Apple is set to go out with a bang this year with its big October 22 event. The obvious product announcement that everyone is expecting belongs to the iPad line, with the iPad 5 and iPad mini both seeing significant upgrades. What else can we expect from what will likely be the final Apple event of 2013? Join us after the break for our analysis and expectations.
This morning Apple added a few new apps to the Apple TV, bringing VEVO, The Disney Channel, Disney XD, The Weather Channel, and the Smithsonian Channel to the streaming set-top box. As far as VEVO is concerned, the company released a statement that confirms that the entire 75,000 music video library is now available on Apple TV:
Apple TV users are sure to recognize the intuitive and efficient design. VEVO viewers are able to quickly browse videos by featured artists including all of the latest premieres. VEVO includes multiple modes of discovery – you can watch on-demand videos from any genre or simply select any video that piques your interest. If you have something particular in mind, perform a search and we will surface what you’re looking for right at your fingertips.
The Weather Channel allows you to see current weather conditions and forecasts, and access to featured content from the channel as well. The Smithsonian Channel lets you stream on-demand content. The two Disney apps require cable authentication to view the live and on-demand content, and is available through supported providers: AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Midcontinent Communications, Optimum, and Verizon FiOS. You can pick up the Apple TV for $99 from Apple.
Apple has just announced a new software update for the Apple TV that brings HBO Go and WatchESPN to the platform. Additionally, live UK Sky News streaming, access to Crunchyroll (an anime video site) videos, and Qello, a music/documentary streaming service.
“HBO GO and WatchESPN are some of the most popular iOS apps and are sure to be huge hits on Apple TV,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We continue to offer Apple TV users great new programming options, combined with access to all of the incredible content they can purchase from the iTunes Store.”
In order to activate HBO GO and WatchESPN, you'll need to be subscribed to the right cable provider, and you'll activate them using a code from your provider. Sky News provides free streaming in the US, UK, and Ireland.
You can download Apple TV 5.3 software update now for your second- and third-generation Apple TV to get the new hotness right away.
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Apple has just announced iTunes Radio, the new streaming music service for iOS, iTunes (Mac and PC,) and Apple TV. The service looks to compete with Pandora, and will be built right in to the iOS 7 Music app. Apple will have a bunch of curated stations available at launch, and will also allow users to create their own custom stations as well. You can give a track a star to signify that you like it, share the station with a friend, and ask for more like that song. Led Zepplin is even available, a first for streaming. iTunes Radio will be free with advertising, but iTunes Match subscribers get it completely ad-free.
Yesterday evening, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the state at the 11th annual D: All Things Digital conference, and spoke about many topics relating to Apple. During the D11 interview, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher hit Cook with tough questions, most of which were answered with just enough information so as not to give away specific future plans. Talking points include wearable computing, changes coming to iOS, Apple stock price, taxes, and more. We've got the full 90-minute interview video for you after the break--check it out.
It's becoming customary within the Apple community to conceptualize ideas of future Apple products and software. In this case, Sam Beckett conceptualizes what the mythical Apple TV set, or iTV, display may look like and how it might behave. Interactions, mostly done by way of an iOS device, in this case are done with an iPad mini. This, of course, is opposed to using the often confusing button-riddled TV remote. Interacting and navigating is user-friendly and intuitive while using DVR functions, swiping between channels using gestures, using Siri and Genius content recommendations, etc. In addition, apps are served up as channels, and the user would have the ability to tie into their cable provider of choice if they aren't ready to cut the cord. I don't know about you, but we're digging this much. Watch the video after the snappy break.
The Evade3rs dev team has just released the first untethered jailbreak for the latest release of iOS, including devices that house an A6 or A6X processor. This means that owners of the iPhone 5, the iPad mini, and the 4th generation iPad can get in on the untethered jailbreak game. This means that you no longer need to connect to a computer each time you need to restart your device in order to maintain your jailbreak. That is good news!
The day after Apple's latest earnings call, I got an email from a reader that asked if the days of Apple leading the world in consumer electronics innovation has come to an end, and if the playing field is leveling out:
Q: What's up with Apple? It seems the stock is down, profits are great, and products are stagnant, only seeing revisions rather than new product categories. Have they gotten too big to be as nimble as they used to be?
Coincidentally, I was browsing Facebook earlier, and I came across a post where a friend was very unimpressed by Apple's announcement of the 128 GB iPad:
Maybe it's the jet lag, but the latest 'New Thing' is a 128GB iPad?
This is it?
Where's Apple innovation?
I dunno, it seems that people expect way more from Apple than any other company. They update their iOS products on a yearly cycle, and they even updated the iPad mid-cycle last time (which people got upset about too, because it was too soon. Wait, what?)
Do people forget that the original iPod was released in 2001, and then the iPhone 6 years later, and then the iPad another three years after that? The iPad isn't even three years old yet, and people are saying Apple has lost something. Big, game-changing products like this take time.
Apple CEO Tim Cook gave his first televised interview to "Rock Center with Brian WIlliams" and it aired yesterday evening. Cook covered controversial topics like the Apple Maps gaffe, Samsung litigation, Foxconn, and the lack of US manufacturing of Apple products. Additionally, Tim makes interesting comments about the future of television, an area where Apple now has "an intense interest," a definite upgrade from being called just a "hobby" by the company. Part 1 of the interview is above, and you'll find Part 2, along with the full transcript, after the break.
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 2012 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.
You can pick up the Apple TV for $99, or $94.95 on Amazon.
Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player
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