Apple TV apps—when?

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    Posted: 02 September 2010 12:28 PM

    Steve Jobs said “users don’t want a computer on their TV”. But what does that really mean?

    I would suggest this, that Apple knows that users actually do want one but don’t want to think of it the way they think of a computer, a simple but significant nuance. Apple is expert at knowing what users really want, not just what users say they want. And that’s why I’m certain that the apps are coming. And it’s going to be huge.

    At Macworld San Francisco 2007 Apple Computer dropped Computer from their name, becoming Apple Inc, because among the Mac, iPod, Apple TV, and iPhone “the Mac is the only one that you really think of as a computer”. But in the same keynote where Apple dropped “Computer”, SJ introduced the iPhone and emphasized that “iPhone runs OSX” and supports “desktop class applications and networking”. Still, it took over a year from that statement for Apple to announce an iPhone SDK allowing third party native apps.

    Apple hasn’t announced application development for Apple TV, not yet, but the same was true initially for the iPhone. The question is not if, but when will the announcement come?

    I doubt it will take over a year this time, not with the iPhone app experience in the rearview mirror. What do you all think?

    [ Edited: 02 September 2010 12:32 PM by Apple II+ ]

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  • Posted: 02 September 2010 12:39 PM #1

    Apple II+ - 02 September 2010 03:28 PM

    Apple hasn’t announced application development for Apple TV, not yet, but the same was true initially for the iPhone. The question is not if, but when will the announcement come?

    I doubt it will take over a year this time, not with the iPhone app experience in the rearview mirror. What do you all think?

    It’s still a hobby. Apple had a chance to shove iOS onto the TV but didn’t. I think this is a battle they don’t think anyone can win so they aren’t really playing in the area. The question is without Apps on the box then it does what it does and misses out on being so much more. So much more that could have kept Google and their front room foray at bay.

    My thought is that Steve thinks that Google TV is going to be a flop. I think he is gambling that people will spend their money on the iPad and maybe chuck a hundred bucks on the AppleTV for delivery to the big screen.

    Going to be an interesting run up to Jan.

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    Posted: 02 September 2010 01:15 PM #2

    rattyuk - 02 September 2010 03:39 PM

    It’s still a hobby. Apple had a chance to shove iOS onto the TV but didn’t. I think this is a battle they don’t think anyone can win so they aren’t really playing in the area. The question is without Apps on the box then it does what it does and misses out on being so much more. So much more that could have kept Google and their front room foray at bay.

    My thought is that Steve thinks that Google TV is going to be a flop. I think he is gambling that people will spend their money on the iPad and maybe chuck a hundred bucks on the AppleTV for delivery to the big screen.

    Going to be an interesting run up to Jan.

    Apple has told us it has an A4. It’s running iOS. The “hobby” thing won’t last. At $99 and with AirPlay, it’s going to be huge.

    I think Apple knows that the pressure for apps will be strong, and I think they deliberately are letting that pressure build, like they did with the iPhone. They are creating a desire, creating a market. They’re not just skating to where the puck will be, they’re carrying the puck on the stick and taking it there.

    Additional apps will come at first from Apple and its partners (a la the included Netflix app—yes it’s an app). We’ll understand better the potential for apps on this iteration once we get a teardown.

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  • Posted: 02 September 2010 04:19 PM #3

    Apple TV is a many trick poney. To me it will be an accessory connecting my iOS and OSX devices to my big screen TV

         
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    Posted: 02 September 2010 05:07 PM #4

    A few possible reasons on why there are no Apps (assuming it’s running iOS):

    1) Apple is not sure this is a profitable space, and they’re testing out the waters. They carefully advertised this as a purely music event, even in the face of persistent rumors. They achieved pre-empting Google TV to market, but in case it’s a flop they can always say it’s not a big deal, and always was a hobby.

    2) Apple, au contraire, is quite sure where this market is going, and they are not only disrupting, but controlling the pace of the market, along the lines of what AppleII is proposing. They might just add on a new version of firmware to allow apps retroactively. This is like the first iPad w/o a camera - there were no tablets in the market, so a camera-less iPad was good enough.

    3) Cost/specs/price/margin. To store and run apps (and their associated content), the device would need some memory, maybe 8GB extra. How much does this device have?! What I’m saying is that they wouldn’t be able to keep the price at $99 without killing their margin.

    All in all, I like where this is going. I am considering buying one (along with a screen to go with it - I don’t own a TV today).

         
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    Posted: 02 September 2010 06:31 PM #5

    Roman - 02 September 2010 08:07 PM

    3) Cost/specs/price/margin. To store and run apps (and their associated content), the device would need some memory, maybe 8GB extra. How much does this device have?! What I’m saying is that they wouldn’t be able to keep the price at $99 without killing their margin.

    All in all, I like where this is going. I am considering buying one (along with a screen to go with it - I don’t own a TV today).

    I too am considering a screen purchase because of Apple TV.

    About the specs/margins, Apple’s published specs don’t mention how much flash memory it may have, but we’ll find out when it gets torn down. Compared to an iPod Touch, it has no battery, no display, no touch screen, no cameras, and no sensors, so the margins should be ok even with some flash memory. That will be a tell, because without it, we can’t really have apps as we know them (although mirroring handheld apps might still work).

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    Posted: 02 September 2010 06:48 PM #6

    IMO unless the new ATV runs the A4 chip, it probably won’t be capable of running games.  As it’s functionality stands, from what we’ve learned in the presentation, a video/audio chip and a minimal SOC is all that’s necessary to run this appliance.  I kind of see it as an Airtunes type device.  But if ATV has the A4 then it’s likely open to run iOS and games probably controlled by iPhone/iPodTouch or the simple remote.

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  • Posted: 02 September 2010 06:54 PM #7

    macglenn - 02 September 2010 09:48 PM

    IMO unless the new ATV runs the A4 chip, it probably won’t be capable of running games.  As it’s functionality stands, from what we’ve learned in the presentation, a video/audio chip and a minimal SOC is all that’s necessary to run this appliance.  I kind of see it as an Airtunes type device.  But if ATV has the A4 then it’s likely open to run iOS and games probably controlled by iPhone/iPodTouch or the simple remote.

    Apple TV has the A4 processor

    http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

         
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    Posted: 02 September 2010 06:55 PM #8

    macglenn - 02 September 2010 09:48 PM

    IMO unless the new ATV runs the A4 chip, it probably won’t be capable of running games.  As it’s functionality stands, from what we’ve learned in the presentation, a video/audio chip and a minimal SOC is all that’s necessary to run this appliance.  I kind of see it as an Airtunes type device.  But if ATV has the A4 then it’s likely open to run iOS and games probably controlled by iPhone/iPodTouch or the simple remote.

    Agreed. But check the specs. We already know that It has an A4. Is that just to handle the video or is there more to it?

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    The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. — Steve Jobs

         
  • Posted: 02 September 2010 06:58 PM #9

    macglenn - 02 September 2010 09:48 PM

    IMO unless the new ATV runs the A4 chip, it probably won’t be capable of running games.  As it’s functionality stands, from what we’ve learned in the presentation, a video/audio chip and a minimal SOC is all that’s necessary to run this appliance.  I kind of see it as an Airtunes type device.  But if ATV has the A4 then it’s likely open to run iOS and games probably controlled by iPhone/iPodTouch or the simple remote.

    I think that it was confirmed at the event that it ran on the A4 chip. I think the main issue is the interface. You can’t touch your TV and even adding controllers is going to mess with your head if you tried to map it from something local to something far away.

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  • Posted: 03 September 2010 06:51 AM #10

    what about airplay streaming your ipad/ipod/iphone games to the Apple TV?

         
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    Posted: 03 September 2010 10:40 AM #11

    renegate - 03 September 2010 09:51 AM

    what about airplay streaming your ipad/ipod/iphone games to the Apple TV?

    It will be interesting to see how Apple architected Airplay.  Developers can already mirror the ipad screen via the component/composite/vga cables so it’s possible that the streaming will be available to more then just movies/video.  You can bet that their will be a jailbreak of the A4 shortly after the ATV release and a whole host of additional functionality will magically appear for the experimenters but I don’t think games are in Apple’s short term plans.  Longer term once they have a chance to create a UI for the big screen and decide on a control schema and build the additions into iOS yes, but next month you get what was demoed.

         
  • Posted: 03 September 2010 12:43 PM #12

    pats - 03 September 2010 01:40 PM

      Developers can already mirror the ipad screen via the component/composite/vga cables so it’s possible that the streaming will be available to more then just movies/video.

    It’s possible that developers can, but I don’t see any signs that they are. The only things the cables will stream to a TV are photo/videos in my Photo Library, and iTunes videos and song audio. Games send their audio, but not their video. Needless to say other apps send nothing to the big screen. This is using an iPhone 4 with iOS 4.02

    I would expect Apple to come up with an AV cable set that goes to HDMI one of these days.

         
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    Posted: 16 September 2010 05:00 PM #13

    Confirmed: Apple TV runs iOS.

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  • Posted: 16 September 2010 05:33 PM #14

    Apple II+ - 16 September 2010 08:00 PM

    Confirmed: Apple TV runs iOS.

    Analysts have speculated that the onboard storage of the new Apple TV will be minimal, since the company has publicly stated that the device will support media streaming only. As a result, if hackers are able to jailbreak the device, there may not be enough room to run custom apps, nor is it clear how those applications would interact with the Apple Remote.

    And you still can’t touch your tv.

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    Posted: 16 September 2010 05:46 PM #15

    willrob - 03 September 2010 03:43 PM
    pats - 03 September 2010 01:40 PM

      Developers can already mirror the ipad screen via the component/composite/vga cables so it’s possible that the streaming will be available to more then just movies/video.

    It’s possible that developers can, but I don’t see any signs that they are. The only things the cables will stream to a TV are photo/videos in my Photo Library, and iTunes videos and song audio. Games send their audio, but not their video. Needless to say other apps send nothing to the big screen. This is using an iPhone 4 with iOS 4.02

    I would expect Apple to come up with an AV cable set that goes to HDMI one of these days.

    You need to look at Chopper 2
    It was the first game that I know of which supports bluetooth remote control via another Iphone and TV out