Steve Jobs ‘Cracked’ The Integrated TV Before He Died, Thanks To iCloud

Steve Jobs ‘Cracked’ The Integrated TV Before He Died, Thanks To iCloud

Gene Munster must be having an orgasm right now: in an interview for his upcoming bio with Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs said he had finally ‘cracked’ the ‘integrated’ TV problem.

Don’t read too much into this, though. Jobs may not be talking about the iTV, and just the plain AppleTV.

According to the Washington Post:

“He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson wrote.

Isaacson continued: “‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’”

Personally, as long rumored as the iTV is, I’ve always really doubted it: the margins in the TV business are notoriously lousy, you can’t get people to upgrade their HDTVs every year like a phone, computer or tablet, and why go through all the trouble of making a TV when you can create a $99 set-top box like the AppleTV that gives any set the same capabilities?
So my guess is that Steve is talking about an update to the AppleTV here, complete with iCloud integration. That said, I’d hate to underestimate Steve Jobs, so I may well have to eat that guess sometime soon. What do you think?

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  • Ralph

    AppleTv with Siri, then t would stop being a hobby.
    I want to see the latest episode of How I met your mother…

    Siri: here you go

    Remind me to watch the game tomorrow, and a reminder would be in your fone

    Awesome

  • John Ramirez

    dope

  • virjog

    Seeing as Apple is a company that’d like control over both hardware and software, I’m pretty sure, if Apple were to create a TV, it would not be like a set-top box, but a fully-featured Apple TV.

  • 1forest1

    I don’t watch tv because of the complexity of the remote. Apple could have convinced me by bringing their handy interface to a tv perhaps. As an Apple fan I would totally see this happen. Nuff said.

  • Paulo Fradinho

    It’s not the TV, they are all the same, it would be a box connected to the TV, Internet, iCloud and wireless/blue tooth connection all Apple devices to stream music, video, and do to the film industry what they have done to music: watch a film for 2,99€! That would be great, plus it also would include a gaming center for living room fun. On the other hand I can imagine a slick Tv with built in camare to do HD video calls with friends, and maybe a whole new social network to provide a TV based ecosystem

  • James976786

    my classmate’s mother makes $67/hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for 2 months but last month her check was $8460 just working on the laptop for a few hourss.Read about it anf get started following the first step “Online income Solution” http://buzme.us/179

  • MacAdvisor

    Seriously!?! The remote  for the TV is too complex? There is an on/off button the seems rather self-explanatory. There are two buttons to make the volume lourder and softer. Those again seem not harbor any mystery. Lastly, there is a keypad from 0 – 9 to enter a channel number. Some sets will automatically note what channels have signal and mark those so a set of two buttons, much like the volume control, allows one to move from channel to channel in order. The biggest complication on a TV remote is to add a button that takes one through various sources outside of the tuner, but one need never touch it to make the TV work.

    To watch TV, that is about it. That is too complicated? How do you drive? Can you dress yourself? Are you stimied by those difficult zipper things?

    One can add complications, such as TiVo, cable, satellite dishes, DVD players, and the like, each of one of which isn’t exactly rocket science mind you, but the over all combined effect can make things complicated and the lack of norms doesn’t help (each person’s set up is often unique). However, one doesn’t need to add those things. One can keep things simple. 

    Not all that long ago, well within my lifetime, there weren’t even remotes. There was one nob on the set that turned it on and set the volume and another nob that selected one of 12 available channels, only four of which were in use for most people. All the remote did was move those two nobs onto a device that allowed one to control the set without getting up. Stick to over-the-air broadcast at the time shown and you should be able to handle the operation of the TV remote without difficulty.

  • curtis jackson

    Macadvisor, it’s not that the remote is complex for people, it’s that they have TEN REMOTES. I know I’ve got three to use. Sure, universal remotes work with limited functionality, but having a integrated device would be great.

    Would it be great to ask SIRI to turn to Channel 7? Sure (your name), or to setup a program to be recorded. This would change the Television industry completely. They would sell like hotcakes. With Apple TV functionality integrated, it’s a win-win situation. 

  • Mrdelurk

    I could integrate TV with a TV card into my computer any second. But… what for? I don’t watch TV at all. Do you guys do? 

    A TV’s only use at our household is entertaining my GF with a few soaps. She’s not computer savvy, so putting a TV into a computer would only make it harder for her to get to her soaps.

  • Payton

    I think that’s what Steve Jobs envisioned. Siri is going to be a revolution for Apple and it will be because Jobs saw it’s potential.

  • Evan Benford

    Fresh….keep this going

  • MacAdvisor

    I agree the number of remotes adds some degree of complexity, but really all one needs to do is decide the device one wishes to control and then use its remote to do so. The problem isn’t really one of complexity as inelegance. At the start of the 21st century, I am not impressed that my table has five remotes (one for the TV, one for the TiVo (which won’t operate my TV for some reason), one for the Blu-Ray player, one for the switch box because my TV only had one HDMI input, and one for the stereo that provides the sound (which I really only use with the DVD player)). That is a square foot of remotes. Not elegant. I don’t use cable or satellite, but either would certainly add another remote. Yech!

    If I could tell SIRI to run this mess, I’d likely pay more for that than a new MacBook Pro, though I’d really want to see it action. I agree, SIRI control would be a game changer as big as the DVR. If fixing this mess is Steve’s dying act, it’s a hell of a finish. 

    I was just responding to Jonathan who stated, “I don’t watch tv because of the complexity of the remote.” Note the sigular, “the remote.” I readily understand how things get out of control with remotes — I am approaching the threshold — but ONE remote for A single TV shouldn’t be much of a stumbling block. 

  • twitter-28439603

    Of course I watch TV.  It’s very entertaining, and relatively cheap entertainment at that (even though I pay for cable).

    You should watch “The Big Bang Theory”.

  • smakdown61

    I’d 100% ditch my cable box if Apple would integrate cable card into the apple tv. This is the only way I can see them sneaking past the cable companies since new regulations require all cable companies to accept cable cards.

    What would you pay for Apple TV + Siri control + DVR in one box?

  • Al

    I don’t go to the toilet because it’s too complicated.

  • Al

    I just sit around and crap my pants. The mess is cleaned up when I change my clothes in the morning. Only one simple step, rather than the multiple steps and complications of toilet use.

    Efficient. Simple. Elegant.

  • JP1991

    This could end up having something to do with the hidden Apple TV code in iOS5 that some suspect is for an upcoming Apple TV revision.

  • JRD

    Once Apple add a feature to the iPhone, it gets added to every other product. Siri is going to get added to iPods, Mac OS X, and Apple TV. I would defiantly get an iTV, or a next gen Apple TV if it had Siri, iCloud, and scheduled programming. It would be awesome. 

  • JRD

    Apple would make it 100% more easy for her. Cable box UI’s are terrible. 

  • Demonstr8r

    The solution is Apple TV, using an iPhone as the remote with Siri connected to a multitude of data services for movies and TV show times. Siri on the Apple TV wouldn’t work because it is too close to the sound source and too far from the listener that would be giving voice commands, unless the remote captured the voice and sent it to the Apple TV box. Either way the next release of Apple TV will support 1080p and I’m buying two.

  • m_el

    You don’t watch TV because the remote is too complicated? Even my mother can use a TV! I don’t think they should incorporate too much in a TV. At the end of the day I can watch TV  and have my iPad to do the other things. I don’t really want the TV tied up with the internet or apps

  • John Howell

    The problem is getting legal content. I already watch more tv through my Xbox than I do live broadcast. The issue I still have is the integrated pvr

  • John Howell

    Siri, I’d like to watch the latest episode of dr who.
    Siri:I’m sorry, that content is not available for digital streaming in your region.
    Sori, locate a copy on the pirate bay and play as soon as it is downloaded.
    Siri: ok, I have found these torrents for you.

    Now that is more likely anywhere outside the USA.

  • rohitkapur

    I don’t even think Apple could fix the fact that you don’t know how to use a TV remote.

  • Stuart Otterson

    “you can’t get people to upgrade their HDTVs every year like a phone, computer or tablet”

    I don’t recall the masses upgrading their phone or tablet every year, never mind their computer. Tech minded people yeah but the masses? No.

  • D2391

    your stupid, there will be no need for a dvr. there would be no scheduled broadcast. all YOUR shows will be on demand. you won’t need to remember to record a new show coming up because every show that u subscribe to will be available to you at any time you want to watch it.

  • smakdown61

    To do that Apple will have to make deals with every cable/satellite operator across the country. No way in hell the companies like time warner will allow apple to bypass them and go directly to the networks for everything.

  • D2391

    the tv isn’t the “hardware” its just a screen. the real hardware and software combination that apple likes is in the apple tv box and that is the only thing you will need to connect to the tv

  • Ricardo Morgado Ferreira


    Siri: I can’t play content, because of a missing codec.
    Siri, get a free app from the app store that can read .avi and .mkv files
    Siri: oh you don’t want that, that’s not cool.

  • RonBlatto

    Apple wouldn’t need to make any deals with cable companies.  Only the network who own the rights to the shows.  Just like they did to get them on iTunes.

  • Hampus

    “It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.”
    That sounds sound nice and all but could we please make sure all current products do this first before jumping on the next project? :p
    I mean the iCloud doesn’t support all of the Calendar features of iOS and OS X (Wont sync subscribed calendars), or even worse, podcasts, my podcast subscriptions still live on my PC and only my PC, you can sync all current episodes and their played/unplayed to your iDevices but not your subscriptions but nothing can be synced to another computer.

  • Heliokopter

    Start chewing….

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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