As Apple continues to improve the one-stop streaming experience of Apple TV and its standalone TV app, the much-hyped universal search has finally added enough partners to make it a robust and useful feature. With a few updates this week, universal search on the fourth generation Apple TV now supports over 50 different streaming apps and services in the US — meaning you can search for shows and content across Netflix, Apple Music, Animal Planet, TNT, TBS and dozens more right from Siri or the Search app.
Universal search also just added support for Apple Music, but that appears to be the limit of the music streaming options at the moment. Apple has a full list of supported services, but if you’re outside the United States, you might find the options are still pretty limited. Either way, the new additions should be enough save you a few clicks before you settle into your next binge-watching session.
Apple is making good on its promise of giving you a unified video streaming experience. The company has released iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1, both of which include the company’s centerpiece TV app. So long as a given service supports the feature, you no longer have to jump into and out of apps to catch up on your viewing — you can resume your favorite show or check out recommendations from a single place. Netflix isn’t included in TV at the moment, alas, but this and the recently launched single sign-on should save you a lot of hassle.
The iOS update isn’t just a one-trick pony, of course. It includes a slew of new emoji, including a face palm, a gorilla (read: Harambe) and female equivalents for most job emoji. And of course, there are numerous subtler tweaks. You’ll see improved music controls with quicker access to your queue and shuffling, better stabilization and improved frame rates for Live Photos, a dedicated News app section for saved articles and notifications for smart home devices like smoke detectors and door sensors.
Combine these with general fixes (there’s a significant upgrade to Bluetooth performance, for example) and you’ll definitely want to upgrade — if just to see Apple fulfill one of its big end-of-year promises.
Apple just made your TV watching much easier… if you subscribe to the right services, that is. After dropping some hints in November, Apple has activated its promised single sign-on feature for Apple TV and iOS users in the US, but only for a handful of offerings. DirecTV, Dish and cord-cutter service Sling TV are the highlights among providers. Only some channel-specific apps can use SSO as well: A&E, Bravo, NBC, Syfy and USA are among the choices, and the option isn’t always available on both Apple TV and iOS gear.
How well the feature works will rely heavily on app creators. There are some glaring omissions in the selection right now (HBO, anyone?). The situation might improve sooner than you think, however. Single sign-on might see greater adoption now that you don’t need a beta operating system to try it, and there will be a stronger incentive to use it once Apple’s unifying TV app is available. If support is rough around the edges right now, it might be a very different story in the months ahead.
To encourage parents and kids to read together, Apple has debuted a new app for tvOS. The iBooks StoryTime app features “Read-Aloud” tool that narrates books and flips pages automatically. For the times when you’d rather read to your child yourself, you can turn the feature off and turn to the next page by swiping with the Apple TV remote.
Selections include books with Sesame Street characters and stories from other children’s favorites like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You can purchase iBooks from any Apple device and the Read-Aloud stories will sync automatically in the library on your Apple TV. iBooks StoryTime for tvOS is free and it comes with Dora’s Big Buddy Race Read-Along Storybook at no extra charge so you can test drive the app without having to hand over any funds.
Via: The Verge
Source: App Store
Apple wants to take the pain out of turning your Apple TV into a cable box, and is doing so with Single Sign On. It’s a system that promises to let you enter the username you use with your TV provider just once, and it’ll collate whatever apps and services you can access automatically. It was announced all the way back in June, but only now is the company ready to begin testing the feature publicly.
Both AppleInsider and 9to5Mac are reporting that Single Sign-on has been activated for beta testers using iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1. If you’re using those operating systems on the Apple TV, iPhone or iPad, you can head over to the settings pane and enter your provider details to get going. For now, the number of companies listed is limited to four: Dish, GTVC Communications, Hotwire and Sling TV. But now that Apple is letting folks in the real world kick the tires, hopefully it won’t be long before we all get to play.
Source: AppleInsider, 9to5Mac
The Apple TV of old — the one that doesn’t have a tiny, Siri-enabled remote, or any desire to play games — is no more. As MacRumors reports, the third-gen hardware is no longer listed on Apple’s site, all but sealing its fate. Maybe you’ll see one in a brick-and-mortar store — but consider it a hanger-on. A remnant of the past, before tvOS and its fancy new apps were introduced. 9to5Mac has obtained an Apple email, sent out to employees and education partners, confirming the decision to kill the ageing hardware. From here on out, it’s all about the new, fourth-gen Apple TV.
Via: The Verge
Source: MacRumors, 9to5Mac
StubHub is coming to Apple TV, marking what it says is the first ticketing app on the tvOS App Store. The app has been specifically designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, enabling users to browse, search, and purchase tickets for sports games, concerts, theater and comedy shows, and other U.S. events from the couch.
StubHub, owned by eBay, is a popular online marketplace for buying and selling tickets for events, including NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL games, concerts by artists such as Adele and Drake, WWE and UFC fights, comedy shows by the likes of Amy Schumer, and more. Tickets can be searched for by genre, artist, team, or venue.
StubHub for Apple TV takes advantage of the big screen with a highly visual design intended to motivate couch sitters to get out:
The design was tested and iterated through several rounds of user feedback, in which StubHub designers added the side-scroll interface for browsing within a seating section of a specific event, and included high-resolution seat maps on the listing cards so consumers could get a clear idea of the view from the section in which they were considering tickets.
StubHub for Apple TV does not appear to be available on the tvOS App Store just yet, but it should be rolling out soon.
Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Tags: tvOS, StubHub
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Caution)
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You no longer have to be a guinea pig to give Apple’s latest software upgrades a try — as promised, the Cupertino crew has released the finished versions of iOS 10 and watchOS 3. As before, iOS’ biggest improvements are in communication — Messages gets apps, hand-drawn images, secret messages and stickers (among many other additions), while Siri now offers you control over third-party apps. You’ll also see major interface revamps in Maps (which now offers proactive suggestions) and Music, a Home app to manage smart household gadgets, lock screen widgets and wider use of 3D Touch on supporting hardware.
As for watchOS 3? It’s nothing less than a major rethink of the platform. Your favorite apps will not only load much faster (as they’re stored in memory), but the side button has changed from its original focus on contacts to bringing up favorite apps. You can also hand-draw replies, quickly access common settings and share activities to get some extra motivation. A Breathe app reminds you to relax, and iOS 10’s Home app gets a wrist-worn counterpart.
And Apple TV fans, you’re included too… although the upgrades aren’t as dramatic. The newly launched tvOS 10 update primarily introduces a dark mode for those late-night movies, a single sign-on to spare you from signing into umpteen services and Siri voice search for YouTube. You’ll need a fourth-generation Apple TV to see any of these differences.
In typical Apple fashion, yesterday’s WWDC keynote kicked off the annual developer’s conference with a two-hour slate of software-focused announcements. While you may want to go back and relive all of the news, you probably don’t have that amount of free time to dedicate to the task. Fret not, friends: we’ve condensed the chatter about all four of Apple’s OSes down to a 15-minute affair, easily digested over your coffee break. There’s talk of watchOS improvements, what’s new for Apple TV, a massive overhaul of iOS and the move from OS X to macOS. For more detailed info on what went down, consult all of our WWDC 2016 coverage right here.
Need a quick recap on all the news from WWDC 2016? Our own Dana Wollman and Chris Velazco were on the scene and are ready to run through all the news about macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS and any other platforms Apple may have introduced. Most of these changes won’t hit your devices until the fall, but this way it will only take a few minutes to get familiar with all the new features immediately.
Get all the latest news from WWDC 2016 here!