In the slew of software updates Apple has released today, version 5.0 for the Apple TV brings the new user interface that was demoed during today’s keynote. The new icon-based interface harkens to the feel of iOS with “channel” hubs for content providers like Netflix and MLB.com.
5 app-like icons are displayed for each row under the interface’s top marquee. Apple’s cloud-based iTunes Match service can be used to access your music library on the Apple TV, and iTunes Home Sharing can be used to access libraries locally stored on your network. You also have direct access to Netflix, MLB, NBA, NHL, Apple’s own Trailers app, Wall Street Journal Live, YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes Podcasts, Internet Radio, Photo Stream, and Flickr.
iDownloadBlog has a great video walkthrough of the new UI:
You can access your Netflix account information and billing directly in the Apple TV now, but you can’t stream 1080p HD video, as that’s a feature reserved for the third-gen Apple TV that was announced today.
Update 5.0 for second-gen Apple TV users can be downloaded now via software update..