Apple on Thursday released iTunes 11.3, bringing high-definition iTunes Extras content to the Mac. At the same time, the company also announced availability of the feature for the Apple TV via update 6.2.
iTunes 11.3 includes all-new iTunes Extras for HD movies. iTunes Extras can include behind-the-scenes videos, short films, high-resolution image galleries, director’s commentary, scenes, and more. These immersive iTunes Extras can also be enjoyed on Apple TV with Software Update 6.2 now, and will be available on iOS 8 this fall.
New iTunes Extras will be automatically added to your previously purchased HD movies as they become available – at no additional charge.
Apple yesterday added four new channels to the Apple TV in the U.S., along with a revamped Flickr channel available for users in most regions, including Singapore. As noted by Re/code, one of the notable new channels is ABC News, which offers clips and archives of news broadcasts for free.
ABC News on Apple TV is in the former category, which means that in most cases, you can’t use it to watch whatever ABC is showing on its broadcast channels, because ABC gets paid by station owners and pay-TV providers for that stuff. But ABC will let you watch clips from current shows, as well as archives, and it will let you watch digital-only feeds that it streams out of ABCNews.com.
The ABC News channel is similar to the Bloomberg channel that is currently available in most regions, including Singapore. Users are not able to watch live broadcasts but they are able to access clips and archives of previously-aired programmes.
The other channels added are PBS Kids, AOL and Willow. Do note that these three channels, together with ABC News, are currently not available in Singapore.
Singapore users will, however, be able to access a revamped Flickr channel that features improved search and a redesigned personal page, along with an elaborate Explore section.
Yesterday, Apple unveiled iOS 8, its next-generation mobile operating system, at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), highlighting several prominent features including interactive notifications, support for third-party keyboards and brand-new Continuity functionality. However, one feature that the company did not talk about, but is documented under iOS 8’s official website, is a major update for AirPlay.
AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary technology that allows for wireless streaming of content from an iOS device or a Mac to an Apple TV. Previously, users had to connect to the same wireless network that an Apple TV was connected to in order to tap on the functionality. With iOS 8, Apple has removed this requirement, allowing users to stream to an Apple TV without first connecting to the network.
With iOS 8, you can wirelessly connect iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to Apple TV without first connecting to the organization’s network. Which means you can present or share your work even if you’re offline or the organization has a complex network.
The feature is highlighted under iOS 8’s enterprise improvements as Apple presumably foresees its implementation to greatly facilitate work presentations, especially in office environments where networks are often separated.
iOS 8 is currently available as a developer beta and will be released to the public later in the fall.
Apple has just added the “Apple Events” channel to the Apple TV home screen, just hours ahead of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The channel will allow users to stream Apple’s keynote presentation live.
As reported earlier, Apple will be providing a live stream of its keynote presentation later today via its official website and the Apple TV. The live stream requires Safari 4 or later on OS X v10.6 or later, and Safari on iOS 4.2 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later.
Apple’s keynote presentation will kick off at 10 AM PDT (1 AM SGT on Tuesday morning). The company is slated to unveil the latest versions of its iOS and OS X operating systems at the event.
Apple will be holding its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, 2 June at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As in previous years, the rumour mill has been in overdrive in the past few months leading up to the event, with countless reports chiming in about what will be unveiled. The following is a round-up of all the rumours and speculation so far:
In line with previous WWDCs, Apple will be unveiling its next-generation mobile operating system – presumably called iOS 8 – at the event. Not much changes are expected to the OS design-wise, as the company had carried out a major overhaul last year with iOS 7, eliminating skeuomorphic elements from the interface and incorporating a generally “flatter” look. As such, any design changes to the OS would likely be minor refinements to iOS 7’s existing visual interface and possible additional functionality to enhance the user experience.
Several reports have pointed to improvements for Maps and Siri, with a few floating the possibility of public transit directions for the Maps app. Apple will of course be paying close attention to the incorporation of any new features into the app, especially after the iOS 6 Maps debacle that generated a significant amount of negative publicity for the company.
Tech site Re/codereported today that Apple will not be unveiling any new ‘category-defining hardware’ at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month. The report adds to yesterday’s claims by 9to5Mac that Apple will be focusing solely on software at the event, with OS X 10.10 said to be a major focal point.
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.
The report squashes any claims that Apple will be unveiling its rumoured ‘iWatch’ at WWDC, and corroborates earlier reports, including one by renowned Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo, that the company is looking to debut the device in the second half of the year instead. This also backs 9to5Mac’s claims that the next-generation Apple TV is still in development and that it is unlikely to revealed at the event as well.
According to a 9to5Mac report published today, Apple is stepping up efforts to finish the development of its next-generation Apple TV hardware and software.
Apple is said to have roped in immense amounts of engineering resources from other software and hardware engineering groups across the company to finish up the next versions of the Apple TV hardware and software. Unlike in the “hobby” days, future Apple TV product development is now a priority.
According to the report, the company is developing the next iteration of its Apple TV software simultaneously with iOS 8, although it is uncertain whether it will be revealed alongside the new iOS operating system at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month. Also, as speculated in previous reports, the new Apple TV is likely to feature Siri-based voice control and support for its own ecosystem of apps.
Apple announced during its recent earnings call that the Apple TV had sold 20 million units during its second fiscal quarter, with CEO Tim Cook noting that the product was ‘no longer a hobby’ now that it has become a ‘billion dollar market’.
Apple sold 20 million Apple TVs during the second quarter of FY2014, CEO Tim Cook announced during the company’s earnings call last night.
As noted by 9to5Mac, Cook’s decision to reveal numbers for the Apple TV is unusual as the company does not usually break down sales for the product.
Apple’s decision to give us specific sales information for the Apple TV, however, does corroborate with its move earlier this year to present the device as its own product line, as opposed to an accessory. Cook also said on the call that Apple TV is over a billion dollar market, which means that it is no longer just a “hobby” for the company.
Earlier this year, Apple decided to give the Apple TV more prominence on its online store, displaying it as a new category together with its other product lines on its Store home page.
When the Apple TV was first launched in 2007, then-CEO Steve Jobs labelled it as a ‘hobby’ for the company. However, the device has grown in popularity in recent years, with an increasing range of content becoming available for it. Just last year alone, Apple added 14 new channels to the device, including HBO GO, Bloomberg and most recently, the History Channel.
The fourth-generation model of the Apple TV is also rumoured to be launching at the end of the year. Earlier reports have indicated that the device could potentially include new gaming functionality and an all-new app store.
9to5Macreports that a string of iOS 7.1 code appears to indicate that Siri might soon be coming to the Apple TV.
According to the report, Twitter user bp_Unicorn first discovered a new family reference in the resource file for Siri in the iOS 7.1 SDK. 9to5Mac has since confirmed that the reference refers to the Apple TV.
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.
The findings indicate that Apple might potentially be working on incorporating Siri into the Apple TV. However, the functionality would likely be introduced in the next-generation model as the current model lacks a microphone to record voice input.
The current third-generation Apple TV, first released back in March 2012, is way overdue for an update. Apple gave it a minor spec bump in January 2013, but rumours have indicated that a fourth-generation model is coming later in the year, possibly with gaming functionality.
Several users have reported over the past week that they have had problems connecting to iTunes via their first-generation Apple TVs. The issue appears to be resolved as recent posts in the Apple Support thread have indicated that connectivity has been restored for many.
It is now fixed and ATV 1 is working fine. I tried no tricks or fixes, just waited, albeit not so patiently. Apple does come through again.
Turned it on last night and everything was back. I believe that Apple has fixed the server issue at least from Chicago. I dd not do anything to the one ATV, just waited this out.
Apple did not issue a statement regarding the issue, which presumably was a back-end problem.