Apple’s best kept secret, the Apple TV

Rumours have been swirling the internet for Apple to enter the television market, but in reality they’re already there. They already have a tiny black box that is connected up to everyone’s TV, the Apple TV. Last week this tiny black box that started out as an experiment received a much overdue refresh. It was easy to lose sight of this refresh amongst all the other changes to their existing iPhone, iPad and watch products.

So what is so special about this iteration of the Apple TV? One word, apps. It’s like Apple took an iPhone, put it in a box and hooked it up to a TV. The new Apple TV runs an operating system called tvOS that allows developers to write custom apps for it. Previously there were only a finite number of apps pre-installed on the device. Now Apple TV apps will appear in the app store and you will be able to download them to your heart’s content, or until you run out of space on your device. In Apple’s keynote, they showed apps from Airbnb, Netflix and HBO.

However, the real potential is in games. The new Apple remote that comes with the TV has undergone a complete face lift. It has a touch screen, microphone to support siri, accelerometer and gyroscope. This means it’s part Wii-mote allowing for a world of games that can require hand gestures and motion input. Rock Band creators Harmonix showed off a Wii-sports esque clone called Beat Sports. You swing the remote and the character on screen swings their bat. Also, Australian developers Hipster Whale demoed a port of their iPhone hit game Crossy Road. They made it multiplayer by allowing other players to use an iPhone as a controller to participate. Ingenious!

Coming in late October, Apple TV will come in two versions, 32gb and 64gb. In the meantime, developers can download a beta of tvOS here and begin their app development. Who else is excited about Apple’s new TV?

Remote and Apple TV image credit: ymgerman / [Rumours have been swirling the internet for Apple to enter the television market, but in reality they’re already there. They already have a tiny black box that is connected up to everyone’s TV, the Apple TV. Last week this tiny black box that started out as an experiment received a much overdue refresh. It was easy to lose sight of this refresh amongst all the other changes to their existing iPhone, iPad and watch products.

So what is so special about this iteration of the Apple TV? One word, apps. It’s like Apple took an iPhone, put it in a box and hooked it up to a TV. The new Apple TV runs an operating system called tvOS that allows developers to write custom apps for it. Previously there were only a finite number of apps pre-installed on the device. Now Apple TV apps will appear in the app store and you will be able to download them to your heart’s content, or until you run out of space on your device. In Apple’s keynote, they showed apps from Airbnb, Netflix and HBO.

However, the real potential is in games. The new Apple remote that comes with the TV has undergone a complete face lift. It has a touch screen, microphone to support siri, accelerometer and gyroscope. This means it’s part Wii-mote allowing for a world of games that can require hand gestures and motion input. Rock Band creators Harmonix showed off a Wii-sports esque clone called Beat Sports. You swing the remote and the character on screen swings their bat. Also, Australian developers Hipster Whale demoed a port of their iPhone hit game Crossy Road. They made it multiplayer by allowing other players to use an iPhone as a controller to participate. Ingenious!

Coming in late October, Apple TV will come in two versions, 32gb and 64gb. In the meantime, developers can download a beta of tvOS here and begin their app development. Who else is excited about Apple’s new TV?

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