iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. Having recently been completely revamped for the release of the fourth generation model, the new Apple TV is a nice little device in its own right. At the center of it all is the App Store, which now lets you download TV-optimized apps and games, all playable using the new Siri Remote, as well as favorites like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
Honorable Mention: Amazon Fire TV
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During today's Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint event, Apple announced the long-awaited, completely redesigned Apple TV. In an effort to bring TV into the modern age, Apple is focusing on an app-based solution for reinventing television. On the inside, Apple has added 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking, giving the Apple TV faster networking access. The App Store is now front and center on the new Apple TV, allowing users to download television-optimized apps from developers. The user interface has been modernized, and on the inside, Apple has included the A8 processor from the iPhone 6. This is a big improvement over the A5 processor found in the previous model. Apple has updated the software to a version of iOS 9 that it's calling tvOS.
Apple has sent invitations to press for it’s “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” event, happening on September 9th at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. As has become annual tradition, this will be the event where Apple unveils its next set of iPhones, including the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. There are also rumors of a potential iPhone 6c, as well as a long-awaited new Apple TV. It won’t be long now, iPhone fans—Apple takes the stage in just 13 days. In the meantime, feel free to keep bugging Siri and see if she gives you an early scoop.
What's your best guess at what the company will be announcing?
As part of Apple's Spring Forward event, the company announced a major price cut for Apple TV. After announcing that the brand new standalone streaming service, HBO Now, will launch exclusively on Apple devices this April, Tim Cook then followed up by letting the audience know that the Apple TV would be receiving a 30% price cut. The Apple TV now costs just $69, down from $99 previously. This is the same Apple TV that Apple has been selling for a few years, so no hardware changes here just yet--but it's good to see the price drop nonetheless. You can pick up an Apple TV at the new price right now.
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Apple kicked off its Spring Forward event this morning with a big announcement. HBO CEO Richard Plepler took the stage to announce that the new HBO standalone subscription service, HBO Now, will launch exclusively on Apple devices. The service will cost $14.99 per month, and includes the full HBO catalog of content. This is basically HBO Go, but without the need of a traditional HBO cable subscription in order to use it. HBO Now launches in April, and the first month will be free.
iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
Honorable Mention: Roku 3 Streaming Player
Read More | Apple TV
Today, Apple will be holding its We Wish We Could Say More event where it’s expected to reveal the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iWatch, and a new mobile payment processing system. Some are also expecting an update to the iPad Air, and the Apple TV set-top box. This is shaping up to be one of the biggest Apple keynote events in company history—certainly the biggest yet for Steve Jobs successor, Tim Cook—and the company wants you to see it all go down, live as it happens. Here’s how you can watch today’s Apple Event:
- If you have an Apple TV, Apple has added a dedicated Apple Events channel. Fire it up at 10:00am PDT (1:00pm EDT), and you’ll be able to tune in. You need to have a second- or third-generation Apple TV running software version 6.2 or later.
- If you want to live stream the event from your desktop, you’ll need to be running OS X 10.6.8 or later and Safari 5.1.10. From there, just head to the Apple Live page.
- You can also stream the event in the Safari web browser on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as long as you are running iOS 6.0 or later.
Of course, if you’re somewhere that you aren’t able to live stream video, you can keep it locked right here to Gear Live, where we will be bringing you reports of all the announcements at breakneck speed. Additionally, you can also follow along at The Verge, Recode, and Engadget.
Once things are wrapped up, Apple will make the video of today’s presentation available for on-demand viewing and downloading later today.
So there you have it! How will you be following along?
Apple CEO announced that Apple TV sales have now surpassed 20 million during today's Q2 2014 earnings call. As such, the company recently stopped referring to the Apple TV business as a "hobby," as it's done for the past seven years or so.
"I'm feeling good about this business and where it could go," Tim Cook said, further revealing that the company stopped calling the product segment a hobby once it pulled in $1 billion in revenue in 2013. "it didn’t feel right to me to refer to something that brought in a billion dollars as a 'hobby,'"
Now, the Apple TV is an "area of intense interest"--no longer a hobby, indeed. The last major Apple TV hardware release came in 2012. Since then, the company has added many new channels of content over time. Rumors continue to persist that Apple will release a new Apple TV set-top box with expanded functionality, while others say that the company is set to reveal a full-on 4K Ultra High Definition television set of its own.
You can pick up the current Apple TV at a discount on Amazon.
This morning Amazon sent out invitations for an April 2nd event that invites us to "Please join us for an update on our video business." In the background is a couch, with a few pieces of popcorn spilled on it. It looks like the company may finally launch the long-rumored Amazon Video set-top box, a product that would compete with devices like the Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku products. Amazon's box may even differentiate itself by offering gaming right out of the gate, as we saw a prototype of an Amazon game controller leaked a couple of weeks ago. There are plenty of Android games that Amazon could see success with with game controller support built-in.
We'll know for sure on April 2, and we'll bring you the full details.
Update: It looks like Amazon may also launch a free video streaming service at this event as well!
Alongside the iOS 7.1 update, Apple also released Apple TV update version 6.1, which offers a much easier way to hide unwanted app channels from the Apple TV home screen. After updating, all you need to do is highlight an icon, and press and hold the Select button until all the icons start wiggling. Then, head over to the one you'd like to remove, and hit the Play/Pause button, and then select Hide. It's gone! You can re-add any hidden channels by going into the Settings > Main Menu area.
The new method is much easier than the previous, where you'd have to navigate into your Settings menu to hide items. Now, you can do it right from the home screen.
If you haven't yet got the latest Apple TV update, navigate over to Settings > Software Update, and choose Update Software.
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