Apple seeds new betas for iOS, watchOS and tvOS

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iOS 10.3 is full of new features.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received a fresh new batch of updates from Apple today: the third beta builds for iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2.

The new beta builds come two weeks after Apple’s last betas got made available to developers, bringing a host of bug fixes, performance improvements and even some new features and UI changes for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV.

New Apple TV to bring super-sharp 4K video this year

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A new Apple TV could be on its way later in 2017.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s fifth-gen Apple TV will reportedly be capable of streaming ultra-HD 4K images, according to a new report. The new box is codenamed “J105” and could launch later this year.

The article also notes a couple of previously unrevealed details about the current fourth-gen Apple TV, such as the fact that Apple engineers debated packaging it with a dedicated gaming controller as a way to compete more directly with the PlayStation and Xbox.

Facebook is making a video app for Apple TV

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Facebook is coming to Apple TV.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Mark Zuckerberg wants to take over your television.

Facebook revealed today that it is planning to build an all-new video app for set-top-box devices like Apple TV and Amazon Fire. And if it’s successful, it could cause big problems for YouTube.

Apple nabs new TV dealmaker from Amazon

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Apple TV just got a new experienced negotiator.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has hired the former head of Amazon Fire TV, Timothy Twerdahl, as a new vice president for Apple TV. Alongside Amazon, Twerdahl has also previously worked for Netflix and Roku.

In Twerdahl’s previous role at Amazon, he was in charge of negotiating media deals. This is an area Apple has struggled with, with one previous report claiming that content dealmaker Eddy Cue was viewed as arrogant by TV execs during negotiations.

Apple seeds new betas for iOS, watchOS and tvOS

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iPhone 7
There are a lot of new goodies in iOS 10.3.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The second beta of iOS 10.3 is now available for download. Apple seeded the new software update to developers this morning, alongside watchOS 3.2 beta 2 and tvOS 10.2 beta 2.

All three updates contain under-the-hood improvements as well as new features, including Theater Mode for Apple Watch, Find My AirPods and some UI tweaks for Apple TV.

Apple TV sales continued their sad decline over the holidays

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Apple TV hasn't been the winner that Apple was hoping for.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Remember when we all got excited about Apple TV and how it had the potential to change TV as we know it?

It seems that fewer and fewer people do. New data from eMarketer suggest Apple is currently “at the bottom of the U.S. connected TV market, behind Google Chromecast and Roku, with its share shrinking.”

Jimmy Iovine reiterates Apple’s interest in original TV content

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Jimmy Iovine talks up Apple Music at WWDC 2015.
Iovine says Apple Music isn't just about music.
Photo: Apple

Jimmy Iovine is hinting that Apple may indeed be looking to follow Amazon and Netflix down the original TV programming route, telling The Hollywood Reporter that the company is “going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose.”

“At Apple Music, what we’re trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience, and that happens to include audio and video,” Iovine said.