How Apple Is Dressing Up Apple TV for Christmas



Updates on the French and German versions of suggest a new, replacement Apple TV coming the day after this week’s Apple announcement — just in time for Christmas.

The prospect of a shiny new Apple TV product makes everyone think of a radical new Apple TV box with crazy new user interface options, or an actual Apple TV set, both of which people have been predicting for years.

And then that Scrooge MG Siegler comes along to say he’s hearing that the Big Apple TV Update has been delayed, and that maybe there will be a minor update to the existing product.

Whether something grander has been delayed or not, I think TV will be the most interesting product at the Tuesday announcement — not because of hardware, but because of a new software interface and new deals I think Apple will announce.

Why It’s Time for Apple to Open FaceTime



FaceTime just keeps getting better. The recent addition of audio calls in iOS 7 is great news, right? Well, sort of.

There are plenty of apps in the App Store that let you make calls over your data connection rather than through the carrier’s phone network.

FaceTime audio calls are great — something that Google+ Hangouts have had for a long time. (Hangouts actually lets you add a voice call to a group video Hangout.) They enable free international calls, for starters. The protocols underlying FaceTime enable high-quality audio calls.

More importantly, they give users one more reason to get into the FaceTime habit.

Unfortunately, FaceTime has a fatal flaw. It’s still — inexplicably — an exclusive phone system for Apple customers to call each other. What kind of phone system is that?

Apple Lost the eBooks Trial, But It Can Still Win the eBooks Market



Amazon is beating Apple in the eBooks racket by using Apple’s own pricing strategy for music.

But Apple can still clobber Amazon by out-Appling not the iTunes pricing strategy, but the Apple marketing strategy: Create a vastly better user experience for both content creators and content consumers! Oh, and focus on audio.

Here’s how.

The Forgotten iOS Device: Why You Should Make Apps For Apple TV



Brad Smith wants to encourage developers to explore the final frontier: making apps for Apple TV.

Smith, director of engineering at RadiumOne, spoke at AltWWDC about facing the challenges for this new territory.

“I like to think of it as the forgotten iOS device,” Smith said, showing a slide of Tom Dickson, who has blended every device from the Cupertino company — with the exception of the Apple TV.