Last night’s launch may have officially been an ‘iPhone event’, but Apple TV managed to sneak onto the bill too, bringing with it a pretty major set of upgrades.
The new generation of Apple TV (the fourth, if you’re counting) features 32GB or 64GB of internal storage depending on which model you go for, so you can store far more of your favourite media/important corporate assets on there, depending on whether you’re reading this at work or not. However, there’s still no streaming or AirPlay-ing of 4K footage.
There’s also the touch-enabled Siri Remote, which we’re told “dramatically simplifies how you select, scroll and navigate through your favourite content while bringing unique interactivity to the new Apple TV by using a glass touch surface that handles both small, accurate movements as well as big, sweeping ones. Adding touch to Apple TV creates a natural, connected experience, even if the TV screen is on the other side of the room. Developers can take advantage of the built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, and the touch surface on the Siri Remote to create games and other app experiences that have never been seen on TV before.”
The biggest change is that Apple TV now runs on its own OS, tvOS, and Apple is encouraging developers to move console-based games to the platform. There’s also the sudden appearance of universal search; type the name of the media you want, and Apple TV will search iTunes, Netflix and similar programmes before displaying an amalgamated list of all the files that match your criteria and how you can play them – much faster than you having to go into each app individually to see whether it has the media you want.
Other bonuses include access to an App Store optimised for Apple TV, with support for media, apps and games, and support for Siri, who can now search for and open content on your behalf. It also means better compression of your files and streams, so you’ll get a more seamless experience and be able to store more on your Apple TV, a fact helped along by its use of Metal for graphics and a new, faster A8 chip.
The new Apple TV will be available at the end of October starting at $149 (US) for a 32GB model and $199 (US) for a 64GB model from Jigsaw24. UK pricing TBC.