Recent rumors have surfaced that Apple TV is progressing development on the next generation of their TV hardware. It was said that Apple is well into the testing phase of what sources guess is another set-top box. The information that was received suggests the hardware will be run by an updated iOS-based operating system.
The recent rumors have Apple developers experimenting with different methods of input for TV-related functions and products. One such input method was speculated as being a Kinect-like device that would allow motion control of the Apple TV device. It remained unclear if the motion control device would be available in the first product release.
Other big news coming out of the Apple rumors today was that Apple TV may be preparing to add gaming content to the next generation device as well as some other new types of content. Based on this rumor experts are expecting to see a new App or Gaming Store added to the Apple TV system. The experts believe that the new store will not only be promoted by the launch of the upgraded hardware, but Apple has also considered allowing the current generation of users to be able to update their software.
The biggest rumor to surface about Apple TV is the addition of the gaming support that will see direct support for gaming controllers that are currently supported by other iOS devices. Although the current version of Apple TV does have current support for AirPlay game content streaming from iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone. The device does allow developers to manipulate the TV in specific ways, such as splitting the TV’s screen to provide a complete multi-player gaming experience. Even the latest iOS 7 controllers are be supported via Apple’s new Bluetooth API for game controllers and Apple’s MFI program.
In past months a lot of tech sites have written on Apple’s work to allow third-party app developers and content makers to make/create apps and channels for Apple’s current version of the TV device. Recently Apple was said to have streamlined the development processes of apps for Apple TV, however the software developers kit (SDK) has only been offering developers some XML templates and video streaming app guidelines. Some say that this could be due to a rumor that senior executives at Apple are against adding a new App or Gaming store to the Apple TV experience, but this will remain to be seen.
Even though hardware and software will be upgraded with the next generation of Apple TV, the company has not really moved toward establishing new content providers and/or distribution companies. Since Apple TV’s success will mostly be based on Apple having a large variety of content available for its users, some experts don’t think that the next generation of Apple TV will differ that much from the current version with Apple making such small progress with their content partnerships.
The last update for the current generation of Apple TV came nearly two years ago in March 2012, so Apple TV is more than overdue for the update that is rumored to be out sometimes in 2014.
By Brent Matsalla