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.
Apple has a great deal on the Apple TV for the next five days (a great option to watch the WWE Network on your television.) Between now and March 5th, Apple TV buyers will receive a $25 iTunes gift card, which can be used to buy anything in the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store and can be used to buy iOS apps, Mac apps, music, movies, TV shows, and eBooks. This essentially brings the cost of the $99 Apple TV down to $75 in a way.
Head on over to the Apple Store online to check out the deal.
Read More | Apple TV Product Page
Since a lot of people were curious about if the WWE Network would be available on Apple TV, and how it would look compared to the other platforms out there, I went ahead and put together this video walkthrough and review. There are a bunch of pros to using an Apple TV for the Network, but one caveat that can be seen as a con.
In this video I cover:
- How to subscribe to the WWE Network on Apple TV and skip the signup issues plaguing other devices
- How to link your Apple TV purchase to your WWE.com account so you can access the Network everywhere
- How to link your Apple TV purchase to other Apple TVs
- How to use AirPlay to send WWE Network content from your iOS device to an Apple TV wirelessly
I also give an interface tour and my overall thoughts on how the WWE Network looks and feels on Apple's set-top box. I'll be doing more videos focusing on other devices as well, so if there's one you'd like me to focus on, feel free to contact me on Facebook or Twitter and let me know. Keep an eye on our YouTube channel (you can subscribe here!) to see the new stuff as it drops.
If you like what you see from the Apple TV, you can pick one up here from Apple.
Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel!
This morning, the long-awaited WWE Network launched, bringing with it 24/7 live programming alongside an extensive content library from WWE. As is to be expected with any new, big content offering, there are some hiccups due to the rush of demand that the servers are having to deal with. Users are having a hard time getting signed up since the MLBAM (the company hosting the WWE Network content) service has been slammed.
However, there's a simple workaround that'll let you bypass the whole mess for users who own an Apple TV. As with Netflix and Hulu Plus, Apple offers direct subscription access to the WWE Network through iTunes. This means that you are dealing with Apple servers rather than the ones the WWE is using, and therefore, you can sign right up with no problem and start watching immediately.
If you've got an Apple developer account, you should know that Apple has released iOS 7.1 beta 5 build 11D5145e, and you can go and grab it right now. Of course, you can log in to the Developer Center to manually grab the file, or head into the Settings > General > Software Update section on your iOS device for the over-the-air install. As far as new changes, the release notes point to international Siri improvements:
"This seed adds new natural-sounding Siri voices for English (Australia), English (United Kingdom), Japanese, and Chinese (Mandarin – China)"
Along with the new iOS software, Apple has also released new betas of Xcode 5.1, and the Apple TV software as well.
We've gotten tons of questions about the WWE Network launching on Apple TV, with no real concrete answer on a date. Well, a WWE rep has confirmed that the network will launch on Apple TV on February 24th, alongside most other platforms. In the quote, the WWE representative states:
"In order to experience WWE Network on an Apple TV, you must have a second generation or later (black) Apple TV and be a WWE Network subscriber. Once WWE Network is available, you will be able to launch the WWE Netowrk app directly from your Apple TV. Let us know if you have further questions! Thank you."
Announced at CES 2014, WWE Network will provide 24/7 live-streaming original programming alongside a vault of on-demand content that viewers can watch, all for $9.99 per month, which includes all twelve annual live pay-er-view events--yes, even WrestleMania. Apple has been regularly releasing new channels on the Apple TV with no advance notice, and they appear on your device without you have to go find them and download them. You should be able to plug in your WWE Network credentials on the Apple TV starting at 9am EST on February 24th, when the service goes live.
If you were paying close attention to the changes that Apple made to the Apple Store Online overnight, you would have noticed that, for the first time in its history, the Apple TV has its own section in the Store. Previously, the device had been relegated out of the way, buried in the iPad Accessories section. Odd, sure, since the Apple TV is hardly an accessory for the iPod at all, save for the fact that they can work together over AirPlay, but where else was Apple to put a product that wasn't meant to be featured? After all, the Apple TV wasn't a real business according to Apple--it was just a "hobby." Something the company dabbled in and played with, pulling the string to see where it would lead. Let's be clear: Apple has ambitious TV plans. The company has just been using the Apple TV as a research project. While it has been available for purchase for many years, Apple never advertises it. Not on television, radio, print, or web. So, the fact that here in 2014, seven years after first going on sale, the Apple TV now has its own dedicated section on the Apple Store (with AppleCare, a refurb section, and dedicated accessories) must mean that something bigger is happening, right? Well, where there is smoke, there's fire.
During CES, WWE announced the ambitious WWE Network project, a service that will see live 24/7 programming paired with a vast on-demand content library for $9.99 in what's considered a first-of-its-kind over-the-top service. WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer, Michelle Wilson, announced the vast number of hardware partners and devices that will be able to access the Network when it launches on February 24th, and they included iOS devices, Android devices, Roku, Kindle Fire tablets, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Playstation 4. Later this summer Xbox One and Smart TV platforms get added to the list.
This left many wondering if the Apple TV would support the new venture. As I had noted previously here, as well as in an audio hotline on PWInsider, if you own an iOS device or Mac, you'll be able to AirPlay WWE Network content directly to the Apple TV. This is how the UFC Fight Pass supports Apple's set-top box. However, it seems that the WWE Network will, in fact, get a dedicated Apple TV channel.