All right – so the big news today is that Apple is updating their wildly successful iPad tablet with, among other things, an exceptionally high resolution display. But is that all that’s coming out? Rumors are saying no, not at all.
The Apple TV has long been a cult favorite with Apple and non-Apple fans. While the device exists largely to help enable iTunes customers to view content from the iTunes store on their HDTVs, Cupertino has expanded its functionality time and time again.
In its current incarnation, the A4-powered box can stream Netflix, live sports games from the MLB and NBA, watch YouTube videos and even get news from the Wall Street Journal. With the iPad, customers who purchase both can push content from the iPad onto the Apple TV (and thus the HDTV) with a few effortless swipes – you can even play games that way.
While Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs might have always called it just “a hobby,” it’s clear that the company hopes to do more.
Rumors are circulating that Apple plans to update the box at its iPad event here in a few hours. Apple’s retail stores and retail partners have all started to run out of stock of the device – a surprising event if the company wasn’t replacing it with something new.
What will the new device look like? Probably the exact same as the current model. The biggest differences will be inside the unit. The A4 SoC (system-on-a-chip – it’s comprised of a CPU and GPU, among other chips) that’s in the current model is capable of playing 720p video, but that’s all. Since the new iPad is likely to feature a 2048×1536 display, Apple will want to make 1080p content available in the iTunes store – and they’ll want to provide an Apple TV that can play it back.
In fact, that will probably be the sole major difference. The new box won’t have Siri, but it will probably provide better AirPlay experiences, since Apple is pushing to become a major gaming provider both in the living room and on the go. It would be nice, however, if the company took this moment to open the Apple TV up to 3rd party app developers.
Google finally did it with their most recent Google TV update, and while Google TV has been an utter failure so far, Apple might be the company to make living room apps work. Facebook on the television? Sure. Party games that just use your remote? Absolutely.
The pricing will most likely stay the same, at just $99.