Siri and App Store will make Apple TV a game-changer

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We're finally going to get the TV experience we deserve. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A new Apple TV set-top box is set to arrive this summer at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, according to a new report citing sources familiar with the situation.

The upgrade would represent a much-needed “significant overhaul” of the device, letting it go far beyond Apple’s current TV offering and crossing over into other areas such as music, apps and even home automation — with a nifty Siri-based interface, to boot.

BuzzFeed News says the big Apple TV refresh will be based on Apple’s A8 system-on-chip, will boast a significant upgrade on the 8GB of storage in the current Apple TV box, and will feature a revamped operating system, placing Siri front row and center.

The idea of using Siri as, essentially, Apple’s new “digital hub” is something the company has previously hinted at in patents. In late 2013, Apple filed a patent for a “smart dock” that promised to greatly extend the range and capabilities of Siri into areas like personal DJ, portable gaming device controller and overseer of home-automation tech.

The patent claimed the smart dock will listen for commands at all times — saving you the inconvenience of having to physically touch your iDevice — and can be fine-tuned to listen only for specific voices, so that having guests around, or the radio on in the background, wouldn’t send it into a crazy tailspin.

BuzzFeed News also thinks Apple will use WWDC to release an SDK to allow developers to create apps specifically for the new Apple TV. The latest info comes shortly after a plethora of reports suggesting Apple will finally get its TV subscription service off the ground this year, offering around 25 channels, including Fox, ABC, CBS and more.

As a sweetener to entice additional partners, Apple will reportedly offer networks complete access to viewer data, such as what shows they watch and when they watch them — despite the fact that this would seemingly violate Apple’s strict stance on user privacy.

Having spent the past few years dissing the current television experience — with Tim Cook telling Charlie Rose last year that it is “stuck back in the ’70s” — it seems that 2015 is set to be the year where Apple finally shows everyone else where they were going wrong.