Apple announced a slew of new stuff at WWDC earlier this week, including OS X El Capitan and iOS 9, but one product that was left out of the shuffle was a new Apple TV model. However, hopes are still high that we’ll see a new Apple TV 2015 release soon enough.
Rumors have been swirling over the last several months, including reports that Apple would unveil a new Apple TV at WWDC this week, but that sadly wasn’t the case and we still have yet to see a new set-top box from the Cupertino-based company.
Fortunately, though, the Apple TV rumors are still alive and well even after a no-show at WWDC this week. In fact, Apple itself dropped a big hint at WWDC that third-party Apple TV apps will be coming to the set-top box. This could mean that the Apple TV will come with its own App Store at some point.
The hint that Apple dropped was included in the company’s documentation to app developers, where the company notes that the developers can register up to 100 Apple TV devices to test their apps on, hinting to the possibility that Apple could be allowing third-party apps on its set-top box at some point in the future.
Currently, the Apple TV has “apps,” but Apple calls then “channels” instead, and the company locks it down to only include a handful of video providers, such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, etc.
Of course, we’d still take all of this with a grain of salt, but at this point, nothing is standing in the way of telling us that a new Apple TV model isn’t coming in the near future.
On top of a new Apple TV model, there have been several reports in the recent past of an Apple-branded television streaming service that would allow users to watch live television on the Apple TV by paying a monthly fee.
It would be similar to the recently-launched Sling TV service and would include popular channels like ABC, CBS, and FOX, along with 20 or so other channels to choose from.
Other rumors that we’ve heard over the last few months include a new remote design and even the ability to play video games on the set-top box, although it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about that particular rumor.
The Apple TV remote is said to get a major overhaul, though, arriving with a touch pad, which would allow users to navigate around by scrolling through menus and such. The remote has also been rumored to include two other buttons and be thicker overall to make room for the touchpad.
The current Apple TV remote comes with only three buttons and a D-pad. In fact, the design of the Apple TV remote has remained unchanged since 2007, so it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that Apple is changing things up in that arena.
While the Apple TV remote is one of the most unique products that Apple has, it’s notorious for being so small and thin that it gets lost easily, either in between couch cushions or just mysteriously disappears from the living room. We’ve all been there with our normal television remotes, but it’s two-fold with the Apple TV’s minimalistic remote.
As for when we’ll see a new Apple TV set-top box release, it might not be until the fall when Apple usually hosts its iPhone event in September and then an iPad event in October. Apple will most likely wait until then to unveil its new Apple TV. Otherwise, it’s possible that the company could hold a summer event, but that seems very unlikely.
In the end, while Apple didn’t announce a new Apple TV at WWDC this week, it’s still very possible for the company to unveil it before the end of this year, so hopes are still high for a new set-top box from Apple, especially since it’s been over three years since a refresh.