Apple's next-gen iOS Remote app solution could boast full Apple TV GUIs, interactive content

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2014
An Apple patent application published Thursday describes a next-generation iOS Remote app system capable of translating the Apple TV's UI to smaller format iPhone and iPad screens, while streaming back external content like movie trivia from those same devices.


Source: USPTO


As filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple's patent application for "Browsing remote content using a native user interface" details what amounts to an advanced Apple TV remote control app that interprets media content and semantic information to reproduce a graphical user interface native to an iPhone or iPad display.

Unlike Apple's current Remote app, which employs a bespoke UI tailored specifically for the iPhone or iPad, the proposed iteration would dynamically "size down" an Apple TV's GUI based on semantic cues sent to the client device from a source Apple TV or Mac running iTunes. Using this method allows for a much richer user experience that moves beyond the existing digital reproduction of remote control hardware.

For example, the app can display a full Apple TV interface -- or icon matrix -- remotely, including media descriptions, posters, ratings, purchasing options and more.




Code for interpreting semantics information sent out by the host device can be kept on board a client iPhone, or the programming can be tapped from an off-site server like iCloud. Keeping semantics translation instructions in the cloud allows for greater flexibility with older devices not usually supported by a modern app.

Apple outlines two possible embodiments for the remote app, one active and one passive. With the active version, users interact with an Apple TV or other host device in real time, meaning any selections made on the iOS device are immediately be reflected on the larger television screen.

Most of the document deals with the above described active mode, though mention is made of passive operation in which a client device stores user input, then pushes that data to the host device when instructed to do so. Passive mode can, for instance, let one user browse through a host's media catalog without disturbing other viewers.

This method is also a starting point for streaming media from an iOS device to a host Apple TV, a capability already offered with AirPlay.

One of the more substantial features involves outside content gathered to augment media being played or streamed by the host Apple TV. For example, a user may start a movie via the iOS device, then leave the remote app to search for trivia on the Web. Any information discovered outside the remote control app can then be sent back to the host device for display, whether it be an overlay, sidebar or other means of presentation.




In addition to the operational enhancements, Apple also notes client devices can be paired with an Apple TV via proximity sensor technology, suggesting support for iBeacon. Since Apple TV software update version 6.1 launched in March, the set-top streamer has been able to scan for compatible devices over Bluetooth.

Apple's patent application for a next-generation remote app was first filed for in March 2013 and credits Thomas Alsina, Lucas C. Newman and Nicholas James Paulson as its inventors.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,929member
    Good. Current remote sucks. Hard to use, difficult to accurately select menu options. I always overshoot and end up going back to the main screen.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Hopefully this will help them unlock the thing for many different streaming apps, I stay with my Roku until they unlock it for other channels.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    Good. Current remote sucks. Hard to use, difficult to accurately select menu options. I always overshoot and end up going back to the main screen.
    I agree. This would be great!
  • Reply 4 of 21
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Hopefully this will help them unlock the thing for many different streaming apps, I stay with my Roku until they unlock it for other channels.



    What specifically is AppleTV missing that you have on Roku? Legitimately curious.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post



    Good. Current remote sucks. Hard to use, difficult to accurately select menu options. I always overshoot and end up going back to the main screen.



    That's a bit harsh, its better than anything else out there.

    But the Remote App is indeed long overdue for an overhaul and dramatic improvement. It is a bit slow and clunky. The idea of beaming the AppleTV UI directly to the iPad/iPhone and letting you manipulate the UI from there is brilliant, and will make it far more enjoyable.

     

    I think this is in part the "cracking it" that Steve referred to years ago....the very idea of the TV's actual UI beaming itself to your handheld in much more manipulative and interactive way, result in content played back on the screen (likely combined with some dual screen modes/features as well) would be brilliant.

     

    This is also 10,000x better than talking to your TV.

     

    No matter what they do, they desperately NEED to figure out Global Search on AppleTV. I should be able to type in the name of a movie or tv show and get a list of search results with every onboard App that has it.

  • Reply 5 of 21

    I'm not seeing a significant departure from Netflix or YouTube with Chromecast. Is this patentable?

  • Reply 6 of 21
    pmz wrote: »

    What specifically is AppleTV missing that you have on Roku? Legitimately curious?

    Specifically, The BlazeTV and BYU TV. I'm flexible on the latter as there are other ways around that, but I bought the Roku specifically to watch The Blaze. When Apple opens up the ATV I'll happily buy one, my Roku is a 2012 unit and is a wee bit clunky these days. Plus the thing runs hot even when its "off".
  • Reply 7 of 21
    chudqchudq Posts: 43member
    I would like to see to use remote app to mirror to my 27 Mac from iOS.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,007member
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    Good. Current remote sucks. Hard to use, difficult to accurately select menu options. I always overshoot and end up going back to the main screen.

    I agree ... when I can find it that is! I have to use my Remote App on an iDevice regularly until the gremlins return the aluminum remote. Which is always returned to somewhere in plain sight thankfully
  • Reply 9 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,007member
    chudq wrote: »
    I would like to see to use remote app to mirror to my 27 Mac from iOS.

    There are 3rd party apps that do this now, I've used them, but a genuine Apple iOS version of ARD would be nice I agree. I use ARD everyday and often check on my nMac Pro from my 15" MBP and the same ability from an iPad would be nice ... not sure I'd try that on an iPhone though. A genuine Apple iOS ARD would be better than relying on 3rd party apps for obvious reasons.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    I agree ... when I can find it that is! I have to use my Remote App on an iDevice regularly until the gremlins return the aluminum remote. Which is always returned to somewhere in plain sight thankfully



    FWIW, i found the simplest is to program your TV remote to control the AppleTV. One Remote to rule them all, as it were.

  • Reply 11 of 21
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     



    What specifically is AppleTV missing that you have on Roku? Legitimately curious.

     


     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Specifically, The BlazeTV and BYU TV. I'm flexible on the latter as there are other ways around that, but I bought the Roku specifically to watch The Blaze. When Apple opens up the ATV I'll happily buy one, my Roku is a 2012 unit and is a wee bit clunky these days. Plus the thing runs hot even when its "off".

     

    I agree, the UI on the Roku is super clunky but the one thing that I REALLY liked about my Roku was the private channels that you could subscribe to. I found many a good show that way. Also, think about the ramifications if Apple were to implement the ability for private channels, they could possibly just totally sidestep Cable TV and give everyday people the ability to become content creators the same way they did with podcasts. I could see that certainly putting pressure on cable if people feel like they can get their viewing needs met with totally different content that's not even remotely associated with Cable in any form, viewer or content creator.

  • Reply 12 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,007member
    pmz wrote: »

    FWIW, i found the simplest is to program your TV remote to control the AppleTV. One Remote to rule them all, as it were.

    Only snag there is I don't have a TV remote I through them all out (I had about 10 lol) ... I don't have a Cable subscription I pay for ... just FiOS and Apple TV and Netflix. Been that way for three years almost and loving' it. No ads, no news and I watch what I want when I want.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Only snag there is I don't have a TV remote I through them all out (I had about 10 lol) ... I don't have a Cable subscription I pay for ... just FiOS and Apple TV and Netflix. Been that way for three years almost and loving' it. No ads, no news and I watch what I want when I want.



    So how do you turn your TV on?  You walk up and push the button?  :p

     

    I only have a TV, Sound Bar, Blu-Ray, and Apple TV remote (dont do cable/uverse anymore)- and I just use a Harmony 1.

  • Reply 14 of 21
    Please be in next Apple TV.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Hopefully this will help them unlock the thing for many different streaming apps, I stay with my Roku until they unlock it for other channels.



    problem w/ Roku is theres no support for my iTunes content.

  • Reply 16 of 21
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     



    FWIW, i found the simplest is to program your TV remote to control the AppleTV. One Remote to rule them all, as it were.




    likewise, i use a logitech Harmony One, which creates activity-based actions (Watch DVD, Watch ATV, etc) and binds the various keys to the various devices (volume to the receiver, d-pad to the ATV, etc). works pretty well, stores programs on the cloud. but its line of sight, and the logitech software to program it is horrendous.

  • Reply 17 of 21
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    nolamacguy wrote: »

    problem w/ Roku is theres no support for my iTunes content.

    Any iTunes content stored locally can be accessed with Plex.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member
    Specifically, The BlazeTV and BYU TV. I'm flexible on the latter as there are other ways around that, but I bought the Roku specifically to watch The Blaze. When Apple opens up the ATV I'll happily buy one, my Roku is a 2012 unit and is a wee bit clunky these days. Plus the thing runs hot even when its "off".
    I watch a show called "Studio C" on You-Tube, but I think it is from BYU TV. It's hilarious. There is an episode called "to kill a mockingbird" that I've watched multiple times. I'm laughing just thinking about it.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    ash471 wrote: »
    I watch a show called "Studio C" on You-Tube, but I think it is from BYU TV. It's hilarious. There is an episode called "to kill a mockingbird" that I've watched multiple times. I'm laughing just thinking about it.

    It is, I watch a lot of that.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,007member
    andysol wrote: »

    So how do you turn your TV on?  You walk up and push the button?  :p

    I only have a TV, Sound Bar, Blu-Ray, and Apple TV remote (dont do cable/uverse anymore)- and I just use a Harmony 1.

    Yep. :D I switch it off the same way. I have to get my exercise some how!

    But seriously, the remote for the TV had the input button close to the on off and almost every time we touched it we'd change HDMI inputs. Pressing the on switch on the side on the way to get a G&T is faster than fiddling with the damn remote to get the right HDMI selected again. We only watch once a day so it isn't exactly a lot of effort.
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