Category: Apple TV

Apple TV Debate Continues

Third-generation Apple TV showing iTunes movies

Third-generation Apple TV showing iTunes movies

Just as we thought we could get to the end of the year without another flurry of Apple TV rumours we’ve unfortunately been scuppered by none other than Tim Cook himself. Last week Cook stated in a television interview for NBC that TV was an area of “intense interest” for Apple. A bit of an upgrade from just being a “hobby”.

Naturally these comments, which were admittedly accompanied with some very coy smiles from Cook, have set the rumour sites into an outbreak of excitement. Notably very few of these rumours are anything to pay much attention and lack any kind of credibility beyond “I have a friend who says his friend saw Jony Ive and Tim Cook shopping for TVs in Best Buy”.

However, today a usually accurate source has popped up with a bizarrely vague article quoting a number of sources from the supply chain about Apple’s possible movements towards an Apple TV set in 2013. The Wall Street Journal’s article which quotes “officials at some of Apple’s suppliers” makes a point of assuring the reader that whatever Apple is currently up to it’s too early to tell what exactly the company’s movements are, in fact “It isn’t a formal project yet”.

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Expectations at WWDC 2012

Moscone West in San Francisco adorned for WWDC 2012

Moscone West in San Francisco adorned for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is approaching quickly and unlike last year it looks like Apple might put on more than a software only show. Equally exciting for 2012 is that in the six months that have passed Apple has released and updated relatively few products. Particularly notable for the six months that have made up 2012 so far is that not a single model of Mac has been refreshed. We know that Apple has a particular dislike for releasing new hardware in August and after late October which leaves only a few months for a whole bunch of products to be crammed into.

Macs which have so far been completely void of any changes and many of which haven’t been touched for almost 12 months or more will likely be changed ahead of the “back to school” period which usually runs during June and July. Such a release timeframe could coincide nicely with the release of OS X Mountain Lion pinned by Apple for “late summer”.

It is possible to say with confidence that neither the iPhone nor the iPad will see any sort of hardware change announced during the WWDC keynote on Monday. Both of Apple’s leading products are firmly set in predictable cycles—iPad in March and iPhone in October for those slow off the mark.

The problem with such a high number of potential announcements is that it becomes difficult to make accurate predictions for WWDC which has in recent history focused more on developers than consumers, certainly since the iPhone moved to a Fall refresh in 2010.

But as Apple has indicated in its WWDC 2012 material the upcoming week is the one “we’ve all been waiting for”. So let’s take a look at the likely candidates for next weeks keynote.

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Why Sync?

iCloud music on iPhone, iPad and Mac

iCloud music on iPhone, iPad and Mac

This week the subject of Apple’s cluttered and bloated iTunes app has been on the agenda. Jason Snell over at Macworld originally argued that if Apple is going to embrace the cloud, like it appears to be doing, then iTunes should be simpler. Snell suggests breaking iTunes down into separate apps, “one devoted to device syncing, one devoted to media playback. (And perhaps the iTunes Store could be broken out separately too?)”

Then Federico Viticci at MacStories chimed in with a slightly different take but along the same lines. Viticci’s take moves along a different tangent and one that has been playing on my mind for a few weeks now. The basic premise of Viticci’s argument is why does iTunes need to the hub of all our media and device syncing? Put simpler, why are we still using iTunes?

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Apple Blazes Into the Future With New iPad

The new iPad with Retina display

The new iPad with Retina display | Image courtesy of Apple

Apple today announced a new iPad finally putting an end to the chorus of iPad 3 rumours that have been circulating for many months. The new iPad, which is simply named iPad, is very much in line with the rumours. Also announced today, in line with expectation, was a new Apple TV.

Apple’s new Apple TV offers 1080p output and a new user interface which very much looks like Apple is positioning the device for more apps in the near future. Apple TV users can choose from over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store, now available in 1080p. Apple TV also continues to offer content from Netflix’s streaming catalogue, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.

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Keep Up With Apple’s iPad 3 Announcement

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco decorated ahead of Apple's iPad 3 Event

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco decorated ahead of Apple's iPad 3 Event | Image courtesy of kiel

In a little under two hours Apple CEO Tim Cook will take to the stage alongside his other senior executives and show the world the new iPad. In addition to the new iPad Apple is expected to announce a new Apple TV too. Rumours about both of these products have been circulating for many months, catch up on the iPad 3 rumours here and the Apple TV roundup here.

World of Apple will not offer a live blog of today’s event but I will be tweeting key announcements on the World of Apple Twitter account. The following sites are my favourites for following these kind of events:

World of Apple will provide full coverage of the announcements from the event and detailed analysis. The event begins at the following times:

  • 10:00AM – Pacific
  • 11:00AM – Mountain
  • 12:00PM – Central
  • 01:00PM – Eastern
  • 06:00PM – London
  • 07:00PM – Paris
  • 09:00PM – Moscow
  • 02:00AM – Tokyo (Thursday 8th)
  • 04:00AM – Sydney (Thursday 8th)

On Siri and the iPad

Siri on the iPhone 4S

Siri on the iPhone 4S

With less than 24 hours to go before Apple unveils the new iPad, speculation has risen to a deafening roar about what will appear on the new tablet. Last month I set out most of what was assumed about the iPad 3, up until this point very little of that has changed.

Here are the known knowns:

  • Retina display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536, most likely an IPS panel with dual backlights
  • Slightly thicker exterior case
  • A6 or A5x System-on-Chip with a PowerVR G6200/6400 GPU
  • Upgraded cameras on both sides, rear-camera likely to mirror that of the 4S in terms of video

Then comes what Donald Rumsfeld would refer to as the known unknowns, the things that are likely to happen eventually but not necessarily on this refresh.

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Updated Apple TV Due. But It’s Not What You Think.

iPad 3 Event Invite

March 7, 2012 iPad 3 Event Invite

It’s official. Apple has sent out invites this week to an event being held in San Francisco next Wednesday March the 7th. The event which is certainly going to be focused on the iPad 3 has been in the offing for a number of months, but in addition to the announcement of the iPad 3 it looks like the Apple TV will get a similar treatment but it’s not what you think.

Rumours of the iPad 3 gaining a retina display have been floating around since before the second iPad even existed. The likeliness of the iPad 3 popping up next week without a high-resolution display are hugely improbable. But the jump from a 1024 x 68 pixel display to one with a whopping 2048 x 1536 pixels creates all kinds of headaches. Beyond making the UI of apps look smooth and icons the correct resolution there are also issues with content. The maximum resolution of content on Apple’s own iTunes Store is 720p, that sure won’t look impressive on that super-high resolution display.

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Apple Releases Apple TV 4.2.2 Update

Apple TV

Apple TV

Apple has today released software version 4.2.2 for the second-generation Apple TV, the update effectively moves the Apple TV up to iOS 4.3 and carries a build number of 8F305.

In a support note Apple lists the following changes in the update:

  • Audio: Addresses an issue in which audio is not output when playing some video content.
  • Video playback: Addresses an issue in which video is not displayed when playing some content.
  • Audio output setting: Adds an audio output setting for switching to 16-bit audio for compatibility with some TVs and AV receivers.
  • Live FF/RW improvements: Improves the performance of fast-forwarding and rewinding live events.
  • Movie description: Addresses an issue in which the description information is not displayed for some movies.
  • YouTube video order: Addresses an issue in which YouTube subscription videos were not ordered by date.

Apple TV Software Update Addresses Screen Flickering

Apple TV

Apple TV

Apple today released a minor Apple TV software update to address issues with flickering, waking from sleep, and audio output. The software labelled version 4.2.1 comes with a number of fixes and improvements that are outlined in a support document.

  • TV compatibility: Addresses issues that may cause the screen to flicker or display incorrect color on some older TVs.
  • Wake from sleep: Addresses an issue where Apple TV may not wake up from sleep.
  • Audio: Addresses an issue where audio may not be heard on some TV models after switching from another input.
  • Stability and performance: Apple TV Software Update 4.2.1 includes stability and performance fixes for Apple TV.

iOS 4.3 Expected to Debut February 14

According to MacStories a reliable source has informed them that iOS 4.3 will be released on February 14 at 10 a.m. pacific time.

iOS 4.3 which will be available for the iPod touch (3rd and 4th gen), iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPad as well as the Apple TV was first delivered to developers in mid-January.

Included in iOS 4.3 is the new Personal Hotspot functionality that appeared with the unveiling of the Verizon iPhone. Although at this stage it is unknown whether carriers will be able to choose whether they allow access to the feature.

Developers are now able to stream video from their apps and have access to iOS 4.3 for Apple TV to test the feature.

Included in the iOS 4.3 beta is:

  • 4 or 5 finger multi-touch gestures on iPad (not included in final release)
  • Option on the iPad to use the hardware switch as orientation lock or mute switch.
  • Personal Hotspot is enabled, allowing access to a personal Wi-Fi network from up to 5 devices.
  • AirPlay streaming from third party apps.
  • iAds for the iPad
  • FaceTime, Camera and Photo Booth icons found on iPad
  • Evidence of features known as “Find My Friends”, “Media Stream” and “Photo Streaming”