While some of us were expecting an Apple TV refresh during the iPhone event, it didn’t happen, despite the company being “late” with its product renewal cycle. To “compensate” the lack of information regarding Apple’s set-top box, AllThingD has learned about a September 18 software update alongside iOS 7.
The report emphasizes once again that we can expect some new features, with the most notable being a change to allow purchased content from the iTunes Store to be played on other people’s Apple TVs through the AirPlay system.
The one new feature I’m aware of is a tweak to Apple’s AirPlay system. I didn’t do a great job of explaining this before, so here’s another stab: The new software will allow people who have purchased content from Apple’s iTunes store to play that stuff on other people’s TVs, via its AirPlay system.
The key part is that they will be able to tell an Apple TV box they don’t own to stream the media they do own, directly from the cloud. That’s a change from the current system, which requires users to download stuff to their iPhones and iPads and fling it to the TV from there. It also echoes the way Google’s new Chromecast device works.
Apple has been busy lately bringing updates to the set-top box: it has added new apps such as Vevo, the Weather Channel, the Disney Channel and other channels, but unfortunately the majority of them are limited to the US: Hopefully we will see some more content in Canada as well.