Former Apple VP Scott Forstall Discussed Creativity, Apple TV, and Steve Jobs

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Former Apple software Vice President Scott Forstall has focussed on Broadway productions since leaving Silicon Valley. However, he does occasionally hark back to his time in tech. He did that in an October episode of the Philosophy Talk podcast,  the full video of which was posted on YouTube on Tuesday. The interview, noticed by 9to5Mac, gives a fascinating insight into creativity and working for Steve Jobs.  Mr. Forstall also discussed Apple TV, which he said came from somebody presenting him with the idea of a 10-ft user interface. It “was invented because someone was encouraged to do whatever they wanted for a month,” Mr. Forstall explained.

CES - TiVo Demos Upcoming Apple TV App

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TiVo on Apple TV

At CES this week TiVo announced and was demoing an in-progress build of their upcoming Apple TV app. Once launched, the app essentially makes your Apple TV a TiVo Mini, allowing you to stream content from your existing TiVo box throughout the house. In our demo things worked quite smoothly, and the app seemed to be pretty far along in its progress. Both live TV and pre-recorded shows are available, making for a seamless experience moving from room-to-room without having to add more TiVo Mini boxes. TiVo’s Apple TV app is due later this year, along with similar apps for Roku and Amazon Fire Stick. All three will be available free-of-charge.

TV's Role in Apple's Services Strategy

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The announcement yesterday that Samsung TVs will get a new iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps is a big deal. As is the news that Samsung, VIZIO, Sony, and LG are going to integrate AirPlay 2 into their TV offerings. I made that case on TMO Daily Observations on Monday. Pete Kafka at Re/Code has a really incisive piece of analysis looking at the fallout of the Samsung announcement. He lays out how Apple is moving into becoming a services company, or at least how it is making its services business more important, and how TV is part of this strategy.

The obvious and accurate takeaway is that Apple has conceded that Apple TV, the device that was supposed to help it own the living room, isn’t succeeding — it trails Roku, Google and Amazon in streaming market share — and that Apple needs to be on more devices if it is going to sell more services — which is its plan to combat slumping iPhone sales.