Today Apple released a major update to the Apple TV that was originally predicted to arrive alongside iOS 7 on Wednesday. Version 6.0 of the set-top box’s software includes some big additions, including iTunes Radio, shared Photo Streams support, and AirPlay from iCloud, which is essentially Apple’s answer to the Chromecast from Google.
iTunes Radio has been added as a new icon, and it works very similarity to the desktop and iOS versions. You can now purchase, browser, and play songs from the iTunes Music Store as well. Podcasts will now be synced to the Apple TV wirelessly, so you can pick up where you left off on your iPhone or iPad.
The biggest feature to arrive with version 6.0 is Airplay from iCloud, which gives you the ability to stream purchased video from the iTunes Store without needing to download it to your iOS device. This means you can find a movie you purchased on your iPhone, and wirelessly send it to the Apple TV to stream instantly. It works with any Apple ID, so friends can stream stuff without needing to log into your Apple TV first.
Future Apple TV updates can be installed automatically by Apple now, which means this is the last time you’ll have to check for updates.
A new Apple TV is rumored to be announced next month, so now is a good time to hold off on picking one up.