As we’ve been pointing out for several weeks now, Apple is really on top of software updates. So far, the company has seeded an OS X Mavericks update to developers, released iOS 7.0.4 to the public, and has updated several applications in both OS X and iOS. On Monday, Apple seeded the first betas of iOS 7.1 and the Apple TV software to developers. iOS 7.1 (which arrives with build number 11D5099e) brings several bug fixes to iOS 7, including several fixes for network connection issues.
Earlier today, we shared Target’s Black Friday deals on Apple products. If you don’t think they were good enough, take a look at the Black Friday deals being offered by Best Buy and Walmart. Both retailers are using attractive discounts on various Apple products—including iPads, Macs, iPhones, etc.—to make sure you hit their stores on (or before) November 29th.
Apple TV users in Germany are getting shown some love, with Apple adding Vevo and NHL GameCenter (just in time for the 2013-14 season) to the set-top box in the country. Expect something big to come along soon, as it seems that Apple has been taking steps to beef up Apple TV with a number of services available around the world.
Netflix has given users something that will be heavily used on HD televisions, called Super HD. On Thursday, Netflix announced it is slowly rolling out this high quality HD to all users on a multitude of devices. It will also be available for use with iOS devices and the 3rd generation Apple TV. Currently, many TV shows are available in HD, and it is usually switched when Netflix detects a higher bandwidth internet connection.
On Friday, Apple released the 6.0 update for the Apple TV, bringing iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud, and iTunes music purchases to the set-top box. However, soon after the update was released, customers began complaining their devices were no longer operating correctly. The update would cause the Apple TV indicator to blink repeatedly, and then shut off.
Just days after Apple released iOS 7 to the public, the company reminded us they haven’t forgotten about those millions of Apple TV users. Apple has updated the software to v6.0, adding new features and functionality such as iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud, iCloud Photos and Videos, and iTunes Music Store.
The only thing better than not knowing jack is not knowing jack in front of others, and that’s exactly what you’ll get to do with You Don’t Know Jack Party for iOS. Thanks to the wonders of your iPhone, Android Device or Apple TV, you can now play You Don’t Know Jack in a group setting, with each person using his or her mobile device as their controller.
The Apple TV may be headed for a refresh pretty soon, with all of the refurbished third generation now sold out in the company’s online store. Earlier last month, we noted the Apple TV discounts may point to the fact that the company is working on a refresh or perhaps even a full-sized television set. Now, a report from AppleInsider mentions that a refresh is very likely going to be coming soon.
With the Google Chromecast gaining a lot of attention in recent weeks, it’s easy to forget that the Apple TV is still one of the most popular streaming devices. Apple is making sure its Apple TV device isn’t being forgotten, now adding support for Weather Channel, Vevo, Disney, and Smithsonian Channel. The Apple TV is one of the best streaming devices on the market because of its use of apps (think turning any TV into a smart TV) and how it syncs across all iOS devices.
The Apple TV is a great device, but with Google’s Chromecast now available on the market, it seems Apple is getting some serious competition. Google’s Chromecast seems like a much easier device to use because it plugs directly into the HDMI port on your TV. The Apple TV takes up more space, and with so many different devices in use these days, people don’t have extra space to waste.
Over the past several weeks, the Apple TV has seen plenty of discounts from retailers, including a $75 offer from Apple for a refurbished unit. Most recently, Best Buy began offering a free Apple TV unit with the purchase of a 15″ Retina Macbook Pro, which means Apple may either be looking to refresh the device very soon or may be introducing the rumored television set.
Apple is now selling refurbished models of its Apple TV set-top box for only $75, down from the original retail price of $99. Apple’s second and third generation Apple TV devices both featured the same compact square design. However, the latest generation is powered by the A5 chip, the same one seen in the company’s iPad mini, iPhone 4S, and 5th generation iPod touch.