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The AppAdvice Week In Review: The Apple TV Gaming Device, iOS 8 And More

The AppAdvice Week In Review: The Apple TV Gaming Device, iOS 8 And More

March 16, 2014
We've heard a lot this week about the new Apple TV and iOS 8. Apple's release of iOS 7.1 also made news during the week that was, as this story shows.

The Apple TV Gaming Device

It has never been easier to stream video content from a mobile device. Nevertheless, the living room remains the place where most of our video entertainment is consumed. With this in mind, Cupertino is about to take the lid off its next-generation Apple TV — the first hardware update for the device in 24 months. When Tim Cook takes the stage at a “special event” in the coming weeks, Apple won’t be revealing an ‘iTV.” Nor will they be launching a device which offers a la carte TV programming, as was once believed. Nonetheless, the fourth generation device will represent the company’s biggest push yet to move the Apple TV beyond its “hobby” product status. A large part of this push is to make the Apple TV a full-fledged gaming console, according to sources close to Apple. To date, most have focused on what effect Apple's release last year of a game controller API would have on iOS devices. In fact, we've heard the company's plans for its set top box was the central reason Cupertino launched the API. Without games, a device such as the one Apple is planning wouldn’t work, of course. Therefore, expect to see the first Apple TV store to launch alongside the new device. Initially, this marketplace will look a lot like Apple’s App Store and include much of the same content, for better or worse. Recall playing iPhone games on Apple's first tablet (before iPad-only games existed) as an example of what to expect. In time, games and apps unique to the Apple TV will become commonplace. We’ve been told by sources that the new Apple TV may launch with one or two exclusive games. Also, an Apple branded game controller could also be in the offing, although it won’t ship inside the Apple TV box. The interface on the new Apple TV will look a lot like the one on the current model once you move beyond gaming. In other words, the entertainment offerings on the new Apple TV will more or less match those on the existing model. Interestingly enough, little is known about what the next Apple TV will actually look like. It could look very similar (and smaller) than the current model -- or it could take its visual cues from the Google's Chromecast or Roku's Streaming Stick, and simply attach to a television's HDMI port. More than likely, the new Apple TV will be unveiled before the end of April. For more information on the Apple TV, see:
We'll continue to follow this story in the coming days and weeks.

Attention shifts to iOS 8, after Apple's iOS 7.1 is released

The folks over at 9to5Mac recently concluded a series of reports detailing the new features and changes likely to arrive on Apple's iOS 8. For our take on these reports, see:
Meanwhile, Apple finally released iOS 7.1 to the public. The update comes with plenty of  “improvements and bug fixes," including:
  • CarPlay
    • iOS experience designed for the car
    • Simply connect your iPhone to a CarPlay enabled vehicle
    • Supports Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, and 3rd-party audio apps
    • Control with Siri and the car’s touchscreen, knobs, and buttons
  • Siri
    • Manually control when Siri listens by holding down the home button while you speak and releasing it when you’re done as an alternative to letting Siri automatically notice when you stop talking
    • New, more natural sounding male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese
  • iTunes Radio
    • Search field above Featured Stations to easily create stations based on your favorite artist or song
    • Buy albums with the tap of a button from Now Playing
    • Subscribe to iTunes Match on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free
  • Calendar
    • Option to display events in month view Country specific holidays automatically added for many countries
  • Accessibility
    • Bold font option now includes the keyboard, calculator, and many icon glyphs Reduce Motion option now includes Weather, Messages, and multitasking UI animations New options to display button shapes, darken app colors, and reduce white point
  • New Camera setting to automatically enable HDR for iPhone 5s
  • iCloud Keychain support in additional countries
  • FaceTime call notifications are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device
  • Fixes a bug that could occasionally cause a home screen crash
  • Improves Touch ID fingerprint recognition
  • Improved performance for iPhone 4
  • Fixes display of Mail unread badge for numbers greater than 10,000
  • Continued user interface refinements

A touchy problem with iOS 7.1?

Many have said iOS 7.1 has made Touch ID on their iPhone 5s better. Unfortunately, some have reported having major problems with Apple's fingerprint technology after installing the update. As I had previously reported, the problem has been well documented on Apple's support site, both here and here. To date, Apple has remained silent on this issue.

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Viral Video of the Week

Hopefully, the Apple TV won't be added to this list of the worst gaming consoles in history:

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