Apple has taken another step towards improving the cord-cutter experience with its new Live Tune-In feature, reports AppleInsider. Using Siri, you can tell your Apple TV which live TV channel you want to watch–assuming you subscribe to it. It’s unclear how apps gain support for this feature, but it currently works with at least the CBS, ESPN, and Disney XD apps. That list will undoubtedly expand rapidly in the coming months.
The list of apps that Siri for Apple TV can now search continues to grow, with the CBS Now app now supported. If you’re looking for the best place to watch The Big Bang Theory or CSI: Cyber, just ask Siri.
The app that lets you subscribe to CBS for $5.99 joins movies and TV shows from iTunes, Disney Channel, Disney Jr, Disney XD, FOXNOW, FXNOW, HBO GO, HBO NOW, Hulu, Nat Geo TV, Netflix, PBS, PBS Kids, SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME Anytime, Starz, and Watch ABC, according to this Apple support article.
Continuing with its flurry of comedic ads featuring celebrities, Apple has released a new commercial for the Apple TV featuring nearly-retired NBA star Kobe Bryant and actor Michael B. Jordan.
In the ad, Michael B. Jordan sits with Kobe Bryant to study him and pick his brain as he prepares to play him in a movie. Kobe uses the Siri Remote to show him highlights from his youth, while Jordan takes it and jumps into The Curious case of Benjamin Button as he comments on Kobe’s age.
Starz, the premium cable channel known for shows like Outlander and Black Sails, is coming to the Apple TV (and iOS) with a new a la carte subscription service.
The Starz Play app offers access to their shows and movies for $9 a month, or for free if you are subscribe via your cable provider. The app also supports universal search via Siri and up to four users simultaneously.
iMore has a useful tutorial on accessibility features in the Apple TV’s interface. While these features are especially useful for folks with different visual impairments, some of them will appeal to anyone who likes a clean interface. Some of the options include:
- Simplified background visuals
- Bold text
- Fewer animations
Definitely worth exploring if you have any gripes about the Apple TV interface!
In disappointing news for Apple TV gamers, Disney has stopped development on Disney Infinity 3.0, a launch title for the Apple TV, Touch Arcade reports. While Apple is still selling the starter pack and some figurines, new figurines have been reported not to work. and Disney has confirmed no further updates will be forthcoming.
While this might appear to be sad news for the Apple TV, this isn’t the only platform Disney Infinity is leaving. The PC version has also stopped development, a result of minuscule sales in comparison to the console versions.
For movie buffs interested in a movie streaming service that isn’t mostly pseudo-documentaries of Dan Aykroyd talking about aliens and pyramids, Lionsgate and Tribeca Enterprises (known for their film festival) has released its Apple TV app for Tribeca Shortlist.
Tribeca Shortlist costs $4.99 a month and offers a collection of highly-regarded movies (the top half of the movies on the service have a Rotten Tomatoes score of about 90). In addition to some well-known movies, the service is looking to offer first-run movies from the film festival circuit.
A free trial of the service is available, so sign up and enjoy the likes of Groundhog Day, Adaptation, and The Professional
Glenn Fleishman at Macworld has a review of a new accessory for the Apple TV that adds new audio output functionality. The Kanex digital audio adapter connects to the Apple TV via HDMI and a television via HDMI, but also includes a 3.5mm port to output stereo audio and a S/PDIF optical digital audio port.
While costly at $60 for the device, the review is overall positive noting that it should assuage the concerns of the people unhappy with the new Apple TV’s reduced audio output options.
Showing a different tone from most Apple commercials, Apple has released a new TV spot featuring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones) and Alison Brie (Annie from Community). The two actors play themselves as they rehearse a kissing scene by referring to a movie on the Apple TV and using Siri to rewind.
It’s great to see Apple promoting the Apple TV and trying something new with a comedic commercial.
Here are some links around the web covering all-things Apple TV:
- Cult of Mac reviews the weather app Forecast Bar for Apple TV and crowns it the best weather app currently available on the platform. They also have a nice guide to creating folders with the new tvOS.
- OS X Daily reveals how you can access certain hidden advanced settings on the Apple TV.
- 9to5 Mac shows how to take advantage of another new tvOS 9.2 feature: Bluetooth keyboards