As September (read it as ‘The Apple month’) approaches, the tech world is abuzz with rumours and speculations about various product possibilities. The latest and perhaps the most interesting one to join the list, is that of Apple TV set top box update which will be using iOS 9 especially optimized for TV.
This was revealed in an article by Mark Gurman on 9 to 5 Mac who went on revealing a number of features of the upcoming update to next-gen Apple TV.
Apple TV was supposed to be launched at June WWDC this year but it could not happen, reportedly due to the failure of Apple to come up with a content deal with publishers.
But this is what everyone thought.
Gurman however writes, that the primary reason behind postponement was to save engineering resources which were then needed to polish iOS 9. And now if reports are to be believed, the new Apple TV code named J34 is almost ready to be unveiled along side iPhone 6S next month and comes up with a revamped system and a fresh user interface entirely based on iOS 9. It will have its dedicated app store and support for Third-party applications as well as a full Software Development Kit enabling developers to develop apps exclusively for Apple TV like they do for other Apple devices.
On the design front, the new Apple TV almost looks like the current version that was launched in 2012, except that it is “slimmer and wider” retaining the plastic body in order to maintain its compatibility with Bluetooth and WiFi devices.
It will have a brand new remote control which will have features such as touch-based input, gesture support,Force Touch, Bluetooth technology, infrared sensor and some kind of audio enhancement which may help in augmenting sound of TV or may even enable users to connect an audio jack to remote for private listening. It is widely speculated that the Bluetooth technology and an integrated touch pad support to remote can help in improved gaming support for Apple TV.
Another striking feature is the supposed integration of Apple’s voice assistant Siri to control the Apple TV. So far, controlling the television set was dependent on a remote app on iOS devices or a small aluminum remote which hasn’t really been that user friendly given the difficulty in typing characters on it.
System wide search feature, which is one of those ‘high-on-user-demand’ features for Apple TV, is expected to be included in the new version with the inclusion of Apple’s Proactive search support. So, now viewers will be available to search for their favorite content across multiple sources such as iTunes Store, Netflix, the Crackle app, and the Apple Music library.
With all the above new and updated features, Apple TV will include a new processor, most likely to be a dual-core variant of the iPhone 6’s A8 chip and updated storage of at least 1 GB RAM and 32 GB flash storage. The current 1080p Apple TV runs on the single-core, massively-outdated A5 chip, with 512 Mb RAM and 8GB flash storage.
However one thing which still remains elusive to Apple TV, is the inclusion of cable TV replacement service and according to a report by Bloomberg it won’t see the light of day until 2016. This is due to pricing issues with TV networks as well as due to Apple’s own lack of sufficient investment to increase its network capacity to ensure good viewing experience for customers.