Apple’s small streaming framework, Apple TV, has been updated over the years, but it’s been a while since the last big change. The new report reiterates that we could see a new version of 2021. And it could have a big change that makes many Apple TV users socialize.
Confirmation comes from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman who – and that’s something that rarely happens – took over yesterday’s Bloomberg Technology newsletter “Fully Charged”. If you do not receive this newsletter, you can read it here.
In it, Gurman claims that “For next year, Apple plans to upgrade the box with a stronger focus on gaming, an updated remote control and a new processor.”
These are all interesting things.
The game’s stronger focus and new processor go together. Back in May 2020, Jon Prosser, an extremely reliable power supply, said that the new Apple TV was ready for delivery. Well, that didn’t happen then, but it could be that some other details that Prosser had in mind were correct.
Prosser believed that the design would remain unchanged – when Gurman says it has been upgraded, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an external change. Prosser said earlier that the next box, and I quote, “looks like an Apple TV.” And when asked if the design is the same, he answered, “Yes.”
It looks like big changes are going to be inside.
Gourmet and Prosser agree that a new processor will be key. The current Apple TV 4K box is powered by an A10X Fusion processor, first seen in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro launched in 2017. Prosser back in May thought the new processor would be the A12X Bionic that graced the iPad Pro until an update this year. Recent rumors now suggest that it could actually be Apple’s latest and most powerful processor, it’s the A14 Bionic found in the iPhone 12 series and the iPad Air.
Is that sure hugely exaggerated for a TV streaming box?
Yes, gaming is the key to the need for a powerful processor. Every time a new iPhone is launched, Apple always talks about gaming capabilities and displays graphically enhanced games in action. Many of them can now be found in Apple Arcade, the company’s subscription gaming service, which is available on the iPhone, iPad and, to be exact, Apple TV. Suddenly it makes sense, now there are games that can be played on both iOS and tvOS: it would be great if they looked just as good and played fast on the big screen as well as on the small one.
The second phrase in Gurman’s sentence is the most exciting for me: “updated remote control”. The current remote control arrived five years ago and offered a new and fluid way to control the TV. It introduced a microphone button and, unlike most other streaming remote controls, could also control the volume on your TV.
Best of all, he had Siri, that is, the software behind the microphone, which meant pressing the microphone button and saying, “What did he say?” Apple TV would rewind in 15 seconds and play the video again, this time with subtitles. Subtitles are turned off again after that 15-second second.
But despite all its innovations, it’s not always the easiest to use, as the touchpad is sometimes too sensitive or the key configuration isn’t simple enough.
So the promise of a new remote control is very exciting. Apple remote controls are consistently simple and attractive, but it seems like the right time to upgrade. And, who knows, maybe it will be good for games as well.
There is no exact date when this can be expected – Gourmet only says next year – although other rumors have hinted that it will be the first half of the year.
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