Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced the new Apple TV. Here’s what he had to say.
"More great content being create for TV than every before. This is the golden age of television. But the television hasn’t changed that much in decades. Television has been standing still."
"Our vision for TV is simple and perhaps a little provocative," he continued. "We believe the future of television is apps. In fact this transition has already begun - we are spending more time watching TV on our iPhones and iPads via apps."
Apple's philosophy is that TV as apps is "so much better", because you can search for what you want and watch it where you want.
Cook continued: "We need a new foundation for TV. One that's built on powerful hardware, a modern OS, and with developer tools so that developers can create apps, and has an app store so that customers can find those apps and personalise their experience better than ever before."
"We believe the new Apple TV is the 'future of television'," he said, introducing Phil Schiller to the stage.
Also unveiled at the Apple event on 9 September:
Apple TV: Release date
The new Apple TV will be available in late October.
Apple TV: UK price
The UK price of the Apple TV is yet to be confirmed, Apple states that the price will be confirmed when the unit goes on sale. In the US the 32GB lowest-capacity version costs twice as much as the entry level model at $149 while the 64GB version costs $199. Given that there are a number of competitors on the market that have considerably lower price points, this higher price may be a stumbling block for Apple.
To get an idea of the UK prices, the two versions will be available at the following price points in the US: $149 for 32GB (£97 before VAT, approx. £120 including VAT) or $199 for 64GB (£129 before VAT, approx. £160 including VAT). UK prices are estimates, expect them to be higher.
Apple TV: New remote
The new Apple TV comes with a new way of controlling it: Voice and touch. The Remote has been redesigned with this in mind.
There is a glass touch surface across the top and, according to Apple, you can easily glide across a set of movies and then stop when you get to the one you want.
While watching TV you can swipe up for info, swipe down to go back to the screen, for example.
The Remote uses bluetooth too, so no need to point the remote at the Apple TV anymore. And, according to Apple, you can use the remote to turn your TV on and change the volume. When you need to recharge the remote - which we assume will be a bit more power hungry than the current one - there is a lightening connector.
Apple TV: Siri
The remote also features a Siri button. You will be able to use Siri to navigate the Apple TV using natural language.
Hold down this Siri button and ask “show me funny TV shows” and Siri will search iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and Showtime (and hopefully UK-based apps eventually) to find the shows and films you want to watch.
Similarly, you could ask to see the episode of Modern Family with Edward Norton, as the keynote presenter did, for example. Or you could ask, “What did she say” and Siri will skip back 15 seconds and turn on the captions.
Siri can help you find what you want to watch if you aren’t sure what you fancy. For example, ask for James Bond and Siri will show you James Bond films - ask for the ones with Sean Connery and it will reduce the list to just those.
You can also ask Siri for info while you are watching your shows, whether you want to know the weather or the sports results, and it won’t interrupt what you are watching, instead it will add a line at the bottom of the screen, but if you want to see more information then you can swipe up to enter the app.
How much does the remote control cost?
The Siri Remote costs $79 (approx £51 ex VAT, UK price TBC) so try not to lose it. You can also buy a $13 strap to keep it on your wrist if you are using it for motion activated gaming. If you do lose your remote it appears that you will still be able to control it with your IPhone, and likely an Apple Watch.
Apple TV: tvOS software interface
The company is introducing a new operating system for the Apple TV based on iOS and built for the living room. It is called TVOS.
tvOS is the new Apple TV operating system which is based on iOS. Developers will be able to create apps using the exact same frameworks they use for iOS, OS X And watchOS. However, if you were hoping you would be able to update your existing Apple TV you are out of luck - it won’t run on the current or older models.
It would appear that the new features need that A8 chip in the new Apple TV. We’ve heard that there will be a compatibility update for recent Apple TVs though, we’re not sure if that means that they could be updated with the necessary hardware, we doubt it.
Apple TV: Third party app development
You will be able to download apps from the tvOS App Store. Developers will be at work adapting their apps for the new interface, no doubt. Some developers were given an early access to the framework so some apps will be ready at launch.
There are 11 million developers and Apple says it’s easy to develop apps, so we should see some great apps soon.
Apple TV: TV
There are some apps that are already coming to the Apple TV. During the keynote Apple revealed that Netflix and a load of US TV content providers are already in the works. Of course, the ability to watch TV this way won't only depend on the content being provided in the UK, but also on our broadband speeds. Steve Holford, VP Products, Hyperoptic, said: "Apple is renowned for its pedigree in mass-industry digitisation, so it’s highly likely Apple is set to revolutionise the TV market just like it did with music - taking streaming and apps from the laptop to the living room. However the decider will be the consumer experience, which is very much out of Apple’s control and dependent on the quality of the user’s broadband."
Apple TV: Other apps
It’s not just TV apps, AirB&B will be on there too, so you can plan your next holiday. Clothing company Gilt has developed an app so you can shop from the Apple TV.
According to Apple, the app store is just as easy to use as it is on the iPhone.
Developers can create universal apps, so a single purchase can get you the app on your iPhone, iPad and TV.
Apple has added Apple Music to the Apple TV, and you will still have access to your photos.
Apple TV: Games
Thanks to the fast processor and the remote that performs as a touch-based as well as motion-based controller, you can expect gaming to become a big deal for the Apple TV. Apple introduced a number of games developers to the stage during the keynote to show off their wares.
Games coming to Apple TV include: Star Wars, Guitar Hero, Crossy Road and more. Crossy Road is already on the Amazon Fire TV but the Apple TV version will be multiplayer. There’s also Beats Sports with support for four players - all you need is an iPhone or iPad to join in.
Third party controllers
You won’t be stuck with the new Apple TV remote, you will be able to use a number of third-party controllers - they just need to be in the MFi program, which means Apple will need to have certified them. Games developers will need to build support for the various controllers into their games though. The Apple TV will actually support four different controller at once.
Apple TV: Design
The new Apple TV is a similar design to before, but it’s 10mm taller than the current Apple TV.
Apple TV: dimensions
At 1.3in deep the new Apple TV is just under an inch taller than the old Apple TV.
Apple TV: ports
The new Apple TV will feature a USB-C port along with HDMI.
Apple TV: Screensavers
Apple’s also created some high def video to be used instead of static screensavers. This video will play day or night shots depending on the time of day where you are.
Another fancy effect, there is a 3D effect on the selected icon - you can even manipulate it with your thumb on the remote.
Apple TV: Specs
The new Apple TV will come in two capacities, one with 32GB Flash storage and one with 64GB Flash storage.
Read on to find out what we expected prior to the 9 September event.