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Posts tagged with "apple tv"

Apple Working on Universal Search API for Apple TV

John Paczkowski, writing for BuzzFeed:

In a recent interview with BuzzFeed News, Apple CEO Tim Cook said universal search in Apple TV is not something that the company plans to reserve for key content partners. “At launch we’ll have iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, and HBO — so we’ll have five major inputs into universal search initially,” Cook said. “But we’re also opening an API, so that others can join in.”

And Apple’s confident that they will do just that. “I think that many, many people will want to be in that search,” Cook said. “And that’s great for users. Think about your experience today. Even if you’re fortunate enough to have the content you want to watch in an app, you sometimes don’t remember exactly where that show is, so you’re going to Netflix or Hulu or Showtime. You shouldn’t have to do that. It should be very simple.”

It does sound like the technology behind iOS 9 search will be reused to plug into apps on the new Apple TV. Smart move.


How the New Apple TV Uses On-Demand Resources

Writing for iMore, Serenity Caldwell has a great overview of On-Demand Resources and how they'll work on tvOS:

Instead of making the user download 4GB off the bat, you slice up your app into a bunch of sections, called tags. You include the essential parts of the app—loading and launch screen, scores, settings, and the first five levels—in that 200MB bundle.

Other levels and assets are split into multiple tags that range in size from 64MB to 512MB. If you sliced up tags that all sized out to 100MB for your game, for instance, you'd have 38 additional items for download once a user installs the game. Those don't come all at once, however: They're called on-demand, when a user needs them.

(Extremely geeky thought: I wonder how this could affect the speedrunning community and level-skipping glitches if similar technologies are adopted by more platforms.)


Interesting Apple TV Tidbits: App Size Limits, Parallax Icons & More

If you haven't already read our overview of the new Apple TV, I'd recommend reading that first. But since then we've also learnt a few more details about the Apple TV that were interesting enough to share. They include details about Apple TV app size limits, parallax icons (and how you can test them today), the Remote Loop and the Nimbus Steelseries (third-party) controller.

Apple TV Apps Limited to 200MB

As noted by 9to5Mac, Apple is restricting the size of Apple TV apps to 200MB. Apps can of course download additional content at any time, but this additional data will only be kept temporarily. This might not be too much of a problem for apps, but this may prove to be a big hurdle for some of the more ambitious Apple TV games.

Along with the lack of local storage, the maximum size of an Apple TV app is limited to 200MB. Anything beyond this size needs to be packaged and loaded using on-demand resources. Knowing how and when to load new assets while keeping your users engaged is critical to creating a successful app. For information on on-demand resources, see On-Demand Resources Guide.

Read more about this in Apple's tvOS Developer Library.

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The New Apple TV: Our Complete Overview

As was widely expected, Apple today unveiled the new Apple TV at its Special Event keynote at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The new Apple TV (fourth generation) features a familiar but overhauled user interface, a redesigned remote which features a touch surface for navigation and Siri for interaction, plus there's now an App Store for apps and games.

Tim Cook: This is the new Apple TV and we believe it is the future of television.

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Apple Events Channel on Apple TV Updated to Stream Today’s Apple Keynote

The 'Apple Events' channel on the Apple TV has been updated and is ready to stream today's Apple keynote. The channel will allow users to stream Apple's keynote from 10am PDT, as Apple previously announced. If you've got some time, the channel also allows you to stream previous Apple events, including the 2015 WWDC keynote which introduced iOS 9, OS X El Capitan and Apple Music.

For those without an Apple TV, you will also be able to stream Apple's keynote from Apple's website from Safari on iOS or OS X and from Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

You can also follow all of the MacStories coverage of today's Apple's keynote through our September 9 Keynote hub, or subscribe to the dedicated September 9 Keynote RSS feed.

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Beamer 3 Public Beta Available Today: Features Chromecast Support and a New User Interface

Beamer, a favorite Mac app of the MacStories team, is today launching a public beta of their third major release. For those unfamiliar with the app, Beamer is a Mac app that enables you to easily stream video (in almost any format) to your Apple TV via AirPlay.

The tentpole new feature of Beamer 3 is that it can now stream videos to Google Chromecast. Beamer 3 also has a redesigned interface that looks better on OS X Yosemite and has improved functionality, making it easier to access key options such as audio tracks and subtitles. You can also skip to the next video in your Beamer queue by double clicking the play button the Apple Remote. Beamer's developer also plans to implement further improvements during the beta period.

Beamer 3 is a free upgrade for existing Beamer 2 customers. During the beta period, new customers can purchase Beamer 3 for $15, discounted from the standard price of $19.99.

Apple Support Document on HomeKit and Apple TV

Following the launch of the first HomeKit devices yesterday, Apple has published an official page with a list of compatible products and a support document detailing the setup process for HomeKit.

In that document, Apple confirmed the long-rumored “hub” feature of Apple TV:

If you have an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) with software version 7.0 or later, you can control your HomeKit-enabled accessories when you're away from home using your iOS device.

Sign in with the same Apple ID on your iOS device and Apple TV, and you'll be able to use Siri commands to remotely control your accessories.

Earlier today, The New York Times reported that Apple won't announce any new Apple TV hardware at its upcoming WWDC. Considering that HomeKit (which is rumored to get some stage time next week) can already work on the current-gen Apple TV, it's no surprise Apple may prefer to sell the current model and wait to get the next generation just right. It'll be interesting to see Apple's plans for the Apple TV as a connected home hub unfold over the next few months.


Apple’s HBO Now Deal Has Been in the Works for a Year

In the spring of 2014 — months before HBO would announce its plans to sell the pay-TV channel as a standalone subscription service — HBO CEO Richard Plepler had already reached out, via an intermediary, to Apple media boss Eddy Cue: Would Apple want to sell HBO’s service on the Web?

Of course Apple would. So the basic agreement for HBO Now came together quickly, according to people familiar with the deal.

Peter Kafka at Re/code has more detail about the deal that made Apple the exclusive launch partner of HBO Now, the new service that will allow anyone in the US to get HBO's full library of back catalog and currently airing shows without a cable subscription. Significantly, the deal gives Apple a three month exclusivity window. That's long enough to mean that anyone wanting to watch the new seasons of Game of Thrones, VEEP or Silicon Valley (they all start April 12) will either need to have a cable subscription with HBO, or use HBO Now on the Apple TV, iPhone or iPad.


Apple Adds More Channels to Apple TV, YouTube Channel Gets a New Design

Click image for full resolution version

Click image for full resolution version

The Apple TV yesterday received four more channels, with UFC, The Scene, Fusion and Dailymotion joining the dozens of other channels available on the device. The above image is an update to our original article that visualizes the addition of Apple TV channels since the Apple TV 2 launched (the original black puck version).

The Apple TV also got an update to the long-standing YouTube channel, featuring a new design and new features. The highlights of this update includes predictive search, personalized recommendations and the ability to subscribe to channels. It probably wouldn't be considered a 'feature', but the updated YouTube channel now also supports advertisements before videos. You can watch a brief promotional video from Google that talks about the update below.

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