In a move that should surprise no one, Apple has discontinued the third-generation Apple TV. Apple has been phasing out the four-year-old streaming device for months, and it has been a long time since Apple updated its pre-tvOS software. You may still be able to buy a refurbished third-generation Apple TV, but with no future support planned, we can’t recommend it. Those looking for a streaming video box should instead look at the fourth-generation Apple TV or a streaming video device from Amazon or Roku. We hope Apple will reduce the price of the fourth-generation Apple TV to make up for the loss of the $69 older model and get it into more homes.
Apple has released a new Remote app for the fourth-generation Apple TV. “Take Control of Apple TV” author Josh Centers covers what’s new and what’s missing.
The Sling TV service offers cable-style programming over the Internet at a lower cost, but a lack of Apple TV compatibility has kept many users away. Sling TV has now released an Apple TV app with a revamped interface. Julio Ojeda-Zapata reviews the app.
NASA has released an Apple TV app that is sure to keep space geeks busy for weeks. The app for the fourth-generation Apple TV has images, video, satellite tracking, and even a radio station with a pop soundtrack.
CiderTV offers an interesting suite of remote apps for your Apple TV, but what makes it worth installing is the Today View widget offered by the iOS app.
With the Worldwide Developer Conference coming up on 13 June 2016, Apple has updated its iOS WWDC app with a version for the fourth-generation Apple TV. That’s less compelling for WWDC attendees, who will be most interested in the app’s maps of the venues and a schedule of events. For Apple developers not attending WWDC, though, the app will provide live streams of sessions and the Apple TV support will make watching easier to do in the living room. Considering the number of developers who don’t win the WWDC ticket lottery, we’re glad to see Apple improving the experience of not being there for those who can’t make it.
Even though Amazon has previously hinted at making a Prime Video app for the Apple TV, don’t hold your breath for it to appear anytime soon. When asked at this year’s Code Conference why Amazon doesn’t sell streaming media boxes from Apple and Google, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said, “When we sell [streaming] devices, we want our player — our Prime Video player — to be on the device, and we want it to be on the device with acceptable business terms.” As many have suspected, there appears to be some concession Amazon wants from Apple before releasing an Apple TV app. What that could be is unknown; Apple does require a 30 percent cut of sales made through apps, but Amazon could easily circumvent that by requiring users to sign up for Amazon Prime outside the app.
The BitTorrent Live app offers some obscure cable channels to Apple TV owners, for free. While the selection is truly odd, there’s a little something for everyone.
The tvOS 9.2 update brings many much-requested features to the fourth-generation Apple TV, such as Home screen folders, Bluetooth keyboard support, voice dictation, iCloud Photo Library with Live Photos, and more.
The fourth-generation Apple TV may now be the crown jewel of Apple’s living room efforts, but the company hasn’t forgotten about the previous model, releasing Apple TV 7.2.1 for the third-generation Apple TV. The update doesn’t appear to add any new features, but it offers the standard “general performance and stability improvements” and 33 security updates. If the update isn’t pushed to your Apple TV automatically, you can initiate it in Settings > General > Update Software.
The fourth-generation Apple TV may be new, but the built-in Photos album is stuck in the past. Josh Centers offers four alternatives that let you view your photos on your TV.
For those who have trouble streaming video to the fourth-generation Apple TV, the new VLC app offers a solution, but only if the video isn’t encumbered by DRM.
The tvOS Channels app works with popular over-the-air broadcast tuners to let you view live television on your fourth-generation Apple TV. Couple that with streaming apps and a mix of other software for recording live TV and you can build a complete solution for watching all types of television programming within the Apple TV
Most Apple TV coverage has been U.S.-centric, but Sarah Hendrica Bickerton offers her perspective on the Apple TV as a New Zealander, and it’s not a sunny one. Bickerton reports that Siri and iTunes TV shows are not available, and even iTunes movie releases lag weeks behind the rest of the world. While Netflix is finally available in New Zealand, it doesn’t even offer the Netflix original series “House of Cards” due to muddy distribution rights. Despite all of that, Bickerton is bullish on the new Apple TV due to tvOS and its associated App Store. Her article is a welcome reminder of how technology often isn’t evenly distributed around the world.
The Apple TV’s App Store is seeing explosive growth, but statistics from appFigures indicate that developers may not be giving users what they want.