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Apple Tech Talks: “The future of TV is Apps”

Apple recently announced the new “Apple Tech Talks” in several cities around the world, and MOBGEN was present at the London edition along with about two hundred other developers from all over the world.

The talks were thought-provoking, divided into different topics such as design, remote focus & game controller, media playback, on-demand resources, best practices, etc. It was a great opportunity to meet and talk with other developers.

Until recently, the previous generations of AppleTV allowed us to play movies, TV series, and make screencasts from our mobile, tablet or computer. But with the 4th generation, Apple wants to repeat the success of the iOS ecosystem by adding an App Store to the TV, which means you can install a lot of applications and games on the new device. This has opened up a whole new world for brands to showcase their products and content.

The new system called tvOS, is a fork of iOS. This is a great advantage for the users that will find a familiar environment and a very simple adaptation to the big screen. Developers will also find it easy to adapt their applications from iOS to tvOS.

Apple offers a new way to make applications, through templates using web technologies, such as JavaScript and TVML (TV Markup Language) focusing on multimedia content.

The new AppleTV brings a new interface with parallax effect on focused elements. “People use the remote to navigate through interface elements such as movie posters, apps, or buttons, highlighting each item as they come to it. A UI element is considered focused or in focus when the user highlights an item, but has not selected the item.”


Siri Remote
The big innovation is the “Siri Remote”. It has a touch surface like a trackpad, which brings the touch experience directly to the TV. Forget the cursor as a computer and move the focus around the elements in the interface. It is very simple and fast. The touch surface detects multiple gestures such as Swipe, Click and Tap.

Siri Remote gets its name from the new high-functionality, Siri, the Apple’s voice assistant. “What’s the fastest way to finding out what you’re looking for? Ask Siri”. You can search for a movie, open a game app, or play a music album directly with Siri.

“Play more songs by this artist”
“Turn on closed captioning”
“What’s the temperature outside?”
“Who is winning the Cubs game?”
“Fast-forward two minutes”
“Launch Beat Sports”
“What did he just say?”
“Reduce loud sounds”
“Who directed this movie?”

It’s amazing!

In addition, you can connect any Bluetooth Game Controller to play your favorite games.


Techie stuff
AppleTV 4th Gen is powered by a dual core Apple A8 processor, the same as iPhone6. It has 2 GB of RAM and an internal flash memory storage of 32 or 64 gigabytes, depending on the model, which will have no problems running the latest games.

You can connect to the TV via an HDMI port supporting a maximum resolution of 1080p. It is designed to depend only on online content, so there isn’t any USB port to connect our pendrives to play movies.

Connectivity includes HDMI supporting 1080p, Ethernet, USB-C port, 802.11ac wireless and Bluetooth 4.0. This model does not have an optical audio output port.

Moreover, the “Siri Remote” also has an accelerometer, gyroscope, Bluetooth 4.0, IR and Lightning whereby your battery will last a whole month with a single charge.

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The future of television
The internet has changed the way we consume and produce television. We used to have to wait for a television broadcast to watch a TV programme but today, with the internet, viewers can watch the football, catch up on the news, and the latest movies when they want, and sometimes simultaneously with their computer, tablet or smartphones.

TV channels have their own applications and web pages to release delayed content, and this is one of the reasons why Apple wants to be in our homes. “Apple TV gives you access to the most riveting entertainment content. Apps like Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes have full catalogs of hit movies and TV shows. HBO NOW and SHOWTIME bring you Hollywood blockbusters and binge-worthy original series. You’ll also find your favorite programs and professional sports. Breaking news and weather. Fun stuff just for kids. Educational programming, music concerts, and more. It’s hard to believe so much great content can fit into such a tiny package.”

In the words of Apple: “The future of TV is Apps“, and it is happening with iOS. Its success depends on great developers, so Apple leaves the future of television in their hands.

Another example is the Airbnb App. “Every aspect of this app is designed to emphasise the elements that are right for the beginning of your journey. You won’t find long passages of text or logistical details; instead it’s optimised for immersive photos and the fun of discovery”. AppleTV brings ecommerce into the living room, which is perfect for bringing all the family together.

A new product always attracts new users. Anyone with an “Apple Developer Programme” can sell their own applications and games. If you have already published an application for iPhone, you can adapt it to the TV without much effort.

One of the strong points are the games. You only need a remote bluetooth gamepad to have a console. There are good examples like Guitar Hero, Skylanders Superchargers, Rayman Adventures and Beat Sports.


Possibilities for brands
There are a lot of possibilities with the multimedia content. You could buy or rent a movie, watch TV online,  listening to your music, etc. But there are also endless opportunities for brands. With the new open tvOS, there is a new medium for brands to showcase their products. There are a lot of possibilities to serve their target audience with interesting content or (live) reports of events they’re organising.

For example, Burberry presented its collection for fashion week ‘16 live with AppleTV. It was a great success, and in September 2015, it became the first global brand to launch a dedicated channel on Apple Music.

More information
Are you interested in what the new tvOS can do for your brand or company? MOBGEN can help define a strategy, but we’re also happy to just give you some more information! Just contact us:

Some more articles from Apple about the new tvOS can be found via the following links: