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New Apple TV 'tap-to-setup' may be first public deployment of iBeacons

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Apple on Tuesday detailed a new process for configuring a third generation Apple TV by tapping it with an iOS 7 device, a procedure that may be the first public deployment of the company's new iBeacons communications standard.

 

 

Apple TV setup screen

The new procedure, revealed in an Apple support document, describes a process by which a user can transfer their Wi-Fi network information, iTunes Store credentials, and language and region preferences from an iOS 7 device to a third generation Apple TV during setup simply by enabling Bluetooth and touching the devices together. The unique "tap-to-setup" action bears the hallmarks of Apple's iBeacons technology, which was introduced in iOS 7.

As previously noted by AppleInsider, the process only works with iOS devices that support Bluetooth Low Energy, the power-sipping wireless technology behind iBeacons. Additionally, sensing that the devices have touched indicates that the setup uses BLE to determine the proximity of the iOS device and the Apple TV, a system known as "ranging," or measuring the distance between two devices. This, too, is a pillar feature for the new iBeacons standard.

Other methods of detecting whether the devices touched, such as using the iOS device's accelerometer, would be problematic and unlikely to work reliably, especially in households with more than one Apple TV. The third generation Apple TV was the first revision of the hockey puck-sized set top box to contain a Bluetooth chip, which Apple initially took advantage of by allowing users to connect Bluetooth keyboards to the device.

The new setup procedure may be a bellwether for Apple's future plans around Bluetooth Low Energy technology and iBeacons, with some speculating that the company will take advantage of the combination to create a new contactless mobile payment system.
post #2 of 20
Stupid that they have to tap. Can't it just give you a prompt when you're within range to set it up. Who are we- Samsung? I don't like it.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #3 of 20
Tried this today. Didn't work. So much for that.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Stupid that they have to tap. Can't it just give you a prompt when you're within range to set it up. Who are we- Samsung? I don't like it.

 

First thing I thought too.  I'm sure it will be improved.

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Stupid that they have to tap. Can't it just give you a prompt when you're within range to set it up. Who are we- Samsung? I don't like it.

 

I just set up my AppleTV using this, it worked quite well. In the room at the same time: an iPad and another iPhone besides my own. Should the AppleTV present  itself to all 3 devices at once? Now that would be like Samsung.

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Stupid that they have to tap. Can't it just give you a prompt when you're within range to set it up. Who are we- Samsung? I don't like it.

 

I tried it. You don't have to bump the devices. As long as it's within 1-2 feet, the prompt will pop up on the iPhone after an initial wait.

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Tried this today. Didn't work. So much for that.

 

BT has to be turned on on both devices.

 

In my first try, I waited too long (looking for my iPhone). The auto-config screen timed out and I had to power cycle the Apple TV to get it back to the auto-config screen.

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Tried this today. Didn't work. So much for that.

latest gen iPad running iOS7 or iPhone 5 or 5s with iOS7? Worked like a champ for me using latest get iPad or iPhone 5.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

latest gen iPad running iOS7 or iPhone 5 or 5s with iOS7? Worked like a champ for me using latest get iPad or iPhone 5.

It says in that screenshot it doesn't work on iPad 2 or iPhone 4, meaning it works on iPhone 4S and iPad 3.

Btw, AI, the Apple TV 2 has Bluetooth.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #10 of 20
What I want to see Apple do is an app for my iPad/iPhone, that simply mirrors the ATV display on my TV. Then I have full touch based access to all the channels, settings etc. Seems an obvious next step.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsu View Post

I tried it. You don't have to bump the devices. As long as it's within 1-2 feet, the prompt will pop up on the iPhone after an initial wait.

That's good news. Tapping is no bueno. Let samsung run out the gimmicks- Apple doesn't need them.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #12 of 20
Anyone know if there is even a hint of a refresh for the ATV? I'm in the market for one, just waiting for a new one.. But don't want to wait a year either!!
post #13 of 20

"Tap to connect" is easier than saying "Place your device within close proximity(1~2 feet) of the Apple TV and wait for the setup dialogue to display". But yeah, I'm still waiting for the next gen AppleTV so I can ditch my 2nd gen and finally get full 1080p.

post #14 of 20
Does this work with just Apple TV 3, or does it also work with Apple TV 2?
post #15 of 20

I would like iBeacon to take off, if only so Android smartphone users can finally shut up about the iphone not having NFC. 

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonMTL View Post

Anyone know if there is even a hint of a refresh for the ATV? I'm in the market for one, just waiting for a new one.. But don't want to wait a year either!!

Id wait until the October iPad announcement. That's when they released the last one. If not then, you likely wouldn't see it until March at the earliest.

Something to consider though- it's only $99 ($79 refurb from apple store)- and if you sell it when the new one comes out, you'd be able to sell for $60 at least. So not a big "loss". Of course that's all relative.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chookalana View Post

Does this work with just Apple TV 3, or does it also work with Apple TV 2?

 

Only with the 3rd generation Apple TV, not the 2nd gen.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It says in that screenshot it doesn't work on iPad 2 or iPhone 4, meaning it works on iPhone 4S and iPad 3.

Btw, AI, the Apple TV 2 has Bluetooth.


Yar. I meant it to read like a question to Cash907 to understand what gear he was using.
post #19 of 20
Wow, yet another unpublished specification: BT-LE plus iBeacan = an additional sensor that is unlisted by Apple in the iDevice specs. Even Bluetooth is being used as a sensor with iOS 7 with AirDrop, as it senses other iOS users nearby. Of course iBeacan senses proximity and location of compatible objects. Amazing how these additional sensing technologies are being added without additional hardware.

It would be nice to also include NFC, but it is obvious that Apple has developed a way around it. Even though NFC functionality is currently achieved through alternative means, as the article stated, there are still advantages with NFC. I wonder why Apple is resisting it. Is there a significant cost in hardware and/or licensing that Apple is trying to avoid in order to keep their production cost within a targeted range, or would there be a form factor or performance compromise that Apple - understandably - has refused to make? If it's any of the above reasons are true and a future Broadcom Bluetooth/Wi-Fi chip were to include NFC, would it be safe to say that maybe Apple will use such a chip in future products and adopt NFC?
post #20 of 20

I know I'm a little late to the party on this article, but it should probably be noted that the third gen Apple TV was not the first to have a bluetooth chip. I use a bluetooth keyboard on my second gen all the time. The third gen is the first to support BLE, though.

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