If the recent online Apple Store redesign still wasn’t any indication that the company is most likely putting more focus on the Apple TV, then we have another piece of information that might do the trick. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is prototyping a new Apple TV unit that is combined with an AirPort Express and a built-in TV tuner.
Granted, the company is supposedly just working on a prototype, which doesn’t necessarily mean that something like this will hit the public, but it is interesting to see that Apple is testing something like this, although we’re a bit confused as to why you would want an Apple TV and an AirPort Express in the same box. It might make sense if the goal was to deliver the best network performance for the Apple TV because of all the streaming that occurs, and we suppose it would make the ultimate travel gadget.
As for the built-in TV tuner, sources say that this will allow the Apple TV to control your existing cable box, similar to how Google TV works. Doing this would give users their own Apple-esque TV guide and navigation menu, that way they wouldn’t be stuck with the existing software on the cable box.
Of course, we don’t know 100% what Apple’s plans are for its television box, but it seems highly likely that we’ll see an updated Apple TV later this year at some point. It’s rumored that Apple will add gaming support to the Apple TV as well, which would officially enter Apple into the living room gaming market alongside the Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U.
In any case, the Apple TV is definitely due for an update of some kind, and it seems Apple is going to make this next one count. iOS devices have already been huge as far as gaming has been concerned, and this Apple TV refresh might be Apple’s answer to gaming in the living room.