“The future of TV is apps.”
And with that Apple announced a long-awaited upgrade to its Apple TV unit including a touchpad remote, a new interface and its own dedicated App Store.
Apple CEO Tim Cook made the announcement at today’s keynote event saying, “To deliver on this vision, we need a new foundation for TV, built on powerful hardware, that runs a modern operating system, with a new user experience, great developer tools, and of course an App Store.”
The new Apple TV uses Siri for universal voice search, so when you search, you’re searching across Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, HBO and Showtime all at once (with more being added over time). You can even search for things like “Show me that Modern Family episode with Edward Norton” and it will take you to the Modern Family page with the right episode selected. You can even quick rewind by saying things like, “What did she just say?” and it will take the video back by 15 seconds.
If you’re easily distracted or need some updated information, you can ask Apple TV for sports scores or weather to pop up without interrupting your video playback.
The new remote includes a glass touch surface at the top, plus a menu button, display button, Siri button, play & pause, and volume control. If you turn the remote sideways it can even double as a game controller for some of the new apps designed specifically for Apple TV. One of the designers at Hipster Whale took the stage to show off how you can play Crossy Road on your TV now. You simply swipe the remote left and right, and click the play button to move forward.
Speaking of apps, Netflix, HBO and Hulu have all upgraded their apps to work with the new Apple TV.
This will all run on its own version of Apple’s operating system called tvOS, completely different from anything on desktop or mobile.
The new Apple TV will cost $149 for 32GB or $199 for 64GB and will be available in late October.