The latest beta for the Apple TV finally comes with a new user interface that gives the Apple TV an iOS 7 look, with flatter icons and a slightly simpler design reminiscent of iOS 7 on the iPhone and iPad.
While the iPhone and iPad have both received the new iOS 7 look last year, the Apple TV has been behind on the radical redesigns, still sporting the bubbly iOS 6-esque user interface. However, the set-top box’s latest beta is the first time we’re getting a glimpse at what Apple TV owners get to look forward to.
Icons are flatter this time around with a simpler look instead of the glossy icons we’ve known to love. Reflections are also gone, which is on par with the removal of the gloss effects. Text is a bit thinner than the current Apple TV typeface, but we’re not sure if it’s a big enough difference that a majority of users will notice.
The selection ring has also been redesigned, going from a glowing purple ring around the selected item to a simpler white ring that adds to the minimalist interface of the new beta.
The Apple TV’s user interface has remained mostly unchanged for several years, so it’s nice that we’ll finally get a redesign for Apple’s set-top streaming box. Unfortunately, it’ll be up to third-party apps to change the design of their Apple TV app icons in order to blend in with the new iOS 7 look, so there may be a period of time where icon designs will clash.
This new design will obviously be available for Apple’s current generation of Apple TV, but it does make us wonder whether or not we’ll see a new Apple TV soon.
Many reports over the last few months expected a new Apple TV to release at some point this year, but recent rumors suggest that the set-top box won’t get a refresh until 2015.
It’s unfortunate to hear, especially since the Apple TV hasn’t had a big upgrade in a couple of years, but it’s something that Apple TV enthusiasts will have to deal with. Apple engineers working on the new Apple TV set-top box have been told by higher ups not to expect a launch this year. Instead, they’re now working off of a timeline that aims for a 2015 launch.
What’s with the delay? Anonymous Apple employees say that cable companies are to blame, and the ongoing Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is the one of the biggest reasons why a new Apple TV hasn’t launched yet.
If you remember from earlier in the year, Apple boasted that the Apple TV would “evolve” in 2014, suggesting that the company could be releasing an all-new Apple TV before the year’s end. However, knowing that Comcast is said to be a big part of the Apple TV refresh, we’re not surprised that the cable company’s recent acquisition is the reason that a new Apple TV is getting delayed.
Apple has stated in the past that the television market is an area of “intense interest” for the company, and it recently promoted the Apple TV to a dedicated device on the Apple online store, rather than just an accessory that was tucked away under the iPod category.
A newer version of the Apple TV was also spotted in several iOS 7 builds, confirming that a next-generation Apple TV allegedly does exist in some fashion and that it might come equipped with the redesigned iOS 7 operating system, which would put the set-top box on par with the iPhone and iPad.
A lot of details are still unknown about the Apple TV’s future support for gaming, including how games would be stored locally, but it could end up that iCloud might be the main storage facility for Apple TV games. This might be Apple’s way to into the gaming market and take on the Xbox One and PS4, but we’ll ultimately have to wait and find out.