Many people lined up to watch today’s Apple Watch event via live stream: CEO Tim Cook began the conference by announcing some exciting new updates to the Apple TV, Apple’s popular streaming device.
The audience was promised by Cook that Apple TV will forever alter the way they watch television, and disclosing three important updates that are just the start of things to come. So, what do we already know, and what is Apple teasing us with.
What Are The Updates?
The fantastic news is that Apple TV is now in partnership with HBO NOW.
HBO made the announcement last October that it has a new subscription service to allow its users access without the need to pay for satellite or cable television. From April (before the premier of Game of Thrones) HBO will now charge $14.99/month. Apple TV will have exclusive streaming rights for the launch, even though HBO still intends working in conjunction with other internet providers. (This is an unfortunate blow for Chromecast and Roku users).
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler, has advised that for just a limited time HBO Now will be free for the first month when you sign up on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
Cook was also happy to announce that the Apple TV will be reduced by $30 to a low $69: to date, the Apple TV has sold a whopping 25m units! And, it works on any Apple device.
There Are Some Changes Coming
The above updates are certainly great, but they’re not going to alter our current method of watching TV. Cook advised the crowd that today was just the start of many exciting changes coming to our world of television. Let’s have a quick look at what some of these changes are likely to be:
CNET said in 2013 that it was a ‘no brainer’ to add games and a console to the Apple TV. But today, two years on, and we still have no access to basic gaming apps through the device. This is a functionality that would open the device up to an exciting new market because the Apple TV would basically be converted into a gaming system.
Revamped Streaming Service
It was reported in February by Recode that Apple is having discussions with content providers about an internet-based Pay TV service; like Dish’s Sling TV. This streaming service would combine certain programming and market it through the internet to its customers. Apple TV users would then be able to use their device as an (almost) substitute for cable. What this means is that HBO Now is only one of possible future partnerships.
Ultra High Definition with a New Model
The latest in TV technology is known as 4K, or Ultra High Definition, offering higher resolution and a much higher quality picture. It’s similar to HD, but better. We’d need a new Apple TV box to be able to stream 4K. There must be a new update coming because it’s been three years since the last one.
In June, Apple will be holding its World Wide Developer Conference, so be assured we’ll be hearing a lot more about the Apple TV then.