Apple tvOS10 May Shake Up Streaming TV
Apple has been working on tvOS 10 and the changes could have an impact on the streaming TV community
Recently the Apple TV which once dominated media streamer sales has not had much love. Companies like Roku and Amazon along with their media streamers have stolen much of Apple TV sales. Maybe Apple's latest tvOS update which powers their current Apple TV will turn the tables once again
While Apple may not have taken the TV streaming community as seriously as maybe it should, their newest tvOS10 update looks like it could once again bring Apple TV to the forefront and may make it a serious competitor for your cord cutting dollars.
Like a first date or first kiss, Apple TV will always hold a place near and dear to our heart. While we may have moved on to Roku and Android TV streamers. We will never forget the First Generation Apple TV that introduced us to the joys of jailbreaking. Running XBMC on the rather large hard drive. At the time146 GB of usable storage on a media streamer was was a nice benefit.
This was a time when media streaming was still in it's infancy. One of the only real alternatives was the WD USB Play media streamer. Or just using a custom Linux build of Crystalbuntu or OpenElec with XBMC on a jailbroken Apple TV. At this time Roku, still in diapers was nothing more than a Netflix player with a handful of channels. Fire TV did not yet exist and the Apple TV's beautiful graphical interface and sleek remote felt light years ahead of anything else on the market at the time. Ahhh, the good old days of early cord cutting and TV streaming...
We have come a long way since then. Apple TV (now at version 4), has lost much appeal. With tvOS10, Apple is hoping things may change once again.
Brand New Features with tvOS10 Single Sign-On, Dark Mode, New Siri Abilities Plus More
Maybe because of lack luster iPhone sales and with their stock prices tumbling these days it seems Apple once again could be taking their Apple TV media streamer a bit more seriously. Apple recently released a beta version of tvOS10 at their developer conference. A new Apple TV media streamer is also rumored to be in the works and could be released at the same time in the fall.
Here are the new features tvOS 10 will offer streamers:
Siri Enhanced - Siri the voice recognition engine that runs voice search on the iPhones and current Apple TV will be getting a big update. This seems to be the direction media streamers are going. Both Roku and Amazon Fire TV have enhanced voice search capabilities recently on their platforms.
Siri will now be able to search across sites like YouTube so you can ask Siri, find me a Drone Video flying over Niagara Falls. Or, Siri find me a video with the Actor Clint Eastwood. This is something that should be released in an update to current Apple TV 4 owners ahead of the tvOS10 roll out.
Siri will also be able to open live shows from channels. For example, Siri open CBS News, or Open ESPN Lakers Game.
Single Sign-On Feature - This feature is something the industry as a whole is moving towards. It will let you sign into your cable TV provider one time and every channel that works on your device will then work. Much nicer than the current system where you must link and sign into each channel to your cable provider account.
Apple also recently put up a page on the App store that shows cable subscribers all the channels they can get and use on their Apple TV.
New Remote App - New remote app is on the way for iOS devices. It will mirror the capabilities and layout of the Siri Remote.
3rd Party Gaming Controller and Remote Support - Games will now be able to take advantage of a gaming remote app which will add more functions than currently available. Games will now be able to work with 3rd party gaming controllers which allow them to work on a new level. This was something that was restricted in the prior tvOS software and will be a welcomed addition for many gamers and may help it compete with the hottest selling streamer/gaming machine the Nvidia Shield.
Look forward to new apps that use their new ReplayKit which will allow gamers to save and later broadcast videos of their gameplay.
New APIs for Recording and Live Broadcasting - If you love live IPTV streams, this feature alone should help the availability of such streams explode online. Imagine if you will, many new tvOS10 owners pointing cams at Fox News or A&E, broadcasting and sharing these Live streams across the Internet. For a taste of what IPTV is really capable of, check out the XTV and cCloud Channels on Roku.
HomeKit iCloud Photo Library - This gives Apple TV users an easy way to share and broadcast their Photo library.
Dark Mode - This is a feature that will make your Apple TV look better and easier on your eyes when watching in a dark room. It will use a modified interface that uses a darkened interface rather than a light one.
For another way you can reduce eyestrain and enhance your TV picture when viewing in a dark room... be sure to see this
The Dark Mode Feature will also be coming soon to iPhones and iPads in a future iOS update as well.
Automatic Downloads - This is a feature long overdue. Now when you update a similar app on your iPhone or tablet, the app will automatically download and update on your Apple TV saving you needlessly wasted time to manually update each of your devices.
Is it Enough?
Some exciting new things are happening with the new Apple tvOS10 update. We are still waiting to see if Apple enhances their line of content providers available. Or, if they insist on holding onto their iTunes store while limiting other available options on their platform.
Until they do so, they will still be unable to effectively compete with the likes of Roku which offers cord cutters much more options to view low cost streaming TV services.