Apple TV hasn’t had any major updates since 2013, but that will change in September when the company is expected to unveil a new version of the set-top box that will have a slimmer chassis, an updated remote and support for Apple’s Siri digital personal assistant.
The device, introduced in 2007, is expected to receive a wide range of improvements, marking the first major design changes to the product since 2013, according to a July 30 Reuters article.
The new Apple TV will receive a “drastically improved” remote that includes touch-pad controls, as well as support for Siri voice control, a slimmer chassis and additional integrated storage, according to the story. The next-generation Apple TV will get its own App Store and will encourage the creation of new apps for the device through a new software development kit for app developers, the article reported.
Rumors about the expected next version of Apple TV swirled before Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but the company did not announce the product at the event, according to earlier eWEEK stories. Instead, the company announced its new Apple Music streaming service with a big splash, again leaving Apple TV without a refresh, at least at the time.
Apple did not immediately respond to an eWEEK request for comment about the report.
Apple made its last significant improvements to its Apple TV devices back in June 2013, when it added HBO Go and WatchESPN programming to the product, according to a previous eWEEK report. Apple also added Sky News, a 24/7 news feed for users in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland; Crunchyroll, the leading global video service for Japanese Anime and Asian media; and Qello, an on-demand streaming service for HD concerts and music documentaries.
Apple TV enables iTunes users to download and view video on an HDTV, as well as access their own music, videos and content.
The devices, which have arguably been the most oddball product in the iPhone maker’s entire lineup, have never become a huge success and often have received little attention from the company. In March, Apple dropped the price from $99 to $69, hoping to boost sales.
Also in March, reports began circulating that Apple’s oft-discussed Internet-based Apple streaming television services, which would be separate from Apple TV, would appear later this year. The service would have about 25 channels, including major broadcast networks, such as ABC, CBS and Fox, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The programming, which is expected to be priced from $30 to $40 per month, would be viewable on the company’s computers, smartphones and Apple TV set-top boxes.
In March 2014, Apple and Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV provider, were in talks to build a streaming-television project together, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Apple at the time was proposing a service that would let customers stream live and on-demand TV programming while also storing digital-video recordings.