When Steve Jobs announced the new palm-sized AppleTV on Wednesday, replete with AirPlay-streaming functionality from your computer’s iTunes library, 720p high-def video and Netflix capability, many of us wondered if Cupertino would (or even be able) to extend the new functionality back down the line to the older, drive-based model.
Nope, says Ars Technica. An Apple spokesperson confirmed to them that there will be no software updates to bring the new AppleTV functionality to the last generation model.
To be honest, I wasn’t suspecting anything different. According to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, even though the AppleTV doesn’t look like it is running iOS, it is… an assertion supported by the new AppleTV’s A4 CPU. The new software probably doesn’t even work on old AppleTVs, and rolling out a major software update for the obsolete model would essentially require coding the functionality from scratch.
Still, it’s disappointing. I, like many AppleTV owners, gave Apple my money for their “hobbyist” device, supporting and defending it for years even while Apple ignored it. Now that they are taking the device seriously and finally bringing the AppleTV brand up to spec, though, Apple’s quick to abandon us.