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

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 64
    Awesome.
  • Reply 3 of 64
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 64
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 5 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 :)

  • Reply 6 of 64
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 7 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.

  • Reply 8 of 64
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member
    nagromme wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 64
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member


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

  • Reply 10 of 64
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,797member
    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.
  • Reply 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

  • Reply 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

  • Reply 13 of 64
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    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.

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 15 of 64
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    mstone wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 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!
  • Reply 17 of 64
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,133member
    Still no App Store....... Come on Apple, the Apple TV would be do much useable (especially outside of the US) with an App Store!
  • Reply 18 of 64
    Well it's about time that we be able to stream ou purchased music directly from iCloud.
  • Reply 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...
  • Reply 20 of 64
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ldrover wrote: »
    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?
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