Archive for the ‘Apple TV’ Category

Apple releases iOS 12.3, macOS 10.14.5, watchOS 5.2.1, and tvOS 12.3

May 13th, 2019
A man walks in front of a giant video display onstage.

Enlarge / Apple announced some of these features at its services-and-TV-focused event on March 25. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Today, Apple began rolling out new versions of its iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems for iPhones and iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs, respectively.

The updates are largely focused on the video services that Apple announced at its March 25 event—namely, a revamped Apple TV app, Apple TV Channels, and an expansion of AirPlay 2 to devices produced by Apple's partners. A handful of bug fixes, performance optimizations, and other small tweaks are also included in the updates.

And no doubt deliberately timed with these updates, AirPlay 2 and Apple TV app support has finally rolled out to supporting Samsung TVs as planned. Apple says they'll roll out to supporting LG, VIZIO, and Sony smart TVs "later this year."

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Posted in apple, Apple TV, apple tv 4k, apple watch, iOS, iOS 12, iOS 12.3, iphone, Mac, MacOS, macOS 10.14.5, macOS Mojave, Samsung, Tech, tvos, tvOS 12, tvOS 12.3, watchos, watchOS 5, watchOS 5.2.1 | Comments (0)

Netflix ends AirPlay support on iOS in an ongoing souring of its Apple relationship

April 9th, 2019
The Apple TV 4K and remote.

Enlarge / The Apple TV 4K and remote. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Netflix has confirmed that it no longer supports AirPlay, citing "technical limitations" with Apple's video-slinging feature. The reasoning isn't exactly about technical limitations that prevent Netflix from supporting the feature at all, though. Rather, Netflix has either chosen not to support it because the company can't control the user experience the way it wants to or because of bigger issues of competition and collaboration between the two companies.

AirPlay is a feature in Apple devices (and now in some third-party devices from partners like LG and Samsung) that allows streaming audio or video from one gadget to another over the local network. A few days ago, users began noticing that they could no longer use AirPlay in the iOS Netflix app, and MacRumors discovered that a support document on Netflix's website had been updated to say, "Airplay is no longer supported for use with Netflix due to technical limitations."

Netflix soon elaborated with an official statement to certain press outlets covering the story. Here's the statement:

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Posted in AirPlay, apple, Apple TV, Apple Video, Netflix, streaming, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple releases iOS 12.2 with support for News+ service, new AirPods

March 25th, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing Apple News+.

Enlarge / Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing Apple News+.

Apple quietly pushed out a lengthy iOS software update today. While the day was largely dominated by Apple's "It's Show Time" event in which the iPhone maker announced news, gaming, and TV subscription services, it just released updates that will help users get settled with some of the new announcements.

Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ won't be available until the fall, so iOS 12.2's biggest updates revolve around Apple News+. The company's new, $10-per-month news and magazine subscription service requires an update to the existing News app, which brings the UI for top articles and magazine issues chosen by Apple editors. The updated News app will also allow subscribers to read content offline and receive personalized recommendations based on topics that are most interesting to them.

iOS 12.2 also adds support for Apple's newest AirPods, which carry the new H1 chip that lets wearers call upon Siri without touching the AirPods first. The update also lets users summon Siri from iPhones or iPads to play any video, show, movie, sports game, or channel on their Apple TVs, essentially extending Siri's role on mobile devices as a virtual remote for the Apple TV.

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Posted in animoji, apple, Apple Arcade, Apple News, Apple TV, iOS, MacOS, Siri, software update, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple finally enters TV streaming space with new Apple TV+ service

March 25th, 2019
Apple finally enters TV streaming space with new Apple TV+ service

Enlarge

CUPERTINO, Calif.—It's been a long time and many rumors coming, but Apple has finally unveiled its streaming video service. Dubbed Apple TV+, the service combines some aspects of existing players in the space like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.

The originals

At the vanguard of Apple TV+ is Apple's own original programming. The company reportedly spent $1 billion developing TV shows and films to include on the service. Upon announcing the streaming service, Apple showed a video featuring the numerous creators it worked with to create original content for the service—filmmakers including Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams, as well as actors and actresses including Reese Witherspoon and Octavia Spencer.

These creators and actors serve as the foundation for Apple TV+, thanks to all the original content they have created (and will continue to create) for the service. Steven Spielberg took Apple's stage to talk about the reboot of Amazing Stories, a sci-fi anthology series that Spielberg hopes will "transport the audience with every episode."

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Liveblog: Apple unveils its TV service and more at the March 25 “It’s show time” event

March 24th, 2019
The event invite strongly hints at the upcoming video service.

Enlarge / The event invite strongly hints at the upcoming video service. (credit: Apple)

CUPERTINO, Calif.—At 10am Pacific on Monday, March 25, Apple and its partners will take the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif., to talk about a new TV-streaming platform, a new magazine-subscription service, and possibly much more. We'll be liveblogging the event as it happens, so join us here a few minutes before the show for all the updates.

Apple has been signaling to investors, partners, and customers for many months that it will increase its focus on services—always-available, ever-growing content and software offerings—more in the future, as that is the part of its business it expects to grow the fastest. Monday's "It's show time" event will be unusual in that it is expected to focus more on those services than any prior Apple event.

Some hardware announcements were strong possibilities due to timing and reports across the Web—namely, new iPads, AirPods, and iMacs, plus a new iPod touch and AirPower charging mat.

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Everything you need to know before Apple’s March 25 “it’s show time” event

March 15th, 2019
People cluster outside a futuristic glass-and-steel building.

Enlarge / The Steve Jobs auditorium on Apple's new campus.

Update: Tomorrow, March 25, Apple will hold its first public event of 2019 at 1pm ET (10am PT). And press invitations, rumors, and prior evidence indicate this event could hold an unprecedented announcement for the company: its long-anticipated streaming content business. Ars will be on site Monday to find out and liveblog all of it, but for now we're resurfacing our rundown of what to expect from Apple this week and what surprises may be in store. This story originally ran on March 15, 2019 and appears unchanged below.

On March 25, Apple executives and partners will take to the stage in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple's Cupertino campus to talk about subscriptions, software, services, entertainment, and media. These are all things Apple has dealt with before, but never before has an event focused so completely on them as we're expecting later this month.

That's not to say it's impossible that hardware will appear. The timing is right for an update to Apple's base iPad model, and reports and rumors have been joined by developer beta evidence to imply that hardware refreshes are imminent for a few Apple products like the iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, and AirPods. These would fit perfectly in an event focused on services like TV, Music, and News: they are media-consumption devices, first and foremost.

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Posted in airpods, AirPower, apple, Apple TV, bluetooth, Gaming & Culture, ipad, iPad mini, iPod touch, magazines, news, newspapers, Qi, Services, streaming, subscriptions, Tech, Texture, TV, wireless charging | Comments (0)

“It’s show time:” Apple confirms March 25 event at the Steve Jobs Theater

March 11th, 2019
The event invite strongly hints at the upcoming video service.

Enlarge / The event invite strongly hints at the upcoming video service. (credit: Apple)

Apple has sent invites out to members of the press and other guests for a March 25 "special event." The tagline and animation on the invitation strongly suggest that the company's long-rumored streaming TV service will take center stage.

The invitation is accompanied by the words "it's show time." Apple used the same tagline in 2006 for an event at which it unveiled its then-future Apple TV product. TechCrunch editor Matthew Panzarino tweeted out a GIF of the animation: it is a countdown throwback to old films and film production, again suggesting that video content be a focus for the event.

Apple has been courting Hollywood writers and other talent from its rapidly expanding Culver City, Calif., offices in the Los Angeles area. The company is reportedly seeking family-friendly content and has acquired an enormous amount of content from established entertainers. For example, it will reboot Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stores, distribute a film from the Oscar-winning director of La La Land, launch a new series from Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine showrunner Ronald D. Moore, and run a series based on Isaac Asimov's Foundation series of stories. It also has a deal of some sort with Oprah Winfrey.

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Posted in apple, Apple TV, ipad, iPad mini, magazines, Steve Jobs Theater, streaming, Tech, Texture, TV | Comments (0)

Apple says iPhones were down 15% last quarter, but everything else was up 19%

January 30th, 2019
Close-up image of phones prominently displayed on a wooden table in a brightly lit, streetside store.

Enlarge / iPhones are seen at an Apple Store in Tianjin, China. (credit: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Apple today shared its fiscal first-quarter revenue with shareholders. As investors feared and as previously warned, Apple posted revenue of $84.3 billion for the quarter ending in December, missing revenue expectations in the quarter by around $4 billion.

CEO Tim Cook primarily credited macroeconomic conditions in China and their impact on iPhone sales in that region for the failure to meet expectations. That said, the company reported that every part of its business besides the iPhone was up year over year, as was overall revenue in the United States and Europe. The quarter was its second best ever in terms of revenue.

Investors were waiting for the report with bated breath after the company announced earlier this year that it expected to miss its revenue target for the quarter. Apple stock has taken a considerable tumble in recent months thanks to fears about smartphone market saturation, trade tensions between the United States and China, and other unfavorable market conditions in China.

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Posted in apple, apple music, Apple TV, apple watch, earnings, iphone, Mac, Stocks, Tech | Comments (0)

UX rant: The nightmare horrorshow that is the Apple TV remote

January 12th, 2019
The Apple TV 4K and remote.

Enlarge / The Apple TV 4K and remote. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Disclaimer: This is a rant. It is one man's cri de cœur. It is not a review. If you want to read the Ars Technica review of the Apple TV, it's right here.

I’ve been an Apple guy since the beginning. My first laptop was a Powerbook 100 with a built-in plastic trackball. But unlike the vast majority of Apple products, which are marvels of engineering and design, the remote on the fourth and fifth generation Apple TVs still leaves me in shock at what a nightmare horror-show the thing is.

I wanted to love the Apple TV remote. It was sleek and futuristic. Plus, it had an accelerometer and its own little trackpad. Besides which, I didn’t think I’d really need the remote, anyway, since I could simply tell the TV what I wanted to watch. What wasn’t to love? Turns out, pretty much everything.

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Posted in Apple TV, Gaming & Culture | Comments (0)

New Samsung Smart TVs will soon have iTunes built in, support AirPlay 2

January 7th, 2019
New Samsung Smart TVs will soon have iTunes built in, support AirPlay 2

Enlarge (credit: Samsung)

Two of tech's biggest rivals are working together: Apple and Samsung partnered to make it easier for people to watch iTunes content. In an announcement coming out of CES 2019, the companies stated that 2018 and 2019 Samsung Smart TVs will gain the ability to play iTunes movies and TV shows this year, along with AirPlay 2 support. Last year's Samsung Smart TV models will get these new features via a firmware update, while all 2019 models will come with them built in.

A new, dedicated app for iTunes holds all users' movies and TV shows purchased through Apple's service. The app will appear in a carousel along with other services including Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.

Previously, iTunes video playback was limited to the iTunes app on Apple devices and Windows PCs, as well as the Apple TV set-top box. That severely limits users' access to movies and shows they purchased from Apple, considering all the new ways people can consume digital content today (smart TVs, set-top boxes, mobile apps, to name a few). Now, users will be able to log into their iTunes accounts and play movies and shows directly from their Samsung Smart TV, without needing a dedicated Apple device.

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Posted in apple, Apple TV, CES, CES 2019, iTunes, Samsung, Samsung TV, streaming, Tech | Comments (0)