Apple adds 2 more channels to Apple TV

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Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 09:03
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Consumer Electronics, Features, iTunes Radio, News, Software, Television

appletv2Apple hasn’t done much with the Apple TV hardware lately, although an update is rumored to be coming soon, and a beta of the next major software update has been seeded to developers. However, Apple has been updating features pretty regularly. At the beginning of the year, we discovered that Apple could sneakily add channels to the Apple TV in the background, without a major software update. The first channels added allowed users to access Hulu Plus and HBO Go services, and later, other channels including sports, Disney content, and recently iTunes Radio. The most recent additions are channels for PBS and Yahoo Screen, which offers content from “Saturday Night Live,” Comedy Central, as well as Yahoo Originals. It also features live news, events, and music. I love that all this content is being made available, but honestly, I only have interest in maybe half of the channels. My fingers are crossed that Apple adds a way to let users hide channels we don’t use. That Apple TV front page is getting a little crowded.

Apple TV 6.0.1 update goes live, now available for download

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 24th, 2013, 23:48
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

There’ve been updates galore this week…and this is one of them.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Thursday released a new Apple TV software update, bringing the set-top streamer’s firmware up to version 6.0.1.

Apple’s latest Apple TV version 6.0.1, dubbed build 11B511d, comes one day after the company rolled out a dedicated channel for iMovie Theater, the new video sharing feature that debuted with iMovie for iOS and Mac on Tuesday.

As the update has yet to hit Apple’s Support Downloads webpage, it is unknown what changes were made to the software. A quick look reveals no major user interface or content additions, suggesting version 6.0.1 is a point update that deals with backend fixes and performance improvements.

In September, a major release added support for iTunes Radio and AirPlay over iCloud.

Apple TV version 6.0.1 is available now as an over-the-air download for second- and third-generation devices.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple TV update hits, adds iMovie Theater feature

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:29
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

This could prove nifty.

Per AppleInsider, following Apple’s announcement that its new iMovie apps for OS X and iOS would support a new sharing feature called iMovie Theater, the company activated an Apple TV channel dedicated to the service.

In an over-the-air update to its set-top streaming device on Tuesday, Apple is now pushing from its servers a new iMovie Theater channel to support the new iMovie apps released alongside OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

Along with a graphical overhaul, iMovie for both Mac and iOS offer new features rooted in iCloud. With iMovie Theater, users can create clips, trailers or movies and share them across devices with friends and family.

The content served up by the service can be created in iOS or OS X and stored in one location for easy access.

iMovie for iOS can be purchased for US$4.99 via the App Store, while the Mac version retails for US$14.99. Both versions come pre-installed on new devices and those who purchased the software through the App Store are eligible for free upgrades.

If you’ve tried the new feature and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

French, German Amazon.com web sites seem to hint at next-gen Apple TV for Apple’s October 22nd event

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Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 23:49
Category: Apple TV, News, retail

appletv2

It’s the inventory levels that hint at the cool stuff around the corner.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and Engadget, Amazon’s French and German sites are currently showing the Apple TV as out of stock, with availability “from 23 October,” lending a small amount of weight to suggestions that a new Apple TV will be one of the announcements at Apple’s launch event the day before.

This isn’t the ultimate sign of things to come, but the availability date is at least an interesting coincidence.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

AppleCare+ policies to change, will allow for hardware repairs in any country where AppleCare+ is offered

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Date: Wednesday, September 25th, 2013, 07:48
Category: Apple TV, AppleCare, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News

applecare

If you travel with an AppleCare-covered device, you might like this.

Per AppleInsider and TechCrunch, it was revealed on Tuesday that Apple has changed the terms and conditions tied to AppleCare+ and will be lifting geographic limitations on support, meaning travelers can get their device serviced outside of their home country.

As noted, the recent policy change allows owners to take in products for repair in any country where AppleCare+ is offered, lifting previous restrictions that limited service to the country in which the plan was purchased. Devices include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Apple displays and Mac models.

It should be noted that replacements and repairs may not be offered in all countries. The publication offers the CDMA version of the iPhone 5 as an example, pointing out the handset can’t be serviced or replaced in countries where it is not sold, like Brazil.

The changes are likely part of Apple’s continued effort to overhaul its post-sales service. When the iPhone 5s and 5c were unveiled on Sept. 10, it was announced that the AppleCare+ for iPhone per-incident deductible would be raised to US$79, up from US$49 previously.

Currently, AppleCare+ for iPhone, iPad and iPod is offered in Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple TV 6.0 software pulled, then rereleased

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Date: Tuesday, September 24th, 2013, 07:59
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

This was sort of an awkward start to a heady new version of the Apple TV software.

Per 9to5Mac, after releasing a buggy version of new Apple TV software last week (and subsequently removing it from download), Apple has issued a new version of the update to Apple TV users. The new version is labeled Apple TV Software 6.0, and it comes in at build number 11A502. This is a substantial increase from pulled 11A470E version.

The new Apple TV update brings iTunes Radio, the iTunes Music Store, and new AirPlay functionality.

As always, just head to your Apple TV’s General Settings option, select “Software Update” and you should snag the newest version of the device’s software.

If you’ve tried the newest version of the Apple TV software and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple TV 6.0 out the door, adds support for AirPlay, iTunes Radio, other new features

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 11:05
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

On a day filled to the brim with iPhone 5s and 5c happenings, Apple pulled the trigger on the good stuff for its Apple TV set top box.

Per AppleInsider, Apple released its anticipated software update to Apple TV today. The new software adds the followings fixes and changes:
– Added support for iTunes Radio and AirPlaying content from iCloud — like music from iTunes Match — to another person’s Apple TV.

– Allows users to take any purchased iTunes content — such as music, movies or TV episodes — and stream it directly to an Apple TV that may not be configured with their iTunes login credentials. The authentication is instead provided wirelessly by a connected iOS device, like an iPhone or iPad.

– Added access to purchases from the iTunes Music Store, and allows users to sync their podcasts. Photos from a shared Photo Stream can also be accessed.

– Added support for the newly launched iTunes Radio service, which is similar to established streaming Internet music provider Pandora. iTunes Radio debuted on Wednesday on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with the release of iOS 7.

The new Apple TV update may be the last software refresh before the company’s rumored Apple TV hardware reboot. The company took delivery of a mysterious shipment of “set top boxes” in the days leading up the iPhone 5s and 5c announcement.

As always, the software can be downloaded and installed by entering the Apple TV’s General Settings, then clicking “Software Update”.

If you’ve tried the new Apple TV software and have any comments or feedback about it, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: Apple TV software update expected for September 18th, will provide additional AirPlay features

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 08:30
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

There shall be nifty new Apple TV software in the relatively near future…

Per AllThingsD, sources have indicated that come next week, Apple will update its set-top box, the Apple TV, with new software that will offer enhanced AirPlay capabilities with the software update reportedly set to arrive on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

While Apple apparently isn’t planning on updating the Apple TV hardware, the company is set to launch an “internal overhaul” that will “tweak” the current AirPlay feature, which allows users to stream content from their iOS device or Mac to the set-top box.

After the update, users will reportedly be able to stream purchased content from the iTunes Store to another person’s Apple TV, even if it isn’t set up with their Apple ID and password. That media will reportedly be streamed directly from the cloud, rather than requiring a local device.

The tweak gives the Apple TV an ability offered by Google’s new Chromecast, a US$35 media streaming dongle the search giant launched this summer.

Details on Apple’s alleged software updates headed for the Apple TV were first revealed last week, suggesting that the latest version will gain additional channels, content and functionality. Apple has been gradually adding new channels to the device in recent months, with the latest push supplying content from Vevo, Disney, the Weather Channel, and the Smithsonian Channel. Prior to that, in June, Apple added HBO Go, WatchESPN, Sky News, CrunchyRoll, and Qello.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple TV out of stock on online store, next-gen units possible in near term

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Date: Friday, September 6th, 2013, 06:00
Category: Apple TV, News

When the stock runs out, the new stuff is on its way.

Or that’s what one tends to hope.

Per AppleInsider, Apple has either run out of stock or suspended sales of refurbished Apple TVs through its online store, possibly hinting that a new version of the device is in the offing.

As noted by reader Brian, the Online Apple Store’s refurbished product webpage no longer shows the Apple TV as available for sale. Apple recently cut the price of the refurbished device to US$75 in early August, down from US$85 as seen in the above image.

While it is possible that Apple has simply run out or suspended sales of refurbished units, the timing of the stockout jibes with recent rumors of a possible product refresh. A report on Tuesday noted Apple took receipt of three fairly large shipments from Chinese partner manufacturer BYD Precision in August, the contents of each described as “Set Top Boxes.” The information was discovered in bills of lading from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Until the past few days, there have been little to no rumors regarding a new Apple TV, as most media attention has been focused on an anticipated iPhone lineup refresh. However, Apple has been actively updating the existing set-top streamer’s content, adding channels like Vevo, Disney, Weather and Smithsonian in late August, while a beta of the next Apple TV software released in July was found to have reinstated iTunes purchasing.

Apple last refreshed its Apple TV in March 2012, adding 1080p output to the unit while retaining the prior model’s design.

The Cupertino, Calif., company has scheduled a media event for Sept. 10 which is expected to see the unveiling of new iPhone models. Although mere speculation, it is possible that Apple may be planning to announce a new Apple TV product alongside the handsets.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple TV update closes security hole, prevents PlexConnect client from working

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013, 06:56
Category: Apple TV, News

The update didn’t go exactly as planned.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and MacRumors, the Apple TV update yesterday that added five new channels to the set-top box. However, the also prevents the PlexConnect streaming media client from running on the Apple TV. Released in June, PlexConnect allowed Apple TV users to view stored movies on remote servers right through Apple’s device without a hack. However, with yesterday’s update, PlexConnect has been blocked:

“The client, called PlexConnect, used a hack to get video from the Plex Media Server onto the Apple TV. A small Python program on the Mac intercepted DNS requests from the Movie Trailers app on the Apple TV and instead returned a custom XML feed that delivered a list of media and movie streams to the device.

Now, however, Apple has closed the loophole. Previously, the Trailers app used regular HTTP requests and the PlexConnect app intercepted those requests. Now, the Trailers app uses HTTPS and it is likely impossible for the Plex programmers to overcome it.”

Plex’s developers stated that they’re sorry to hear Apple has blocked PlexConnect and can only hope that Apple will eventually release an official Apple TV SDK so developers can make apps with Apple’s blessing.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.