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Posts tagged with "apple tv"

Christina Warren’s Apple TV Review

The Apple TV embargo lifted last night, and the first reviews have been published with a general consensus that the device is a worthy upgrade with some annoyances for search and logging into apps.

I recommend starting with Christina Warren's review, which gives a great overview of the platform and the brand new Siri remote:

Swiping faster on the touchpad moves faster across the interface, slower goes slower. Movements are extremely precise and never felt out of control. The remote is Bluetooth — not IR — so you don't need direct line of sight to navigate — which is nice. On some Bluetooth-based remotes, I've noticed lag between a selection and what happens on screen but the Siri remote always keeps up.

Tapping the Menu button will take you back one level or give you a menu of an app you're in. Tapping the home button will bring you to the core home screen. Double tapping the home button opens up an app switcher, so you can easily navigate between screens. If you want to close out an app, swiping up on the trackpad will dismiss it.


The New Apple TV, On-Demand Resources, and tvOS Games

Writing for Polygon, Dave Tach has an in-depth overview of how games will be installed and work on the new Apple TV:

Before app slicing, Apple treated apps as all-or-nothing bundles. That meant that you couldn't start playing Barbie: War until the multi-gigabyte file that included levels one to 10 (and all of the resources created for other devices, resources you didn't need and would never use) finished downloading. But with a combination of App Thinning, slicing and on-demand resources, users can get the essential components of a game — things like the executable code, the splash screen that loads when you launch the app, the title screen artwork — in the initial download and reserve downloading for, say, levels eight to 10 until players approach them by completing the prerequisite levels. Levels four to 10 live in the cloud, tagged, and Barbie: War's developers can say when the game should start downloading the assets tagged for specific levels.

This is possible because Apple provides developers with cloud-based storage accessible at any time — or on demand.

Tach goes on to explain how tvOS will manage app installations, and he also interviewed some game developers on their thoughts on the new Apple TV. I'm really curious to see how all this will work in practice.


Orders for the New Apple TV Are Now Open, Begins Shipping This Friday

The new Apple TV is now available for order on Apple's website, with deliveries expected to start arriving from this Friday, October 30.

The new Apple TV, now in its fourth generation, features a familiar but overhauled user interface, a new Siri remote and there's now an App Store for apps and games. The new Siri remote, which primarily operates over Bluetooth and charges via a Lightning port, features a touch surface for navigation, as well as dual microphones so that you can use Siri to interact with the Apple TV. You can learn more about the new Apple TV here.

Pricing & Availability

When Apple announced the new Apple TV at its September Keynote, it noted that it will be available in 80 countries at launch and over 100 by the end of the year. It also revealed US pricing which is US$149 for the 32GB model and US$199 for the 64GB model. Now that the Apple TV is available for order we can see the international prices, some of which I've included below:

  • United Kingdom:
    • £129 for the 32GB model
    • £169 for the 64GB model
  • Canada:
    • $199 for the 32GB model
    • $269 for the 64GB model
  • Australia:
    • $269 for the 32GB model
    • $349 for the 64GB model
  • France, Germany, Italy:
    • €179 for the 32GB model
    • €229 for the 64GB model

Tim Cook: New Apple TV Begins Shipping Next Week, Orders Start Monday

Tim Cook revealed today that Apple will start taking orders for the new Apple TV next Monday, October 26, with units shipping by the end of next week. Cook made the comment whilst speaking at The Wall Street Journal's WSJD Live 2015 conference.

As Apple announced at its September Keynote, the new Apple TV will be sold for $149 for the 32GB model and $199 for the 64GB model. Apple said the initial late October launch of the Apple TV will see the product launch in over 80 countries, but by the end of the year it will be available in 100 countries.

Cook also revealed on stage tonight that there are now 6.5 million paid members of Apple Music and a further 8.5 million Apple Music members who are still in their 3 month trial phase. For comparison, Spotify announced on 10 June 2015 that it had over 20 million paying subscribers and more than 75 million active users.

Some of the other topics that Cook addressed in his interview at WSJD Live was the Apple Watch (where he declined to provide sales figures), debates over privacy and security, the future of cars and Apple's broader role in public life. If you want to read more, be sure to check out the live blogs from The Verge, The Wall Street Journal and MacRumors.

[via The Verge]

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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