iOS 13.4 beta code hints at new Apple TV device

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Apple TV Siri Remote
Apple TV is due for an upgrade.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

An updated Apple TV 4K could soon roll out of Apple’s product pipeline, based on references to an unreleased product discovered in the latest iOS beta.

9to5Mac unearthed clues in iOS 13.4 beta 1 that signal a new Apple TV 4K is currently in development. Considering the company hasn’t released new Apple TV hardware since fall 2017, the wait for a new set-top box may not be much longer.

Launching a more powerful Apple TV box could give Apple Arcade the boost it needs to become a serious gaming platform on the big screen. Apple launched its subscription gaming service last fall and continues to add new, exclusive titles.

However, the current Apple TV 4K only uses an A10X Fusion processor. Adding an A13 chip to the box would allow it to run games that come closer to console quality. Now that Apple TV supports PlayStation and Xbox controllers, it could become a great casual gaming platform that’s more affordable than expensive consoles.

New Apple TV on the way?

According to 9to5Mac, the new Apple TV is code-named “T1125” in the iOS 13.4 beta. Apple TV 4K uses the code name J105a, while the HD Apple TV goes by J42d. We haven’t seen the references in the code ourselves, but the site says the T at the beginning of the code name suggests it’s probably an unfinished prototype being used internally.

The max resolution on the new streaming hardware likely will stay the same at 4K. It remains unclear when the updated device would launch, though. Recent rumors indicate Apple will unleash a flurry of new products during the first half of 2020, including a new charging mat and Bluetooth tracking tiles.

The possible Apple TV upgrade isn’t the only secret hiding in the iOS 13.4 beta. The code also refers to a previously unknown CarKey API, which indicates Apple might be planning to let iPhones and Apple Watches double as car keys.