Apple TV Will Get Updated On September 18 To Go Head-To-Head With Chromecast

Installing XBMC on a jailbroken Apple TV unlocks the ability to play unsupported video formats, install third-party plugins, and more.

Although Apple didn’t show off an Apple TV refresh yesterday (despite the secret shipment of new Apple TVs they got in last week), it’s still coming in the form of a software update, and All Things D has some new details on what we can expect.

According to “people familiar with the company’s plans,” Peter Kafka over at AllThingsD says that a new software update for the Apple TV is due on September 18th alongside the widescale release of iOS 7. The major new feature?

The one new feature I’m aware of is a tweak to Apple’s Airplay system. I didn’t do a great job of explaining this before, so here’s another stab: The new software will allow people who have purchased content from Apple’s iTunes store to play that stuff on other people’s TVs, via its Airplay system.

The key part is that they will be able to tell an Apple TV box they don’t own to stream the media they do own, directly from the cloud. That’s a change from the current system, which requires users to download stuff to their iPhones and iPads and fling it to the TV from there. It also echoes the way Google’s new Chromecast device works.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the point of this update, but I’m sure it’ll become clearer when I actually see the execution. What do you think? Would you make use of this?

  • DrM47145

    I’m sure it will make streaming a little bit more seamless.

    But the real killer feature would be third party apps, just like they did with iOS on the iPhone when they launched the AppStore. Then TV stations call sell their signal directly to the consumers, as opposed to selling it to the middle man the bloody cable TV company…

    Then they would have disrupted yet another industry, for good.

  • elcaballeroquediceni

    There’s one missing feature they will never add: Amazon Prime.
    It would be nice to have a single box with every service, but only Apple TV has iTunes, and only Apple TV doesn’t have Amazon Prime.

  • Luxlamf

    I loved my Apple TV when I got it almost 2 years ago but I bought a new BluRay player over a year ago and it has everything and MORE included in it like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc… and now I use Apple TV mostly for streaming my itunes library to my main audio system. Too bad Apple hasn’t kept up with what could have been a great product.

  • iamstanley

    Similar to Chromecast.
    Your iPhone/ipad tells an apple tv to playback content from icloud using your iPhone/iPad’s account.

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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 wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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