We’ve heard a lot this week about the new Apple TV and iOS 8. Apple’s release of iOS 7.1 also made news during the week that was, as this story shows.
The Apple TV Gaming Device
It has never been easier to stream video content from a mobile device. Nevertheless, the living room remains the place where most of our video entertainment is consumed. With this is mind, Cupertino is about to take the lid off its next-generation Apple TV the first hardware update for the device in 24 months.
When Tim Cook takes the stage at a special event in the coming weeks, Apple wont be revealing an iTV. Nor will they be launching a device which offers a la carte TV programming, as was once believed. Nonetheless, the fourth generation device will represent the companys biggest push yet to move the Apple TV beyond its hobby product status.
A large part of this push is to make the Apple TV a full-fledged gaming console, according to sources close to Apple.
To date, most have focused on what affect Apple’s release last year of a game controller API would have on iOS devices. In fact, we’ve heard the company’s plans for its set top box was the central reason Cupertino launched the API.
Without games, a device such as the one Apple is planning wouldnt work, of course. Therefore, expect to see the first Apple TV store to launch alongside the new device.
Initially, this marketplace will look a lot like Apples App Store and include much of the same content, for better or worse. Recall playing iPhone games on Apple’s first tablet (before iPad-only games existed) as an example of what to expect. In time, games and apps unique to the Apple TV will become commonplace.
Weve been told by sources that the new Apple TV may launch with one or two exclusive games. Also, an Apple branded game controller could also be in the offering, although it wont ship inside the Apple TV box.
The interface on the new Apple TV will look a lot like the one on the current model once you move beyond gaming. In other words, the entertainment offerings on the new Apple TV will more-or-less match those on the existing model.
Roku Streaming Stick
Interestingly enough, little is known about what the next Apple TV will actually look like. It could look very similar (and smaller) than the current model — or it could take its visual cues from the Google’s Chromecast or Roku’s Streaming Stick, and simply attach to a television’s HDMI port.
More than likely, the new Apple TV will be unveiled before the end of April.
Meanwhile, Apple finally released iOS 7.1 to the public. The update comes with plenty of improvements and bug fixes,” including:
iOS experience designed for the car
Simply connect your iPhone to a CarPlay enabled vehicle
Supports Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, and 3rd-party audio apps
Control with Siri and the cars touchscreen, knobs, and buttons
Manually control when Siri listens by holding down the home button while you speak and releasing it when youre done as an alternative to letting Siri automatically notice when you stop talking
New, more natural sounding male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese
Search field above Featured Stations to easily create stations based on your favorite artist or song
Buy albums with the tap of a button from Now Playing
Subscribe to iTunes Match on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free
Option to display events in month view Country specific holidays automatically added for many countries
Bold font option now includes the keyboard, calculator, and many icon glyphs Reduce Motion option now includes Weather, Messages, and multitasking UI animations New options to display button shapes, darken app colors, and reduce white point
New Camera setting to automatically enable HDR for iPhone 5s
iCloud Keychain support in additional countries
FaceTime call notifications are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device
Fixes a bug that could occasionally cause a home screen crash
Improves Touch ID fingerprint recognition
Improved performance for iPhone 4
Fixes display of Mail unread badge for numbers greater than 10,000
Continued user interface refinements
A touchy problem with iOS 7.1?
Many have said iOS 7.1 has made Touch ID on their iPhone 5s better. Unfortunately, some have reported having major problems with Apple’s fingerprint technology after installing the update.