The new Apple TV is here. It’s a long overdue refresh to the device, which will now support third-party apps. It also has a redesigned remote, which includes a touch pad and can be used as a game controller. As predicted, Apple TV now also supports Siri voice control. The device will ship with universal search, which will allow users to search for content across apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and Showtime.
The new Apple TV, which comes in 32 GB ($149) and 64 GB ($199) versions, will ship in late October.
While the overall user interface looks very familiar, the functionality of the Apple TV appears poised to change substantially, thanks to the integration of Siri and universal search. For instance, viewers can ask Siri for a specific episode of a specific show, or even an episode guest starring a particular actor. As is typically the case with Apple, the name of the game here is usability. And with this update to Apple TV, the company is taking its most sincere crack yet at the fractured, imperfect design of Internet-based television and movie watching.
“Our vision for TV is simple, and perhaps a little provocative: We believe the future of television is apps.” – Tim Cook
The Apple TV operating system now has a name: tvOS. The new OS, which Eddy Cue says is “based on iOS and built for the living room,” also has a new suite of software development kit to let developers built new TV apps, including games.
Apple is really pushing the gaming use case for the new Apple TV, which makes sense considering how long popular games have proven on its smaller devices. During today’s keynote, Apple invited several third-party game developers on stage to preview some of the games that will be available when the Apple TV ships. At least one Fast Company gamer is not rushing to buy an Apple TV anytime soon, however…
Apple also partnered with MLB to create new Apple TV-specific sports apps, promising to help scratch an itch often cited by those hesitant to cut the cord from cable.
The Apple TV won’t be limited to video content, music and games. Shopping app Gilt also demoed its upcoming Apple TV app on stage at today’s event, and Cue mentioned the impending arrival of an Airbnb app on the Apple TV.
- Redesigned remote control featuring a touch pad, accelerometer and gyroscope
- Siri voice control
- Developer kit and third party app store
- Universal, cross-app video search
- tvOS operating system
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 64 bit A8 chip
Get all of today’s Apple updates on our Apple Event Live page.