Variety is reporting that the famous Nielsen ratings will soon begin including additional data on streaming devices, including the Apple TV. While general usage of streaming devices is already included, the new data will break down the usage by brand. This will allow content producers to know, for instance, if a particular show is more popular with users of one device or another and which devices are used the most heavily.
Today’s Apple event was largely focused on iPhones and iPads, but the Apple TV didn’t go forgotten. Highlighting a few of the top apps for the Apple TV, including HBO Now and the new March Madness app, it was revealed that the Apple TV already has 5,000 apps available after only being available for a a handful of months.
In addition, tvOS 9.2 was released and is available to download now. The update offers numerous improvements:
- Folders to organize your apps
- Siri dictation (even for passwords!)
- Bluetooth keyboard support
- Revamped app switcher
- Improved rewind and fast forward functionality
As Ars Technica notes in its mini-review, this releases fixes the most glaring omissions and issues.
Mac Kung Fu is reporting on a new website called TwivelStats that is filling a void by providing a searchable database of Apple TV apps on the web. While it currently only has 2,455 apps in its catalog, this number seems to be growing regularly
Once you look at an individual app’s page, you can see the description, price, debut date, a screenshot, and other basic information that you’d normally see in the app store.
While certainly no replacement for a catalog directly from Apple, this at least provides a starting point for looking up apps when away from your TV.
Longtime gamemaker Sega has continued its aggressive push of classic games to modern platforms with the release of multiple Sonic the Hedgehog games to the Apple TV.
Currently only the original Sonic the Hedgehog is available for Apple TV, but Sonic 2 will be available on March 24th and Sonic CD will follow on March 31st, per Engadget. No word on why the release dates are being staggered, but fingers crossed this will be just the start of Sega’s support for Apple TV.
Stay tuned for a first look of Sonic the Hedgehog coming soon to Apple TV Blog.
Apple TV has added a new app to the TV app store called Apple Events, which should expand upon the functionality of Apple event channels on previous iterations of the Apple TV and let users watch Apple events live.
In addition to the app providing a stream of next week’s event on March 21st–which is widely anticipated to be an unveiling of a new iPad Air, a smaller iPhone, and a new Apple Watch–it appears as though it will also be able to show recordings of past Apple events.
In an interview with Decider, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch received a notable final question: When the hell are you bringing Sling to Apple TV? Okay, maybe it was worded slightly differently, but you can sense the intent.
The response wasn’t hugely revealing, but he did state that we’ll continue to see Sling TV available on more devices over the next year. Fingers crossed for another cord-cutting option reaching the Apple TV soon.
While jailbreaking isn’t my cup of tea, the fine folks at 9to5Mac have prepared an excellent primer for the forthcoming jailbreak for the Apple TV 4. Among the important things to note: you’ll need one of the earlier Apple TV 4s produced (so that it’s running an older version of tvOS) and you’ll very likely want a USB C cable to connect to your Apple TV.
Even if you aren’t interested in jailbreaking your Apple TV, though, they do share a cool way to decode your ATV’s serial number to see the exact week it was produced!
In 2015, Sony launched PlayStation Vue, a TV package that allowed subscribers access to bundles of conventional television channels for prices starting at $30 a month, providing both live TV and cloud-based DVR functionality. Initially only available in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco, Trusted Reviews reports that the service is now expanding nationwide.
The service is available not only on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, but also the Amazon Fire TV. There’s currently no word on an Apple TV app option for PlayStation Vue, but with Apple struggling to reach agreements with networks to offer a competitor, the service would be a welcome option for many Apple TV owners.
We all know the big streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, but a new post by Consumer Reports details some additional options, almost all of which are available for the Apple TV. Are you an Anglophile? Acorn.tv can give you your fill of British programming for $5 a month. Serious movie buff? Mubi.com gives you access to classic movies for another $5 a month. Even if you subscribe to all of these options, you’ll still be coming out ahead versus a cable bill!
Apple has released tvOS 9.2 beta 6 to developers for testing, per AppleInsider. While there’s no public beta for tvOS, Apple TV owners have several new features to look forward to when it’s released.
These new features include:
- Support for folders on the home screen to organize apps
- MapKit and Bluetooth keyboard support
- Voice dictation via Siri
More as it develops.