Ap­ple TV, iPod and iTunes

4K stream­ing, vir­tual re­al­ity and the fu­ture of the iPod touch

Mac Format - - 2016 -

The new Ap­ple TV isn’t the fin­ished ar­ti­cle: app dis­cov­er­abil­ity is hope­less, its TV stream­ing ser­vice hasn’t launched, and fea­tures such as iOS-style app fold­ers are in the tvOS code, but not yet ac­ti­vated. The big­gest omis­sion is 4K video, which is likely to be the key sell­ing point for the next gen­er­a­tion of hard­ware, but we sus­pect that Ap­ple’s TV fo­cus this year will be on soft­ware and ser­vices. Part of that in­cludes games: it’s not a com­peti­tor for high-end con­soles, but it’s a great plat­form for ca­sual gam­ing – as is the iPod touch. Sales may be slip­ping, but the iPod touch re­mains the gate­way drug for iOS. As the sixth gen­er­a­tion was launched in mid-2015, we don’t ex­pect a ma­jor up­date in 2016.

There’s some­thing else the iPod touch can do: VR. As Google has demon­strated with Google Card­board, you don’t need a ded­i­cated VR head­set to de­liver good-enough VR, and Ap­ple has filed mul­ti­ple patents on VR tech­nol­ogy. An Ap­ple VR set may be years away, but an add-on to turn the iPod touch and iPhone into VR view­ers would make a nifty ‘One More Thing’ – a fun thing for de­vel­op­ers to play with and a way for Ap­ple to gauge in­ter­est.

The Ap­ple TV might not do 4K, but as iPhones can record it Ap­ple TV will have to dis­play 4K even­tu­ally – and leaks show that Ap­ple has also been work­ing on 4K iTunes stream­ing with Sony since at least 2013. Maybe while Ap­ple’s up­dat­ing iTunes to han­dle that it can also an­swer Mac and PC own­ers’ prayers by giv­ing iTunes a ground-up re­vamp. We live in hope.

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