It only took hours for the iPhone Dev Team to successfully jailbreak the newest AppleTV through the SHAtter exploit once it slid through their front mail slot, which should at the very least open the door to hacks like native 1080p playback and which might — fingers crossed — allow the new AppleTV to run apps.
But how hard is it going to be to install and execute user apps on the new AppleTV once the jailbreak has been officially released?
iPhone hacker Steven Troughton-Smith has done some homework and there’s good news and bad news. On the one hand, he has confirmed that you can actually install applications to the AppleTV already. The bad news? There’s no way to launch them once they’re on the device.
That means that for developers to write the equivalent of Cydia apps for the new AppleTV, someone’s going to have to write an app launcher for the AppleTV first. Depending on how complicated that proves to be, we could either see that functionality in the first wave of public AppleTV jailbreaks, or many months down the line.
Either way, it seems likely that — at some point — Apple will open the AppleTV to apps. At $99, Apple’s looking to put an iOS device in every living room, and considering how much money the App Store makes Apple, it seems naive to believe they won’t want to expand apps to television sooner or later. Even if the jailbreak community can’t figure out an app launcher itself, Apple’s bound to supply one sooner rather than later.