Just because it isn't its native platform doesn't mean Google is giving iOS users the short end of the figurative stick when it comes to accessing content. Unlike some other retailer who seemingly wants to kick out rival devices from its shelves. Google has just pushed an update to its Google Play Movies & TV app for iOS, not Android, that adds some interesting and useful, not to mention timely, features, like direct support for Apple TV as well as streaming over cellular data connections.
It feels almost unbelievable that it has only been a month since Apple formally opened up its App Store for Apple TV developers. Especially when you consider that there are an estimated 2,624 apps that now grace that app marketplace for Apple's TV set-top box. Even Eddy Cue confirms there is as much, without getting into exact numbers of course. And the insights that app metrics site appFigures share are quite interesting as the Apple TV seems to break every set expectation as far as app statistics go.
Apple just released tvOS 9.1 for the new fourth-gen Apple TV this week, not only allowing users to take advantage of the Siri Remote's voice capabilities for searching music, but also making the device compatible with the Remote app for iOS. The latter means that users can enter text and navigate menus on the Apple TV from their iPhone or iPad. However, since Siri is already built into the iPhone, what about an iOS Remote app that took advantage of voice input just as the Apple TV's physical remote does?
It seems it was wise after all for Apple not to wait for the launch of its Internet-based TV subscription service before launching its new Apple TV set-top box. Because now it seems that plans for that service are being put on hold indefinitely. Although the rumor mill never really gave a target date, it was commonly believed that Apple was close to finalizing deals that would fill its service with channels and content. As it turns out, Apple was nowhere near closing after all.
Apple released a bunch of updates today, including iOS 9.2, watchOS 2.1, Apple TV OS 9.1, and El Capitan 10.11.2. Some of the updates are more substantial than others - the watchOS update just brings additional language support and bug fixes, for example. Notable changes include Siri support for Apple Music in tvOS 9.1, Arabic support with Siri in iOS 9.2, several improvements in El Capitan, and more.
It's well-known that Apple isn't known to waste time when it comes to moving ahead on production of forthcoming devices, even when a brand-new model was just introduced to consumers. Case in point: the new, fourth-generation Apple TV was just released in October, following three years without an update, but now Apple is prepping to begin production of a fifth-gen model in early 2016. This comes a day after the news that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting a new 4-inch iPhone model to debut in the same time period.
The latest Apple TV model has been available for a few weeks now, but in terms of apps for streaming video services, there is one significant option mission. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and more are all available to users, but an Amazon app for Prime/Instant Video is still yet to be seen. Fortunately, that may be changing "within a few weeks," if an email from a customer service representative turns out to be accurate.
Facebook announced this week that it was making its SDK available for developers working with the new Apple TV's tvOS. While the company highlights that the SDK will allow developers to incorporate social experiences into their Apple TV apps, the greatest benefit could be the ability to make use of Facebook Login, which lets users sign in to apps with their social network account.
Guitar Hero Live has launched for the new Apple TV today, allowing users play the latest entry in the music game series on their television screen without the need of a dedicated game console. However, in an unexpected move, users must have the guitar controller in order to play. This is opposed to the iPhone/iPad version of the game, which lets users play a free two-song trial without requiring any kind of peripheral.
Now that the new Apple TV has been available for almost a week, users and developers alike have had time to play with the hardware's features, as well as its tvOS operating system. While developers also got their hands on the first tvOS 9.1 beta this week, it was within tvOS 9.0, which shipped with the set-top box, that one person discovered support for app folders on the home screen, similar to iOS. It was found by Steve Troughton-Smith, who shared the images here on Twitter.
The new Apple TV has been in the wild for a full weekend now, and it seems early buyers have been eager to try out its gaming experience. Having launched on Friday of last week and debuting tvOS and its own dedicated app store, early data shows that games are topping the most popular paid apps so far. Apple hasn't officially begun listing the top apps in the paid, free, and grossing categories yet, likely because they're waiting for more users to test the waters, but Slide to Play has been able to put together a partial list with limited data access.