Even though Apple failed to mention anything about a new version of its Apple TV set-top box at yesterday’s big press event for the new iPhones, we still may end up getting a refreshed Apple TV soon.
Apple is apparently planning to release a new version of Apple TV Sept. 18, according to an AllThingsD report that cites unnamed sources familiar with Apple’s plans. That’s the same day Apple plans to release its iOS 7 mobile operating system update as well.
According to the report, one of the biggest new features on the next-gen Apple TV will be an upgrade to the Airplay functionality, which mirrors a iPad/iPhone/Macbook screen to a television. The new feature will be called the “Airplay Stream,” and people can use it to play movies they’ve purchased through iTunes over any Apple TV set-top box, not just the one they own. The idea, presumably, is to allow people to share their video collections with friends or make it supereasy to watch your library regardless of location if the TV they’re using has an Apple TV.
That said, this isn’t a feature I’m very excited about or one that will push the device much further than its already gone in terms of what it can do to enhance the TV watching experience.
Thus far Apple TV has sold amazingly well for Apple, considering the small amount of promotion and marketing attention the company has given it since launching years ago. However, until recently, the Apple TV has lagged behind many of the other top streaming-media devices available on the market. Additionally, people were clamoring for two main things: more connectivity with third-party media services and an Apple TV SDK so developers can make their own apps.
Some of that has been fixed over the past few months. Apple has added new apps for services like HBO Go, Crunchyroll TV, WatchESPN, Vevo, and a handful of others. Apple has also added additional features like a new conference mode and support for its iTunes Radio service. But as we pointed out in the past, a simple refreshed version of the Apple TV really wouldn’t be much to get excited over.
I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to see what else Apple is planning.