Apple TV, a product that began life as a “hobby” in the famous words of the late Steve Jobs, has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent times. Having been largely ignored since its 2007 inception, save for the occasional, rudimentary hardware upgrade, the introduction of Google’s Chromecast seemed to prompt Apple into taking action, and while the third-gen model will celebrate its third birthday this weekend, there’s now heaps more content available through the set-top than was the case prior to last year. Today, a new report points to a thinner, fourth-gen Apple TV manifesting itself in the near future along with a redesigned remote, and, perhaps most notably, a dedicated App Store for the little black box.
As per a report over at 9to5Mac, the fourth-generation Apple TV will be slimmer than the current configuration, while the revamped remote will apparently feature tactile control keys. The article also suggests that said remote will offer enhanced functionality over previous editions, although given that the current Apple TV controller includes a measly three equating to a handful of different functions, we would, for once, certainly welcome a move away from obsessive minimalism.
The operating system will also be subject to change, continues the report, with the introduction of a dedicated App Store. There has been speculation to this effect for quite a while now, with suggestions that Apple may also introduce gaming to the Apple TV repertoire, and while details are seemingly scarce as to what the App Store will specifically entail, you only have to look to the current iPhone / iPad and Mac App Stores for a degree of inspiration.
As for a potential release bracket, Apple was apparently looking to have the device ready to roll out for this month, but delays pertaining to content partnerships have seen things pushed back for the time being.
After years of speculation regarding the so-called “connected TV” effort that never materialized despite incessant claims, it appears that Apple is focusing its efforts on the content aspect rather than the hardware. Still, with no new Apple TV since March 2012, a decent upgrade certainly wouldn’t go amiss, and should we hear more on the matter, we’ll have it covered here.
Meanwhile, do let us know in the comments section what you think about this development.