There has been ample speculation that the Apple TV will get a long overdue refresh during the September 9 Apple press event. And yesterday news surfaced
that shipping time for the device has leaped to 1-2 weeks, which could be an indication that Apple is holding onto its stock until after the event. That got me wondering: Apart from boosting its paltry 160GB hard drive to something much
meatier, and improving its media-management software, how exactly could
Apple make the TV into an utterly fabulous gizmo?
Hulu Integration Right Out of the Box
There’s no need for Apple to stop with Hulu either–a wide selection of Web-video content companies would build the Apple TV’s desirability even more.
Apple TV App Store
What apps would go on there? Basic email interactivity, Flickr integration, local weather info, traffic reports, Internet radio: Basically many of the novel apps that make the iPhone such a potent smartphone, and which would’ve been hard to imagine at its launch. Casual gaming could certainly become a big deal–and ties in neatly with long-standing rumors about Apple’s games market aspirations.
There are pretty strong rumors that the upcoming iTunes 9, designed to support Apple’s digital album concept “cocktail,” will also sport some kind of social networking integration. It’s potentially designed to drive up user buy-in to the iTunes store by sparking social-net discussion about the music. But it could also be a good model for how Apple TV could do the same thing.
USB Drive Support
It’s time for Apple to officially embrace this, and make the USB drive support a built-in part of the Apple TV’s capabilities. It’s not beyond the pale, given that Apple’s enabled USB drive support on its Airport Extreme base station, and it would certainly boost the TV’s capabilities and usefulness.
Four quick’n’dirty ways Apple could turn its lost-sheep product into a world-beater–not the first time these suggestions have been made, but you never know when Apple might be listening. Did we miss something you’d like to see in Apple TV? Fire away in the comments.
[USB Port Photo via Engadget]