Apple TV Might Not Only Get A Software Makeover At WWDC, The Remote Might Get Supercharged

Apple TV Might Not Only Get A Software Makeover At WWDC, The Remote Might Get Supercharged

Apple isn’t going to debut their new rumored HDTV set at WWDC 2012, but according to a new report, they will unveil the version of iOS that it will run on, and which will be coming to the Apple TV set-top box later this year. Even more interesting? Your Apple TV might soon become the hub through which the rest of your living room connects.

According to a report from BGR, Apple plans to demonstrate a brand new version of the Apple TV operating system in two weeks at WWDC.

Claiming that this new operating system is more “feature complete” than the current build, BGR doesn’t have many details about what the new Apple TV OS will mean for users. In fact, the word “apps” — the one thing customers have really been waiting to see on the Apple TV — doesn’t even appear in the report.

Instead, this appears to be the main thrust:

We’ve heard Apple is actively trying to court manufacturers to use a new “control out” API in order for third-party manufacturers to make accessories that are compatible with the new Apple TV OS and the upcoming “iTV.” It’s said that by using the API, it will be possible to control any connected components all from the Apple remote (and the Apple remote iOS app as well, we’re assuming).

This would be a huge change in the home theater landscape, which has until this point relied on a mess of thousands of infrared codes and physical cables in order for devices to be interoperable, or Wi-Fi-controlled apps for each component and piece of hardware.

The control out API is said to work with all aspects of various popular components, even allowing control over things like program guides on a cable operators’ set top boxes and other hardware components.

Something about this sounds a little fishy to me. Is the Apple TV remote even up to the task of controlling other devices? It’s as streamlined as streamlined can be. How do you make that work with a connected home theater, or a Blu-Ray player? The only way to support more devices is to release a more full-featured remote. Could that be Apple’s “one more thing” at WWDC 2012?

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  • Boris Terekidi

    I do hope they redesign the ATV’s iOS. The recent update is very un-intuitive and is a big step back, compared to the previous one.

  • appledrunk1

    Apple usually updates the Apple TV Software and releases it in beta form alongside the iOS betas. I’m sure that will hold true at this years WWDC when iOS 6 is unveiled. But to say this OS will be used on a new HDTV is probably just pure speculation on their part.

  • MacStudGenius

    I think the Apple TV remote will become irrelevant and you’ll control your ATV through your iPhone, or iPad.

  • bcraig

    I really believe that the new iPad mini is in actuality a new “iRemote” that will act as an interface to all your TV & Internet connected devices. I wrote up a blog post about it some time ago here.

  • briferg

    The new AppleTV UI is a bad design. Who thought up highlighting your selection with a blue halo around an Icon on a black background? You can barely see it!! That is my only complaint of the recent version of the Apple TV OS, design is dumb.

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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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