Apple plans a new Apple TV box with an app store and SDK

Apple logoEarlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is working on a streaming-only TV service for the Apple TV that involves channels from ABC, CBS, Fox, and a handful of others. Today, a report from Buzzfeed's John Paczkowski indicates that we may finally see a new Apple TV set-top box this summer at the Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference and that the upgraded hardware will ship with a new app store and SDK that will let developers do more with the device.

As is often the case with Apple rumors, people have been talking about the possibility of an Apple TV app store for quite a while, but the shop has never actually come to pass. Up until now, creating new channels for the Apple TV involves working closely with Apple, which then silently pushes your channel out to the set-top boxes when it's ready. New channels are added relatively frequently, but the biggest announcement in recent memory is HBO's $15-a-month streaming-only HBO Now service.

The current $69 Apple TV hardware is getting on in age. It was quietly revised in March of 2013, but that update didn't change its specifications or its capabilities. Both revisions of the Apple TV use a single-core Apple A5 SoC, a slower version of a chip that was originally introduced in 2011. Since then, the company has introduced several A6, A7, and A8-series chips, any of which would provide a substantial improvement in processor and graphics performance. The A5 is fine for what the Apple TV does now—streaming video at 1080p—but a more powerful SoC will be beneficial if the hardware is going to be opened up to developers.

Apple TV

It's too early to say what else we'll see at WWDC, but Apple usually shows off new versions of OS X and iOS during the keynote (of those, we've only heard that iOS 9 will prioritize speed and stability over major feature additions). Intel will be launching quad-core Broadwell processors suitable for new iMacs and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros by "mid 2015," and the timing would be right for Apple to announce some more powerful Macs in front of the audience that will appreciate them the most.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Apple, Apple TV

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