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Apple TV software update adds Bluetooth keyboard support, hints at new hardware

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
The Apple TV set-top box was updated to software version 5.2 on Monday, adding enhanced support for iTunes in the Cloud and the ability to connect a Bluetooth keyboard, while also hinting at a minor hardware refresh.

Apple TV


Users can download the update directly to their device by choosing the Settings application on the Apple TV, then choosing "General," and "Software Update." The full list of changes in the update, according to Apple, are:
  • iTunes in the Cloud: Brows and play your purchased iTunes music directly from iCloud.
  • Up Next: See upcoming songs when playing music, and easily choose what plays next.
  • Bluetooth Keyboard: Use your Apple Wireless Keyboard to control your Apple TV.

The company also strangely released three versions of the software update on Monday, including one intended for a previously unknown hardware revision referred to as "AppleTV3,2." Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities revealed earlier this month that the Apple TV would receive a refresh this quarter, but details on the rumored hardware were not provided.

The Apple TV was last updated a year ago with a single-core A5 processor. The faster chip allows the device to output 1080p video, while its predecessor was limited to 720p.

Also on Monday, Apple updated Xcode to version 4.6, adding support for iOS 6.1. The update is available through the Mac App Store.
post #2 of 64
Nice! Love how the AppleTV is constantly getting more capable. Now if they through it a basic web-browser, would be pretty cool. But I understand why they wouldn't.
post #3 of 64
Awesome.
post #4 of 64
I would have assumed it already could do BT typing. Guess not. Good addition.

A little $30 BT mini-keyboard by the couch would be tempting, just for easier searching.

Whatever this new version is... I'm in! Time to finally get an AppleTV and be able to stream video from my iPhone 5. AppleTV doesn't cost all that much more than the Lightning Digital AV cable after all. And does much more.
post #5 of 64
1) Does this include streaming iTunes Match from iCloud?

2) This addition so late to the Apple TV makes me think there is some major changes for this device category coming up shortly.

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post #6 of 64

I would love to see that myself, along with a way to add iTunes cards would be nice, I'm for getting myself a MacBook air or iPad though I think that if it could do at lease the basics, from my tv that would make me love my Apple TV a  bit more, they can't say they can't block Hulu, and sites like that since Hulu and they've done before on other devices :)

post #7 of 64
Now that BT has been enabled they need to revamp how you can initially connect devices to the Apple TV. It's great they have a Remote Control app for your iDevices but since that needs to be connected via WiFi putting in that password can be tedious. I'd like to see the Apple TV allow for a pairing to iDevices (and Macs via iTunes) where these devices ask for a PIN that is displayed onscreen which will allow the Remote Control app to be used even before you set up WiFi so you can take advantage of that on-screen keyboard.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I would have assumed it already could do BT typing. Guess not. Good addition.

A little $30 BT mini-keyboard by the couch would be tempting, just for easier searching.

 

Not sure the point of adding this, to be honest. Even with the 1st-gen AppleTV I can use my iPhone with the Apple Remote app to type. In fact, once Apple released this app (about a hundred years ago), I put away the little remote that came with the thing and haven't used it since.

post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I would have assumed it already could do BT typing. Guess not. Good addition.

A little $30 BT mini-keyboard by the couch would be tempting, just for easier searching.

Whatever this new version is... I'm in! Time to finally get an AppleTV and be able to stream video from my iPhone 5. AppleTV doesn't cost all that much more than the Lightning Digital AV cable after all. And does much more.

You won't regret it, I love my aTV 3.
post #10 of 64

If they don't release the next AppleTV update with downloadable apps, I don't think they should even bother.

post #11 of 64
Quote:
  • iTunes in the Cloud: Brows and play your purchased iTunes music directly from iCloud.

 

​I assume those are right above your iLashes, your nose and lips. /s

post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I don't have an Apple TV. I have a PS3 and a Roku for Netflix, Hulu, Crackle and several more channels along with Plex and Playback for streaming content from my Macs. Does the Apple TV not allowing using an iPhone or iPad's keyboard for search now? A BT keyboard could also be useful, but using your iPhone as a remote and also to search for titles would seem to be even easier. Is this not possible now?
 

You can use your phone/ ipad as a keyboard on the apple tv now

post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

...putting in that password can be tedious. 

Definitely. I have a really long Apple ID /password for my iTunes account and an equally complex wifi password. Occasionally my aTV loses the connection requiring the re-input of the everything. Honestly, the last time that happened it took me around 4-5 tries to finally get it connected again. I wonder if the new BT keyboard will allow pairing out of the box to avoid that crazy Apple remote interface.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I don't have an Apple TV. I have a PS3 and a Roku for Netflix, Hulu, Crackle and several more channels along with Plex and Playback for streaming content from my Macs. Does the Apple TV not allowing using an iPhone or iPad's keyboard for search now? A BT keyboard could also be useful, but using your iPhone as a remote and also to search for titles would seem to be even easier. Is this not possible now?

Obviously for Netflix you could just just open the app, search for a title then add to your instant queue, but is it possible to do that directly from the Apple TV screen?

I also wonder if Apple will ever open up a bit to add more channels. Roku has tons of private channels to choose from like CNN, Vevo, TuneIn, SyFy, Pandora, Weather, and even Facebook. Apple TV would be a lot more useful with more content.

I was thinking about buying an aTV a couple months ago, but the lack of Amazon Instant Video support as well as Amazon not having a license to stream from an iOS device made me decide against it.

post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder if the new BT keyboard will allow pairing out of the box to avoid that crazy Apple remote interface.

I'll see if I can give that a try today.

edit: Scratch that. I will not be wiping my Apple TV just to see if BT keyboard will pair before anything else. I'll let someone else do that.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/28/13 at 12:26pm

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #16 of 64
Unfortunately, the problems with streaming more than one video or song without having to reset itunes that were prevalent in 5.1 are still there. I had really expected this to have been fixed. Looks as if Apple has no intention of correcting its mistakes. It is this casual attitude that will be the ruin of the company!
post #17 of 64
Still no App Store....... Come on Apple, the Apple TV would be do much useable (especially outside of the US) with an App Store!
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #18 of 64
Well it's about time that we be able to stream ou purchased music directly from iCloud.
post #19 of 64
@gwmac, yes, the Remote app for iOS devices lets you use keyboard or siri for input on AppleTV, and also lets you use the touchscreen to move about the AppleTV interface. Additionally, you output your iOS device screen to the AppleTV...
I got nothin'.
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I got nothin'.
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post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldrover View Post

Unfortunately, the problems with streaming more than one video or song without having to reset itunes that were prevalent in 5.1 are still there. I had really expected this to have been fixed. Looks as if Apple has no intention of correcting its mistakes. It is this casual attitude that will be the ruin of the company!

I have no idea what you are talking about. I stream from my Apple TV all the time from my Mac's iTunes Library and have never needed to restart iTunes, much less after each item is played. Care to elaborate on your particular issue?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Still no App Store....... Come on Apple, the Apple TV would be do much useable (especially outside of the US) with an App Store!

An App Store in a point update with no App Store ecosystem, SDK, or anything else to make the feature a working service?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #22 of 64

I use a Windows machine. Since the Sept update, I cannot stream more than one song or video without restarting iTunes. My brother in-law receive on for Xmas. He returned it once he discovered the same problem. I have read numerous accounts on the web of people with the same problem. It worked great for a year. Then the Sept update and the problems began.

post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

If they don't release the next AppleTV update with downloadable apps, I don't think they should even bother.

Why? You can AirPlay almost any games apps from your iPad or iPhone and stream audio and video as well. What would you use as a controller? Your iPhone/iPad? But You have those apps on there in the first place. Funny 'bout that. Think about it.................. What apps would you need on your ATV? Your grocery list?
post #24 of 64
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
Still no App Store....... Come on Apple, the Apple TV would be do much useable (especially outside of the US) with an App Store!

 

Why do we have to go over why this doesn't make sense again?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud30000 View Post

I was thinking about buying an aTV a couple months ago, but the lack of Amazon Instant Video support as well as Amazon not having a license to stream from an iOS device made me decide against it.

That's too bad for you, then.
post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

In fact, once Apple released this app (about a hundred years ago), I put away the little remote that came with the thing and haven't used it since.

If you're using an Ethernet connection (e.g., as some people prefer, so that 1080p does look like 1080p) you'll need the original remote.
post #27 of 64

Looks like Apple is getting closer to upping the ante on their Apple TV strategy. BT keyboard support presages additional good stuff coming down the pipeline?

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Does this include streaming iTunes Match from iCloud?

Is there something particularly useful about 'streaming' from the Cloud as opposed to being able to play the music on iTunes Match from the Cloud (as we currently can)? I am trying to understand the question.....
post #29 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I would have assumed it already could do BT typing. Guess not. Good addition.

A little $30 BT mini-keyboard by the couch would be tempting, just for easier searching.

Whatever this new version is... I'm in! Time to finally get an AppleTV and be able to stream video from my iPhone 5. AppleTV doesn't cost all that much more than the Lightning Digital AV cable after all. And does much more.


I've got one of those Apple BT keyboards that should come in handy for Netflix.

 

Apple really needs to do something with the AppleTV. It's so far less capable than other solutions out there in terms of access to other content. We need apps for Amazon video and Hulu. Other boxes do much more with many more channels.

 

I still prefer the AppleTV for ease of use, but seriously Apple has not done much with AppleTV. Are they afraid people will use it as a $100 computer?

post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I have a PS3 and a Roku for Netflix, Hulu, Crackle and several more channels along with Plex and Playback for streaming content from my Macs. Does the Apple TV not allowing using an iPhone or iPad's keyboard for search now? A BT keyboard could also be useful, but using your iPhone as a remote and also to search for titles would seem to be even easier. Is this not possible now?

Obviously for Netflix you could just just open the app, search for a title then add to your instant queue, but is it possible to do that directly from the Apple TV screen?

I also wonder if Apple will ever open up a bit to add more channels. Roku has tons of private channels to choose from like CNN, Vevo, TuneIn, SyFy, Pandora, Weather, and even Facebook. Apple TV would be a lot more useful with more content.

 

I have a recent Apple TV plus the PS3 and Roku like you. The Apple TV only gets used for airplay at this point. I use the remote app on the iPhone or iPad mini to control the main iTunes library on a mac mini and choose the Apple TV as output if I'm in that room.

 

That is still more use than the PS3, which is collecting dust with the few Bluray and DVDs I still have not tossed. The Roku just beats the Apple TV senseless with the third party apps (channels). I even like the Roku remote better.

 

I suspect the Apple TV could compete if they opened it up, but for now Roku is the better value by far.

post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Is there something particularly useful about 'streaming' from the Cloud as opposed to being able to play the music on iTunes Match from the Cloud (as we currently can)? I am trying to understand the question.....

I wasn't aware that was a possibility. I have my iTunes account linked to my Apple TV and only when I have songs loaded locally in iTunes does the Music option appear above Movies, TV Shows, etc. Perhaps there is an iTunes Match settings I haven't seen (or remembered).

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #32 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Why do we have to go over why this doesn't make sense again?


Please do. I can see it not making sense in some cases, but not in all cases.

post #33 of 64

I wouldn't be surprised if the addition of iCloud and BT are the first steps toward some kind of game controller. Currently, there aren't many games that allow for airplay and I'd rather not see the controls on the screen if they did. A traditional controller would be better.

post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I wasn't aware that was a possibility. I have my iTunes account linked to my Apple TV and only when I have songs loaded locally in iTunes does the Music option appear above Movies, TV Shows, etc. Perhaps there is an iTunes Match settings I haven't seen (or remembered).

 

This is it exactly.  I haven't seen it first hand, but based on the description it allows those of us that *don't* have iTunes match, to stream that content that we have legal rights to in iTunes.  This will be good for me since I haven't seen any reason to get iTunes match yet, but I have tons of purchased albums, shows, etc.   

 

You also are currently unable to stream or re-download purchased content in the desktop version of iTunes either which always struck me as pretty weird.  

 

If I have a problem with a track in iTunes, I have to delete it from my phone, re-download it from the cloud, then "transfer my purchases" to iTunes on the desktop.  This is annoying because I have to actually get out a freaking WIRE, walk my phone into the computer room and connect the two together to do this.  

post #35 of 64
Joy
post #36 of 64
"hints at new hardware"... better be understatement of the year.
We need "mind blowing, revolutionary new ATV hardware", and we need it yesterday.
post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why do we have to go over why this doesn't make sense again?

Explain how an Apple TV with a dedicated games store and tactile, bluetooth controllers with a much crisper response rate than video mirroring doesn't make sense? Multitouch work for some kinds of applications, but it's clearly not suited to everything.
post #38 of 64
Im betting those of us that have a ATV3 realize that something big is coming down the pike sooner rather than later...

The cries and chants for more features isn't going unheard, just don't expect it on our boxes maybe??

Someone asked about the remote app on the iPad, iphone, touch etc. Yes, it works great for me...on all my devices and lets you search on it instead of the supplied remote - ugh...

The app is where its at. I have two ATV's and like how they are named and can access them from the app. Pretty cool.

Someone else mentioned "tedious" re-entering your password...??? I did it once -- in the app or in the device itself.

One feature I'd like to share that I think is worth noting. Some buddies were over at my place - one had his Mac Laptop - he wanted to play some music on his mac and play it thru ATV and my receiver. Since he had my WIFI code - he just hit the Apple TV icon in itunes on his laptop -- and his music played thru my Apple TV thru my Pioneer Receiver -- no passwords needed - clean...We like that!!! 1smile.gif)
post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldrover View Post

I use a Windows machine. Since the Sept update, I cannot stream more than one song or video without restarting iTunes. My brother in-law receive on for Xmas. He returned it once he discovered the same problem. I have read numerous accounts on the web of people with the same problem. It worked great for a year. Then the Sept update and the problems began.

 

This makes even less sense.  What does ... "My brother in-law receive on for Xmas."  mean exactly?  

 

Even if I take "on" as meaning "one," it can only refer to a "Windows machine"since you can't get updates for Xmas and grammatically, you're referring to the sentence immediately previous.  So you want us to believe that your brother got a brand new Windows computer, but discovered it didn't stream iTunes content as well as he'd like and ditched the entire machine as a result?  (without trying to find out what the problem even was BTW)

 

That's just crazy talk.  

 

I mean it's hard to know what you're even talking about here.  Are you on iTunes match?  Are you trying to stream from the cloud without it? (because up until today it didn't work that way).  Or are you not talking about Windows computers at all and rather are talking about AppleTV?  If it's Apple TV ... again, before today it didn't work that way unless you have iTunes Match.  

 

Finally, if you're talking about iTunes Match, then yeah... I've heard it's not ready for prime time also and that there are lots of bugs, but that isn't what the article is about and isn't anything to do with the streaming that we are talking about as a result.  

post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

You also are currently unable to stream or re-download purchased content in the desktop version of iTunes either which always struck me as pretty weird.  

If I have a problem with a track in iTunes, I have to delete it from my phone, re-download it from the cloud, then "transfer my purchases" to iTunes on the desktop.  This is annoying because I have to actually get out a freaking WIRE, walk my phone into the computer room and connect the two together to do this.  

Unless I'm not understanding your post (which is entirely possible today), in iTunes go to iTunes Store and on the right side of the window click on Purchases. You should be able to see everything you've ever bought.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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