When the second-generation of Apple TV first came out in 2010, it only had a handful of non-Apple channels. You could stream Netflix and YouTube, connect to Flickr, and a couple of others things. It was pretty bare bones upon launch. Over the past three and a half years, Apple has been adding more and more content to its “little hobby.” Before long, Apple TV might just be a replacement for cable boxes.
While a rumored fourth-generation Apple TV has still not seen the light of day, today, iLounge is reporting that the set-top box will be getting an updated that will allow Bluetooth controller support and its own App Store.
Frankly, the thought of an Apple TV app store makes me giddy. I’ve been hoping for it since I first discovered that the gadget has an operating system similar to iOS. I’d all but given up hoping that Apple would make that dream into a reality.
According to iLounge, “reliable industry sources” reported that, by this March (or earlier), Apple TV will be updated to support Bluetooth controller options and games will be downloaded directly to the set-top box instead of needing AirPlay support from iOS devices.
“We’ve heard that developers are currently working on Bluetooth controller options, and it’s expected that games could be downloaded directly to the Apple TV rather than relying on another iOS device as an intermediary. One developer has suggested that game support could be backward-compatible with the current-generation Apple TV.”
iLounge points out that current generations of Apple TV don’t have enough storage space to allow for downloads of content the way iOS devices are. If this supposed new service were compatible with older generations of the set-top box, they would have to be synced with iCloud and access to games would be streamed instead of stored in the device itself.
This begs the question of whether Apple will be releasing a brand new version of Apple TV that will come with storage. You may recall that the first generation of Apple TV was nothing but storage. It housed the movies, music, and other media users added to it to watch on a connected television set. Will Apple go back to that format? Plus, adding storage will likely drive up the price from $99 to something tiered, the way iOS devices are priced.
If the rumor is true that Apple TV will soon be compatible with game controllers and have its own App Store, it is likely that Apple will encourage developers to invest more time into making games that can connect to the iPad and iPhone to be used as controllers as well. It will be like AirPlay is now, only games could be purchased on Apple TV and reverse-streamed to iOS devices.