Apple TV, iPod and iTunes
4K streaming, virtual reality and the future of the iPod touch
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.