Apple reportedly testing new 4K capable Apple TV

What probably comes as no surprise to anyone, Apple is reportedly testing a new Apple TV that is capable of 4K playback, according to a new report by Bloomberg. People familiar with the plans say the new device, internally codenamed “J105,” is also capable of displaying “more vivid colors,” which likely means support for HDR content. Bloomberg’s article points out that the current Apple TV, released in 2015, as well as the new unreleased model consist of numerous compromises that have resulted in a product that is evolutionary instead of revolutionary. Apple’s original vision for the product included connectors for a coaxial port to replace cable boxes, a game controller to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation, and microphones for hands free Siri communication. None of that panned out and Apple “essentially settled for turning the television set into a giant iPhone.” A 4K capable Apple TV, as well as HDR support, is inevitable from Apple, but it sounds like a disruption of how the average customer consumes streaming media is not coming with the next generation device.

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New ‘TV’ app from Apple aggregates multiple streaming services into one place on Apple TV and iOS

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It’s more evident than ever that Apple has given up on releasing their own streaming TV service. Yesterday they announced a new app, simply called TV, coming to Apple TVs and iOS devices that will list content from multiple streaming services you’re subscribed to in one place. This is identical to the strategy that Amazon has had with the Fire TV interface and Google has had with the Chromecast app. Instead of trying to pull content under Apple’s umbrella, the new app helps you discover content you already have access to from other streaming services. Read more ›

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Summary of Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation news from WWDC and E3

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Yesterday was the start of WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference, where they revealed some new features coming to the Apple TV. It was also the start of E3, the big gaming conference where Microsoft talked about the Xbox’s future and Sony talked about the PlayStation’s future. Here’s a summary of the announcements related to streaming media.
Read more ›

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New Apple App Store revenue-share model could result in an Amazon Video app on the Apple TV

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Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, has revealed changes coming to the Apple App Store that directly impact the likely reasons why Amazon Video is not available on the Apple TV. The specific change is a reduction in Apple’s cut of an app’s subscription revenue from 30% to 15%, after a customer has been subscribed to a service for over one year. Amazon hasn’t specifically said that the current 30% “Apple Tax” is the reason they haven’t released an Amazon Video app on the Apple TV, but it is widely speculated to be their main concern with the platform. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, did say last week that “we want it to be on the device with acceptable business terms,” when asked about Amazon Video on the Apple TV.

Under the new Apple App Store policy, Amazon would now keep 85% of most Prime membership fees from customers who signed up through an Amazon Video app on Apple devices. While Apple would still pocket 30% the first year and 15% each subsequent years, the new terms are a step in the right direction for Amazon, which might make them reconsider releasing an Amazon Video app for the Apple TV. Read more ›

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The new Apple TV is now available for preorder

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The new Apple TV, announced last month, is now available for preorder. The 32GB model is $149 and the 64GB model is $199. Orders placed today will arrive between November 2nd and 4th with standard shipping, or as soon as October 30th with expedited shipping. I’ve ordered one to compare it to the Fire TV, and to see if I can shoehorn Kodi onto the device without rooting. Let me know in the comments what, if anything, you would like to know about it or want me to try/compare with the new Apple TV when it arrives.

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New Apple TV to be released next week with new CBS and NBC apps but no new TV service

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Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, announced on the stage of The Wall Street Journal’s tech conference that the new Apple TV will be available to order on Monday, October 26th, and will arrive later that week. Released this week, and available on both the new and old Apple TV, are new apps from NBC and CBS, which join existing apps from Fox and ABC to round out the big four US broadcast networks. The NBC app requires users to log in with their cable provider to view most content, while the CBS app requires subscribing to CBS All Access, their à la carte service, which costs $5.99 per month for on-demand access to CBS’s content as well as live TV streaming in select major markets. In comparison, the Amazon Fire TV has an ABC app and will gain an app from Fox soon, but has shown no indication of receiving NBC and CBS apps. As for the live TV service that Apple is rumored to be working on, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing that anytime soon. CBS CEO Les Moonves told Bloomberg that they’ve been in talks with Apple, but doesn’t know when the service will launch. Cook did call the new Apple TV “the foundation of the future of TV” on stage, so it doesn’t seem like Apple is content with just the new hardware.

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Apple TV may have crippled its gaming potential by requiring developers to support the included remote

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When Apple first annouced their new Apple TV last week, their app programing guide stated that it was okay for developers to “require an extended game controller.” Apple has now changed their policy to state that games developed for the new platform “must support the Apple TV remote.” This has the potential to cripple the Apple TV’s game library and limit the device to casual games with a simple control scheme.

The Fire TV, which does allow games to require a game controller, has the best game library of any streaming device on the market. Around 30% of the Fire TV’s game library currently requires a game controller. Some of the best games on the Fire TV are among the list of games that require a game controller. This decision by Apple may have cemented the Fire TV’s position as the top streamer for serious gamers and game developers.

ViaThe Verge
SourceTouchArcade

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Kodi may be sideloadable on the new Apple TV without jailbreaking

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A few months ago, Apple changed their policy to no longer require membership in their $99 developer program in order to test apps on Apple devices. This means anyone can sideload apps onto iOS devices without having to pay Apple or jailbreak their device. The new Apple TV runs tvOS which is heavily based off of iOS, so it’s likely these same new lax rules for loading unofficial apps also apply to the new Apple TV. This may mean that it will be possible to sideload Kodi onto the new Apple TV without jailbreaking.

If sideloading Kodi onto the new Apple TV is possible, the process will be significantly more difficult than sideloading Kodi onto the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. For starters, it will only be possible with an Apple computer. You will need to use Xcode, Apple’s development software, and compile Kodi yourself using the app’s source code. Even if you have the required Apple hardware and the proficiency to compile your own Apple TV software, there’s no guarantee the current iOS version of Kodi will work for the new Apple TV. If that’s the case, I’d imagine that supporting a device with such a difficult installation path wouldn’t be high on the Kodi team’s list of priorities.

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Plex coming to the new Apple TV

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Plex is a great way to view your local content on a variety of devices, second only to Kodi in my opinion. It has been officially available for iPhones and iPads for a while, but has been missing from the Apple TV, where it most belongs, due to the Apple TV’s lack of an app store. It looks like that’s going to change with the new Apple TV. In an interview with ITworld, Plex co-founder Scott Olechowski said “there is no question we will be able to offer Plex on the platform,” reffering to tvOS, the operating system on the new Apple TV. When pressed about concerns that something may restrict Plex from landing on the new Apple TV, Olechowski was confident that no such restrictions existed.

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Comparing the new Apple TV to the potential new Amazon Fire TV

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Now that the new Apple TV has been annouced, the big question is, how does it compare to the next generation Fire TV? We won’t be able to fully answer that question until Amazon officially announces a new Fire TV, but based on the leaked specs and the FCC filing, which we believe to be for the next generation Fire TV, we can make some pretty good guesses. Join me on a magical speculative voyage into the future of streaming set top boxes. Read more ›

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