Apple TV will be upgraded to tvOS 10.1.1 automatically.
No new features or changes were discovered in the tvOS 10.1.1 beta, but as a 10.1.x update, it's likely to be minor in scale, primarily focusing on introducing bug fixes and performance optimizations.
Thursday January 12, 2017 3:56 pm PST by Juli Clover
Apple today announced that the size limit of a tvOS app bundle has increased from 200MB to 4GB, allowing developers to include more media in their app submissions for a "complete, rich user experience upon installation."
Previously, tvOS apps were limited in size to 200MB, but were allowed to download additional resources after being installed. This led to short initial installation times, but caused customers to have to wait for content to download after installing an app.
Apple is also allows tvOS apps to use On-Demand Resources to host up to 20GB of additional content on the App Store. Apple recommends app developers use On-Demand Resources to enable faster downloads. On-Demand Resources allow apps to do things like download the first couple of levels of a game and update as a user progresses, deleting content that's no longer needed.
Designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, tvOS 10.1.1 beta can be obtained by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, downloading and installing the software from a registered developer account via iTunes or Apple Configurator.
Once a beta profile has been installed on the device through iTunes, new beta updates will be available over the air.
We don't yet know what features or changes are included in tvOS 10.1.1, but as a minor update, it's likely to focus on bug fixes and other performance enhancements. No immediately visible changes or bug fixes were found in the first beta.
tvOS 10.1.1 follows tvOS 10.1, a significant update that introduced the new "TV" app, which serves as an Apple-designed television guide and TV watching hub.
Friday December 30, 2016 11:02 am PST by Juli Clover
With the launch of the iPhone 7 and MacBook Pro, 2016 has been a mixed year for Apple. The iPhone 7 was released without a headphone jack, an unpopular choice that's now been somewhat ameliorated by the launch of the AirPods, and the MacBook Pro has been plagued by battery issues, graphics problems, and complaints about the high price of the device.
Apple also saw its first decline in iPhone sales in 2016, but 2017 could potentially turn things around for the company. We're expecting the biggest iPhone revision we've seen since the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in 2014, plus we're also expecting major iPad changes, refreshed desktop Macs, and software improvements.
iPhone 8 - September 2017
Rumors about the 2017 iPhone started ramping up before the iPhone 7 was even released, so there's a lot of information out there, and at this point, quite a bit of it conflicts, so it's difficult to get a clear picture of what Apple is planning for the iPhone's 10th anniversary.
If you read all of the rumors and suss out some common themes, there are a few concrete details that hint at what likely to see in the next-generation iPhone. We're assuming it's going to be called the "iPhone 8" due to design changes that are more radical than we'd expect for an "iPhone 7s," but it's entirely possible Apple will go with another name.
It looks like there's going to be at least three iPhone models, and one of those will have an OLED display. It's sounding like we're going to get one premium OLED iPhone somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 inches, with either a flexible curved display that wraps around the edges like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or an edge-to-edge display more in line with the current design of the iPhone 7.
Live Tune-In lets users jump directly into the live streams of select apps using the Siri Remote. Users can simply hold down the microphone button and say commands such as "Watch TBS" or "Watch TNT live." The feature requires tvOS 9.2 or later.
Live Tune-In also supports ABC News, CBS, CBS News, CNN Go, Cooking Channel, Disney Channel, Disney Jr, Disney XD, DIY, ESPN, Food Network, FXNOW, HGTV, and Travel Channel, plus live sporting events in the NHL app.
Meanwhile, Apple TV universal search now supports NRK TV and TV 2 Sumo in Norway and SVT Play in Sweden.
Universal search enables fourth-generation Apple TV users to conduct Siri voice searches or text-based searches to find TV and movie content across a wide range of channels. A wide number of apps are supported.
Monday December 19, 2016 8:02 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
Following a reveal during the "Hello Again" event in October, Mojang has now announced that Minecraft will officially launch today for the fourth-generation Apple TV. The exploration and crafting game is said to be "rolling out in all regions" throughout the day.
Minecraft for Apple TV will also come with seven pieces of DLC, including Holiday 2015, Town Folk, and City Folk skin packs, along with other add-ons "for a limited time." Otherwise, the game is similar to every other version of Minecraft, tasking users with venturing into a randomly generated world and customizing it to their liking.
We’ve just released Minecraft for the slim black boxes. And, for a limited time, it comes with seven pieces of lovely DLC, giving you the chance to customise the fun to your liking. Minecraft: Apple TV Edition currently includes the Holiday 2015, Town Folk, and City Folk skin packs, along with the Plastic, Natural, Cartoon, and Festive 2016 mash-ups. It costs $19.99 and is rolling out in all regions as I type.
The Apple TV version will also be up to date with the all-new Ender Update that Minecraft just launched. For those interested, Minecraft for Apple TV will cost $19.99.
Wednesday December 14, 2016 10:02 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 10.1.1 update to developers for testing purposes, just days after releasing the tvOS 10.1 update and more than a month after launching tvOS 10.
Designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, the tvOS 10.1.1 beta can be obtained by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, downloading and installing the software from a registered developer account via iTunes or Apple Configurator.
Once a beta profile has been installed on the device through iTunes, new beta updates will be available over the air.
It's not yet known what new features or changes might be included in the new tvOS beta, but as a 10.1.x update, it's likely to be minor in scale, introducing bug fixes and other performance enhancements.
tvOS 10.1.1 follows tvOS 10.1, a major update that introduced the new "TV" app, which serves as an Apple-designed television guide and TV watching hub.
Wednesday December 14, 2016 6:25 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple TV universal search received a major update this week, expanding to 10 new apps in the United States. On the fourth-generation Apple TV, users can now search for movies and TV shows on Apple Music, Animal Planet GO, Crunchyroll, CuriosityStream, Investigation Discovery GO, Science Channel GO, TBS, TNT, TLC GO, and Tribeca Shortlist.
For those unfamiliar with universal search, it's a feature that allows users to conduct Siri voice searches or text-based searches to find TV and movie content across a wide range of channels. At launch, universal search only supported a few channels, but Apple has been rapidly expanding the feature to encompass additional channels.
Apple TV universal search is now available for a wider number of apps in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the U.K., but the feature is limited to iTunes and Netflix in France, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. In some other countries and regions, only movies in iTunes are supported.
Meanwhile, in Germany, users can now search for episodes on Galileo.
Monday December 12, 2016 9:56 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple today released tvOS 10.1, marking the first major update to the tvOS 10 operating system that was first released in September. tvOS 10.1 has been in testing since October 31, and Apple seeded four betas to developers before its public release.
The tvOS 10.1 update can be downloaded on the fourth-generation Apple TV using the Settings app. Go to System --> Software Update to install. For those who have automatic software updates turned on, the Apple TV will be upgraded to tvOS 10.1 automatically.
Apple has also released an 8.4.2 update for third-generation Apple TV owners, which is available alongside tvOS 10.1.
tvOS 10.1 introduces a brand new "TV" app, which is designed to make it easier for users to discover new content across the dozens of television and movie apps that are available.
It serves as a sort of Apple-designed television guide, giving customers a way to find and watch TV and movies across multiple devices. It features a dedicated store, recommended content, and cross-device syncing.
The TV app works hand-in-hand with Single Sign-On, a long-promised tvOS 10 feature that was introduced last week. Single Sign-On lets users sign in with their cable credentials one time to access all live cable content they're entitled to across multiple apps.
Single Sign-On is currently available for CenturyLink Prism, DirecTV, Dish, GVTC, GTA, Hawaiian Telcom, Hotwire, Metrocast, Service Electric, and Sling TV.
tvOS 10, for those unfamiliar with the operating system, brings features like improved search, expanded Siri capabilities, a dark mode, a Continuity option for using the iPhone for text input, automatic app downloads, quicker access to live TV, and more. For more details on tvOS 10 and tvOS 10.1, make sure to check out our dedicated roundup.
Wednesday December 7, 2016 2:56 pm PST by Juli Clover
Following yesterday's launch of Single Sign-on for iOS and tvOS, two major content providers have implemented support for the feature - Disney and ABC.
According to The Verge, the Watch ABC and Watch Disney apps now work with Single Sign-on, so customers who have cable through a supported provider can log into those apps automatically without needing to re-enter their cable credentials.
Single Sign-on, for those unfamiliar, is a new feature that allows cable subscribers to log into the Apple TV and iOS devices with their credentials one time, with those credentials then able to authenticate their subscription in all supported apps.
At the current time, Single Sign-on is only available for the following cable providers: CenturyLink, DirecTV, Dish, GVTC, Hawaiian Telcom, GTA, Hotwire, MetroCast, and Sling.
Single Sign-on is also limited to apps that have implemented support for the feature, which is a small list at the current time, limited to channels like Lifetime, NBC, History, Syfy, USA Now, Food Network, and a handful of others.
Now that Single Sign-on is available, additional apps will likely begin implementing support for the service, making it more useful to cable subscribers.
Update: Freeform has also added Single Sign-on support for iOS devices, while FXNOW has added support on tvOS. Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD are the three Disney channels that now support Single Sign-on, on both iOS and tvOS.
Service Electric has also been added as a new provider that supports Single Sign-on.
Wednesday December 7, 2016 11:59 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple wants to bring new movies to iTunes more quickly, and is in talks with several film studios over rights that would allow it earlier access to content, reports Bloomberg.
Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, and 21st Century Fox are all seeking deals to offer higher-priced rentals of new movies as soon as two weeks after they debut in theaters, and the studios are said to be considering an offer from Apple.
Like Apple Music exclusives, access to earlier releases could draw more people to Apple's platform, but encryption is said to be a concern. Studios aren't sure whether iTunes will be a secure platform for showing movies that are still in theaters, because content can be recorded and leaked online.
The most recent talks are part of longer-running efforts by Cupertino, California-based Apple to get new movies sooner, two of the people said. Such an arrangement could help iTunes stand out in a crowded online market for movies, TV shows and music. While the iTunes store helped Apple build a dominant role in music retailing, the company hasn't carved out a similar role in music and video streaming.
Most major movies that debut in theaters are not available on iTunes and other streaming platforms for a period of 90 days, but film companies are said to be looking to expand beyond theaters to find new revenue streams.
At least one option studios are considering involves a $25 to $50 fee for a new rental, which is potentially more affordable than a movie theater ticket depending on how many people are watching a film.
No deal has been established as of yet, and it's possible the film studios could decide to offer the rights to a competing company.
Tuesday December 6, 2016 10:26 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple is continuing to add new providers to its Single Sign-on feature in tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2, and today introduced Single Sign-on support for four new providers: CenturyLink Prism, Hawaiian Telcom, MetroCast, and GTA (available in Guam). GVTC Communications, previously listed as a Single Sign-on option, has been removed.
With the new additions, when tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 become available for the public, Single Sign-on will be available for eight cable subscription options: DirecTV, Dish, Hotwire, Sling TV, CenturyLink Prism, Hawaiian Telcom, MetroCast, and GTA. Apple will continue adding support for additional providers as it manages to secure the necessary deals.
Single Sign-on allows Apple TV and iOS users to enter their cable credentials once and then sign in to all available live cable content, even across multiple apps. Single Sign-on works automatically when you have a cable subscription through a participating provider, prompting you allow a compatible app to use your sign in credentials.
Many cable channels offer individual apps on the Apple TV and iOS devices, but still require cable authentication to access content. Without Single Sign-on, users need to enter their cable information for each app, a process that's a huge hassle.
Apps that take advantage of Single Sign-on and user cable subscriptions will be easier to find and track in tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2, with content located in the new "TV" app that's been introduced.
We expect to see tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 introduced to the public next week alongside macOS Sierra 10.12.2 and watchOS 3.1.1.
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